Korea International War Crimes Tribunal, June 23, 2001, New York
Report on US Crimes in Korea 1945-2001

7. Rethinking Nogun-ri Massacre on the
50th Anniversary of the Korean War

PhD. Candidate in Religion Department of Temple University, Minister of the Korean Methodist Church The President of Philadelphia Branch of the Congress for Korean Reunification

Introduction: Why the Nogun-ri Incident Should be Reconsidered

On Sept. 30, 1999, the Associated Press, citing U.S. veterans, Korean survivors and declassified documents, reported that U.S. pilots and troops killed more than 300 civilians at Nogun-ri, Chungchong province, South Korea, in late July 1950.  Since this report, other reports of the killing of noncombatant civilians have been given, amounting to at least 37 cases from the southern part of Korea.  Recent investigations by non-government organizations reveal that not all the casualties were caused by the fratricidal war. There were mass killings of civilians by U.S. troops who had been sent as the South’s allies in the Korean civil war.

One may wonder why Nogun-ri matters after a silence of 50 years. Korean survivors and the relatives of victims had been persistently telling the truth of Nogun-ri for years. But their assertions had been dismissed by officials in Washington and in Seoul, with the excuse that there is no official record to substantiate these claims. Especially under the country’s military-led post-war government established as a US puppet regime, anyone claiming civilian killing by the U.S. Army has been accused of being a communist sympathizers and has received political reprisals. It is only since the presidency of Kim Dae-jung (1998) that Koreans have been able to hear this kind of claim truthfully from the survivors.

Some of the American news media have now revealed the truth of Nogun-ri through interviews conducted with ex-GIs. Despite some discrepancies, there are veterans’ statements that have supported the surviving Korean civilians’ claims. Now we hear the news that Seoul and Washington have launched a probe into the reported massacre of civilians by U.S. troops in Nogun-ri, with the promise of a full-scale investigation.

However, government-led inquiry teams still hesitate to deal with a comprehensive investigation of all cases of alleged civilian massacres by the U.S. army in South Korea. They prefer to focus only on the Nogun-ri case. The rumor has been circulating among Korean people that Seoul and Washington are trying to negotiate politically in order to prevent the Nogun-ri flame from spreading to other cases.

This article is intended to show that Nogun-ri was not a single, isolated event but only one of a series of events which reveal an intentional and systematic killing of civilians by U.S. forces during the Korean War (1950-1953). The U.S. government must realize that a half-hearted investigation that does not include all instances of noncombatant civilian deaths will cause within South Korea a widespread, popular anti-American movement. Neither the  government of Korea nor of the U.S. wants to confront such an action. Clearly, it would severely discredit United State’s support for justice and the universality of human rights in global communities and would be an affront to world conscience.      

 What happened at Nogun-ri 

Some ex-GIs, such as Ed Daily and Norman Tinkler who fired on the refugees at Nogun-ri bridge, said to the media that the U.S. troop’s attack was justified.

Tinker said that on the day before the events at Nogun-ri, several U.S. soldiers were killed while searching a group of refugees. Ex-GIs argued that the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) hiding among the refugees attacked with guns and hand grenades. But, there is no official report of any casualties sustained by  the U.S. army as the result of examining a group of refugees.

Veterans told the Associated Press that U.S. troops feared that enemy NKPA were hidden among the refugees as they fled with retreating U.S. and South Korean forces. Two veterans, Ed Daily and James T Kerns,  who machine-gunned refugees at Nogun-ri, said that they had not fired first but that the GIs were fired upon by North Korean infiltrators from among the refugees. A U.S. veteran said they later found a few disguised NKPA among the dead. But, other veterans don’t remember any hostile fire and   reject the claim of the finding of NKPA corpses. All 24 Korean survivors said that there was no fire from the refugees and no NKPA among them. Refugees were all local villagers from the Nogun-ri area who knew each other well.

