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KOREA KATE

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Normal human (early 1950s era)

Occupation: Prisoner;
   formerly Communist propaganda broadcaster

Group Membership: None (probably Communist Party)

Affiliations: North Korean military

Enemies: US military (notably Sgt. Terry Granger, "Combat" Kelly, "Cookie" Novak), Muktong Mollie, General Olga, Panther Lady, Luki Rhee, Yalu River Rosie

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Korea Katie

Base of Operations: South Korea

First Appearance: Battlefront#15/2 (January, 1954)

Powers/Abilities: Korea Kate had a good level of authority in the Communist military, and used propaganda to dissuade Americans of their military efforts in Korea. She was arrogant and sometimes relied on torture. Always well groomed, she had an excessively thin waist.

Height: 5'3" (by approximation)
Weight: 120 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black

History:

(Battlefront#15/2 (fb) - BTS) - The woman nicknamed "Korea Kate" by US troops (a name she embraced) broadcast demoralizing news reports in English via a portable but powerful radio transmitter mounted on a truck near frontlines during the Korean War. She followed her speeches with American songs intended to keep US soldiers listening. She was monitored by US command, who could not stop her broadcasts; she instead proved a topic of conversation for soldiers. However, her broadcasts often steeled American soldiers to fight harder out of defiance.

(Combat Kelly I#24/2 (fb) - BTS) - US soldiers Combat Kelly and pal Cookie Novak caused trouble for Korea Kate with their enthusiastic fighting of Communist forces.

(Battlefront#15/2) - During one broadcast, she warned listeners of expected difficulties tackling the fortified Triangle Hill, held by Communist forces. US army soldier, Sgt. Terry Granger, part of UN forces in Korea, found Korea Kate had been accurate about Triangle Hill. During a lull in fighting, he and two other American soldiers were captured and brought to Korea Kate. She threatened their death if they did not go on air and claim good treatment as prisoners, but the shackled captives refused. She slapped one and ordered they be starved for 48 hours to gain compliance. But a local boy, smuggler Luki Rhee, secretly passed food and guns to the Americans to escape. While Korea Kate was in the transmitting truck alone, Rhee broke in and held a gun to keep her quiet while the American soldiers stole the truck to escape. It was only back at the US base that the soldiers realized they had snared Korea Kate and she was taken away under guard. The American soldiers were set to receive a commendation for her capture.

(Combat Kelly I#24/2 (fb) - BTS) - With an apparent armistice in effect, various prisoners were released. Korea Kate (now dubbing herself Korea Katie) made her way to freedom and sought revenge on Combat Kelly.

(Combat Kelly I#24/2) - Armed with a handgun, Korea Katie tracked down Combat Kelly and Cookie, who had both been taken captive and were about to be burnt alive by fellow Korean insurgent Yalu River Rosie. Rosie protested but was dismissed by Katie, who took the still-bound captives away to hang by their necks from a tree. But another Communist guerrilla, Muktong Mollie, stopped the execution. In turn, Mollie forcefully took the US soldiers away in a combat car while Katie swore abuse at Mollie. Korea Katie, alongside fellow Communist female spies, Panther Lady, Yalu River Rosie and Muktong Mollie (all pursuing Kelly and Cookie), tracked down the soldiers, who were about to be painfully killed by the vengeful Communist General Olga. The five women then attacked each other in a vicious hand-fight, each seeking to claim the soldiers. Kelly and Cookie untied themselves and collected the weapons, watching the women fight. All five female Communists were then presumably marched back to internment.

Comments: Created by uncredited writer and Art Peddy (pencils & inks).

Her final fate is unrevealed; was she eventually released into South Korea or was she part of a prisoner exchange...?

In the first story, US soldiers compared her to Axis Sally or Tokyo Rose, referring to (real-life) female Axis propaganda broadcasters assigned to demoralize Allied troops during World War II.

"Luki Rhee" may be a racist interpretation of stereotyped language (common in old war comics, rife with ethnocentrism); his name may have been 'Lucky' Lee (phonetically "luckily").

Thanks to John Holstein for noting her Combat Kelly appearance.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS :
Korea Kate has no known connections to:


Terry Granger

Before attacking Triangle Hill, a heavily fortified hill held by North Korean Communists, Sgt. Terry Granger heard one of Korea Kate's broadcasts, wondering where she was transmitting from. Later, alongside fellow US soldiers, Granger waited out an artillery raid before charging futilely at Triangle Hill. During a lull in gunfire, he discussed the propaganda broadcaster with two fellow infantry men, but was captured by stealthy Communist soldiers. He was brought before Korea Kate and saw her truck-mounted transmitter, but she wanted the US soldiers to tell radio listeners of good treatment as prisoners, but they refused. She ordered them starved for 48 hours to make them compliant, but instead the three US soldiers were helped out by local boy Luki Rhee, who secretly smuggled them food and later guns to escape. Granger and his men fled, shot at guards, then stole the transmitter truck to escape. Back at camp, he reported to Col. Adams and discovered Rhee holding Korea Kate at gunpoint in the back of the truck. Granger and his men "adopted" Rhee as their camp mascot and expected a commendation for Korea Kate's capture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Battlefront#15/2


Luki Rhee

Local Korean boy Luki Rhee helped US forces by smuggling supplies. He found out about Sgt. Granger and two other US soldiers being held captive by Korea Kate and secretly brought the starving prisoners provisions. Later, he brought stolen weapons to help them escape, but kept a handgun for himself. Finding Korea Kate in the back of her transmitting truck, Rhee used his gun to keep her quiet while the US soldiers drove it back to their camp. There, the commander, Col. Adams, left Rhee in the care of the US soldiers, who "adopted" him as a mascot, dressing him in an oversized uniform for their amusement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Battlefront#15/2


images: (without ads)
Battlefront#15/2, p3, pan2 (main image)
   p5, pan6 (headshot)
   p3, pan1 (Granger)
   p4, pan3 (Rhee, civvies)
   p5, pan7 (Rhee, G.I. clothes)


Appearances:
Battlefront#15/2 (January, 1954) - uncredited writer, Art Peddy (pencils & inks), uncredited editor
Combat Kelly I#24/2 (September, 1954) - uncredited writer, Dave Berg (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)


First posted: 06/24/18

Last updated: 09/17/18

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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