Local Far Eastern and Russian affairs experts seemed completely unalarmed yesterday by Associated Press reports that there are over 5,000 Russian troops in North Korea. They also discounted current rumors that the Russians want a Democratic victory here in November.
"I actually think that this has been taken for granted for a long, long time," Robert L. Wolff '36, associate professor of History, said last night when questioned about the Russians in korea. "Nobody seriously thinks that Chinese communists, and still less, North Koreans, have the technical ability to fly Russian jets and shoot anti-aircraft guns."
Benjamin I. Schwartz, assistant professor of History, agreed that this will not have much effect on the course of events, and added, "in essence, the Russians have been involved all along; any qualitative difference will appear when we see them in the field."
Wolff thinks the Russians will not intervene on the front, but are there to practice using complicated equipment-- "after all, anybody can pull a trigger. . . "
Bruce C. Hopper, associate professor of Government, added a new twist to his colleague's speculations. Regarding the news of Russians in Korea as no surprise, he commented, "what would be more interesting would be if these 'Russians turned out to be really captured German technicians.
His theory is that the Russians may hold out to Germany as bait that, united under Russia, Germans can have to monopoly on industrializing China.
According to Hopper, this news may be merely a Russian "diversion." He pointed out that the last such diversion was the 1948-9 Berlin air-lift "during which china slipped away," and added, "Whenever I find anything obvious, I look on the other side of the globe for the real move on the chessboard.:
Having troops in Kores will weaken Russia's position in both the United Nations and among the Asiatic peoples, Edwin O. Reischauer, professor of Far Eastern Languages, said last night. "This weakens the Chinese position. with whites on their side (no longer Asians versus Europeans they reduce Indian sympathy. . ."
All professors consulted seemed skeptical of the story that the Russians are anxious for a non-military man in the white house.
"I think the reverse--there is clear proof that they want a Republican victory." Wolff said. He pointed out that the Progressive Party made such inroads on the Democratic vote that New York, Maryland, and New Jersey went Republican in 1948. The Progressive Party might win in New York, and so far, their candidate, Vincent Halliman, is still running he concluded