Generally speaking, U.S. military officials and veterans admit that South Korean civilians were inadvertently killed near Nogun-ri, but that it was the result of an accident and the chaos of a rapidly-changing battlefield. This is not true because, according to unclassified documents from the U.S. national archives, Maj.Gen. William Kean gave the order to consider civilians in the combat zone as the enemy. The Nogun-ri area was not yet a combat zone because NKPA did not arrive there until three days later.

The survivors’ account of the incident at Nogun-ri differs from that of the U.S. veterans.  Eun-yong Chung, the representative of the Nogun-ri Victims’ Organization, recently related what happened during the incident. The following is a word-for-word translation of his statement, available for the first time in the English-speaking press :

We were ordered by U.S. army, “Everybody, come together! We will escort you to a safe place.”  Following the order, we, local villagers, walked the road in the dark night, leading ox-carts, with children on our backs.  About noon of next day, July 26, when we arrived at Nogun-ri area, 5-6 GIs blocked our way. They brought all the people and ox-carts onto parallel railroad tracks. After fully investigating all of us, they spoke to someone by radio. We Korean refugees didn’t know why. There we took a rest for a while.

  About that time, two U.S. airplanes flew over us. At that moment the GIs disappeared, something black fell down on us and exploded among the refugees. It was like a storm, with clouds of dust and pieces of rock bursting into the sky. The bloody pieces of bodies and oxen were all around. The rest of people alive ran into the tunnel under the railroad trestle [Editor’s note: The U.S. air attack caused 100 death before a shot was fired at the bridge].

GIs [of H Company of the 2nd Battalion, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment]  aggressively pushed the rest of the scattered refugees into the tunnel. The refugees felt they were suffocating because of the compacted mass of people in two narrow tunnels. Since one woman couldn’t endure the suffocation, she came out of the tunnel. On that spot she got shot and fell down. From the opposite side of the tunnel, firing began. GIs set up machine guns on both sides of entrance and fired on us.

 As the time passed, dead bodies were piled up in both entrances and the stream of blood abounded within the tunnel. In such way the massacre continued for four days. When the NKPA arrived there, they said that “ the U.S. Army is gone! Any person alive can return to your home now!”  But, the cold corpses were silent. [The dead amounted to as many as 300. Most of them were children, women and old men].  

Reporters for the Korean magazine Min (People) have analyzed the Nogun-ri incident and found that this was not the result of an accident, but intentional and systematic killing: First, this case involved noncombatant civilians, in a noncombatant zone and at a noncombatant time. Second, this was an intentional massacre. The GIs ordered the refugees off the road and led them onto the railroad tracks. This would make an air attack easier since the refugees were now in open space, easy to see from the air. Furthermore, the GIs blocked both entrances to the tunnel, making escape impossible. Third, this was a systematic crime. GIs insist they fired according to their commander’s order (i.e., orders of Maj. Gen. William Kean and Capt. Melborne Candler).[iv]

Finally, the military left no record of this incident at that time, instead they concealed it. Declassified documents show that the order was given, but documents do not indicate any actions taken as a result of the order. (The 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters at 10:00 am on July 26 ordered all units that no, repeat, no refugees will be permitted to cross battle lines at any time. Even in the 1st Cavalry Division’s War Diary there is no mention of what happened at Nogun-ri. [v]               

The Korean survivors’ basic claims about the Nogun-ri incident are: 1) The civilians left their villages according to an order of the U.S. Army. (Only some villagers who did not listen to that order survived.) U.S. troops guided them out of their village and led them to Nogun-ri; 2) From their investigation of the refugees on the railroad tracks, the GIs already knew that there were no NKPA spies among the refugees. 3) Without any effort to contact the refugees trapped in the tunnel, the GIs continued to machine-gun them from 26 July to 29 July, 1950. [vi]

The Nogun-ri Incident as the Tip of the Iceberg in the Massacre of Korean Civilians               

 After details of the Nogun-ri incident were broadcast internationally last September, the previously suppressed allegations of wartime massacres committed by U.S. troops have spread throughout Korea. As a result, at least 37 cases of alleged mass killings of Korean civilians by U.S. troops have been reported. In many of these cases U.S. air raids are involved. According to declassified documents such as Mission 35-1 and Mission 35-4, U.S. pilots often bombed or strafed white-clad refugees at the direction of a ground controller, for the U.S. Army believed that the NKPA had infiltrated refugee groups. White clothing was the traditional dress among the civilian population and was worn by refugees, thinking it would identify them as non-combatants and would provide them with safety on the road. Several examples of this type of action follow.

 On July 11, 1950, two U.S. aircraft bombed the Iri Train Station and the Iri market area in Iksan town.  Since this was a big marketing day, (in Korea, the big market opens every five days)  Iksan town was crowded with local villagers who wanted to buy and sell their products. That day an especially big cattle market also opened near the electric substation. An assemblyman had come to the local movie theater to speak to students of the Namsung Middle School and the Iri Girls Middle School. When the people saw U.S. airplanes, B-29 bombers with the American flag mark, flying over them, they welcomed them with the waving of hands and Korean flags to show that they were civilians. 

After the planes circled for a while, bombs began to fall and detonated around the train station. After 15 minutes, a second bombing occurred around the station and electric substation. On the next day, July 12, many villagers came to help with the casualties and to find out whether their family members were alive or dead. However, the U.S. airplanes returned and bombed again around the station, and even the nearby villages. Witnesses estimated the number of victims to be several hundred. Among just the Railroad employees in Iri station there were 54 deaths and more than 300 people wounded. [vii]

This occurred in a non-combat zone, since the NKPA did not come there until another 7 days had passed.  On Aug. 3, 1950, three divisions of the U.S. Army, retreating to the east bank of the Naktong River, blew up two of its bridges (Waegwan and Tuksong-dong) in an effort to deny  their use by the enemy. [vii]   

Maj. Gen. Herbert R Gay gave the order to detonate the explosives under one of the bridges.  According to U.S. veterans, Korean witnesses and U.S. military documents, hundreds of South Korean civilians were killed when the bridges were blown up as the refugees were attempting to cross over. Son To-kap, an eyewitness, told the Yongnam Daily News (10/16/1999) that GIs fired on refugees still on the opposite bank and waiting to cross the Waegwan bridge, thereby causing hundreds of deaths. This was also a non-combat zone since the NKPA arrived at the Waegwan bridge four days after this explosion. [ix]

On Jan. 20, 1951, survivors and other witnesses said that as many as 300 civilian refugees were killed in a U.S. air attack at the cavern near Youngchoon, 90 miles southeast of Seoul. The victims were local villagers and refugees from elsewhere taking shelter in the 150-yard-long cave. [x]

People occasionally moved outside the cave to prepare food. Children were playing around the entrance. According to Kim Ok-yi, then 25, after an observer plane circled over the cave entrance, four American planes flew in and dropped napalm bombs. The fire quickly spread and smoke filled the cave. Most of the civilians were suffocated to death. People rushing outside the cave were  strafed by the planes.                     

  Additional instances of this type of attack include the following: Cheo-ri villagers in Kumsung-myon, who were preparing to celebrate the lunar new year in 1951, were bombed by 4 U.S. aircraft, causing 17 deaths and 21 people wounded. [xi]

Yecho-ri civilians of Changnyong-up, being afraid on hearing that the NKPA were approaching, tried to seek the protection of the U.S. Army by walking to the U.S. Army camp wearing white clothing (to indicate their non-combatant status). They were shot by the U.S. army, resulting in 60 dead and 30 wounded. U.S. air raids caused 49 deaths and more than 90 wounded in the non-combatant villages of Sansung-ri and Jinpyong-ri of the Bobuk-myon region on Jan. 19, 1951; 64 deaths and 43 wounded occurred in Chojang-ri of the Konmyong-myon region on July 29, 1950; and 100 deaths and more than 100 wounded occurred in Jangji-ri of Kunbuk-myon region on August 20, 1950, and so on. [xii]

These cases are selected as examples of unprovoked hostilities directed at civilian villagers. [xiii] The cases of killing the fleeing civilians on the roads by air raids are innumerable.     

Countless Massacres in the Northern Half of Korea by the U.S. Army

Once we realize the extent of the killing that took place in South Korea (allied territory), we can begin to imagine how brutally the U.S. Army attacked in North Korea, regarded as enemy territory. The U.S. Army carried out indiscriminate bombing and naval bombardment against all urban and rural areas in northern Korea during the whole period of the Korean War.  The war in northern Korea was one of annihilation of the North Korean people.

More than 10,000 U.S. aircraft made over 250 air raids on Pyongyang from mid-July  to  mid-August, 1951. They dropped as many as 4,000 bombs, killing at least 4,000 innocent civilians and wounding 2, 500. They bombed not only local cities such as Hamhung, Chongjin, Sinuiju and Wonsan but also rural villages, and even an isolated house deep in a mountainous area. The targets of aerial bombing included houses, hospitals, schools and other public service facilities. [xiv]

Napalm and other bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes totaled nearly 600,000 tons. North Korea, with less than one third the land mass of Japan, was bombarded with 3.7 times more bombs than were dropped on the Japanese mainland during World War II. Not a single day passed  in northern Korea during the war without aerial and naval bombardment.

The notorious massacres committed in the Sinchon area of North Korea alone are beyond human imagination. During the 52- day occupation of Sinchon by U.S. forces from Oct. 17 to Dec. 7, 1950, under orders of then-Commander Harrison, the number of innocent civilian victims was as high as 35,380. One instance involved more than 900 innocent civilians being herded into an air-raid shelter and burned with gasoline. In a similar incident in November, GIs separated babies from their mothers and moved them into different warehouses. They poured gasoline upon the crying babies, and set fire to them. Among those burned were 400 women and 102 children, according to records of the Sinchon Korean War Museum. [xv]

The U.S. Army even used germ and chemical weapons in northern Korea.  In the period from January to March 1952 when they began an all-out germ war, the U.S. Army dropped various germ bombs a total of 805 times over 169 places in alpine, coastal and mountainous areas of the north. U.S. aircraft even dropped food, leaflets and counterfeit money contaminated with poisonous substances. [xvi]

  The U.S. Army killed  North Korean POWs in germ warfare experiments and  poisonous substance tests. On May 27, 1952 at least 800 POWs were killed by flame throwers at the 77th POW camp on Koje Island , South Korea, for rejecting a voluntary repatriation to South Korea and for insisting on their return to North Korea. At least 33,600 POWs of the NKPA were killed by GIs and tens of thousands of POWs were wounded or crippled during the Korean War. [xvii]

Myths, Illusions and Reality

The American people are used to hearing stories of the bravery of the American military in war.  They believe the myth that the Korean War was one of the most successful actions in  American military history, and that any atrocities were performed by the Communists but not by their own army. This myth is created by the U.S. Army concealing and /or disguising the truth.

The Nogun-ri case in 1950 actually serves as the archetypal model through which we can see the nature of U.S. and UN military involvement in the civil wars of other countries to date and as a prophecy for the wars of the future.  The Korean war provided the U.S. Army with a reason to become involved in another country’s civil war, namely the stopping of the expansion of communism.  This was repeated with U.S. military action in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and other countries. The U.S. government is a significant administrative agent of UN or NATO armies in all international actions, and has continually entered into military engagement in the name of world peace.

However, the hidden policy has been to support pro-American military dictatorships or create U.S. puppet nations in the conflict zones ( e.g., in South Korea, Vietnam and Guatemala). The purpose of this is to secure America’s own interests such as the control of Persian Gulf oil in the war with Iraq or the establishment of American economic monopolies in the conflict zones. The result of this policy has been the death of an astronomical number of innocent civilians, particularly children, women and old men. U.S. government officials have turned deaf ears to the lesson of the Korean War in which 4.5 million civilian casualties occurred. Those officials and military commanders justify the deaths of innocent victims because they happened during a war and military orders must be followed. Their disguised reports of the success of U.S. military action in foreign civil wars have inspired the false patriotic idea that the U.S. military are always good guys, while concealing the truth about atrocities committed during military actions and ignoring the silent cries of countless innocent victims. [xviii]

Their illusion of being the a good guys has not yet been dissipated even by the revealed truth of Nogun-ri in Korea in 1950 and of My Lai in Vietnam in 1968. They do not yet see that continuing on this path will cause them to lose their old friends and increase anti-American sentiment. Finally, Americans are harming their own younger generation by sending them to fight and be killed in other countries civil wars or by forcing them to kill innocent civilians in such conflicts and reap the psychological damage that comes from involvement in immoral actions.

 As with the My Lai case, this revelation of the truth of the Nogun-ri massacre, forgotten for fifty years, might make Americans feel humiliated or upset. However, if you were not the Korean victims or their relatives, could you ever understand their suffering and despair during a half-century of silence and denial?

Now is the time to heal these tragic scars in this new century. Perhaps the aggressors still alive do not remember past events, but the survivors  cannot forget what happened until an appropriate process of healing is begun. However, most Koreans suspect that Washington’s position is to minimize the truth of Nogun-ri and to neglect plans for appropriate compensation, despite the public promise of a full-scale investigation. The U.S. investigation team has now broken the original promise that their investigation would be concluded by the end of June, this year, and postponed the resulting report until the end of the year. So far no investigation report by the U.S. team has been made available to the public. [xix]

The survivors, their relatives, and many civic groups now urge Washington to do the following:

1)      begin a full investigation, recording the number of civilians and political prisoners massacred during the war, not only in Nogun-ri but also in all alleged cases;

2)      identify the person who was in charge or who ordered the massacres;

3)      offer a complete formal U.S. government apology for the massacres;

4)      provide appropriate consolation and compensation for the intolerable and unjustifiable sufferings of Korean victims and their relatives;

5)      discontinue the senseless U.S. military policies and actions that cause the death of innocent civilians. There must be a guarantee that another Nogun-ri will never happen in the future. To achieve this goal, the United States must sign the UN Treaty to Establish the International Criminal Court.

 The tragedy of the Korean War has not ended. The 37,000 U.S. troops in Korea continue to cause serous problems for Korean people. The residency of U.S. forces in Korea has politically blocked the way to autonomy, democracy and reunification of Korea. The U.S. Army is still in control of operational decisions involving South Korean forces. In addition, on average, at least 3 crimes per day, such as robbery and rape, have been committed by U.S. forces. They do not even hesitate to bury toxic waste on the grounds of their bases or to spray the defoliant,  known as Agent Orange. The result of this is a continuous detrimental economic and social impact on civilians of both Korea and America. In order to completely stop the crimes of U.S. troops, we, the Congress for Korean Reunification, urge U.S. troops to leave Korea.

We know that there is no country in the world that will willingly reveal its dark crimes. The U.S. government has concealed the facts about the senseless killings of Korean civilians for 50 years. Although the U.S. government has paid lip service to conducting a full investigation, it has not given any data to the public about the Nogun-ri incident and rejects the full investigation of other allegations.  It is essential that the world community insist on a full investigation and complete disclosure in order to bring a satisfactory resolution to this unconscionable situation. [xx]        

(Signed)  Sung Yong Park       

Question and Comment to Editor: Sungyong@astro.ocis.temple.edu

Endnotes

[i]            One good reference is now provided by AP website: http://wire.ap.org/APpackages/nogunri/

[ii]           See also Chung, Eun-yong’s interviews with Government-led investigation team in English version: http://www.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/199910/199910060493.html.

Additional Nogun-ri survivors witnesses in English version:1) Chung, Goo-ho: Newsweek International, October 11, 1999; 2) Park Son-yong: The Korean Herald, October, 11, 1999; 3) Yang, Hae-chan: U.S. News, May 12, 2000.

[iii]          The Korean Magazine Min November. 1999, P 85.

[iv]          See the role of Lt. Col. William A. Harrison in Nogun-ri case from Michael Munk’s article "A Nogun-ri Massacre: the Record of the First Cav’s 2nd of the 7th in Korea" at http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogun.htm

I argue that the brutal attitudes of some U.S. commanders had another decisive role in bringing about Korean civilians’ killings since the U.S. military government on Korean (USAMGIK) began in September1945. Their bias of suspected communists in the Korean situation and their racism toward Koreans brought about the systematic (organized) and intentional killings of Korean civilians. 

For instances:

1) William A. Harrison ordered civilians to be killed in Nogun-ri and Sinchon.

2) Harrison ordered his soldiers in Sinshon like the following: My order is the law and its violators will be shot to death without condition.   2) Lt. Col.James Hausman ordered the Hangang Bridge to be blown up. (He, as the father of ROKA, was notorious in his racist attitudes toward Koreans)

3)UN Commander,  Gen. Ridgway’s  racism: he said, “Shoot any civilian suspected of being a communist before they become prisoners (Jan 8, 1951) and  The Chinese and Koreans are in appearance but a shade above the human beast.” Cited in Lee Wha Rang, War Criminal or War Heroes? http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/butchers.htm.

4) According to Eugene Hesselman’s witness, Cap. Melbourne Chandler said to his soldiers in Nogun-ri, “The hell with all these people. Let’s get rid of all of them.”

5) the U.S. 8th Army Commander Gen. Walton Walker ordered, “no, repeat, no, refugees will be permitted to cross battle lines at any time” at the time of Nogun-ri incident. He also ordered the U.S. troops in northern Korea, soldiers of the U.N. Forces, “kill everyone”  Don’t let your hands tremble even when those who appear before you are children or old people. By doing so, you will save yourselves from destruction and fully discharge your mission as soldiers of the U.N. Forces.”  6) Gen. Dean’s significant role in the massacres of Cheju Islanders in 1948.      

[v]           The North Korean paper Chosen Inminbo issued in August 1950 supported the Korean survivors’ statement that there were about 400 deaths in Nogun-ri.  Cited from David K. Song, Dark Days of the Korean War: http://www.hardboiled.org/3-2/nogunri.html.

[vi]          Min (People) December, 1999, pp. 92.

[vii]         Ibid. p93. Original source is  the History of 100 Years in Korean Railroad published in 1999.   

[viii]        Min, November, 1999, pp. 88-93.

[ix]           Capt. James Hausman ordered the Hangang Bridge to be blown up, thereby resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths. References: http://www.kimsoft.com/2000/han-craw.htm http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/hanganCg.htm, and http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/hausman.htm.   

 [x]           The reason the refugees hid in this cavern was that the U.S. troops blocked the Hyangsan-ri bridge and rejected any passing-by of the refugees.  Actually, any refugee who attempted to cross over this bridge got shot by the GIs. So, Hyangsan-ri villagers and other refugees escaped to this location. After this incident, this cavern has been called the cavern of the stream of screaming (Gok-Gye-Gul). See Min, Feb. 2000, pp56.

[xi]           Min, May 2000, pp 74-79.

[xii]          See some references about civilian massacre in Northern Korean are:

 http://www.korea-np.co.jp/pk/139th_issue/2000051711.htm; http://www.kimsoft.com/2000/dprk04.htm; http://www.korea-np.co.jp/pk/135th-issue/20003292.htm; http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/nk-un12.htm

Min, November, 1999, pp. 105-107.  (There is no report of civilian massacre by the army of any other nation beside the U.S. Army until now.)                                             

[xiii]         http://www.korea-np.co.jp/pk/139th_issue/2000051711.htm; http://www.kimsoft.com/2000/dprk04.htm.

[xiv]        Http://www.korea-np.co.jp/pk/139th_issue/2000051711.htm; http://www.kimsoft.com/2000/dprk04.htm.

[xv]         Lee, Jae-bong, The unbelievable shocking Records, Mal (speaking, Korean Journal), December, 1998, pp 152.

[xvi]        Ibid., p. 154 and see also, www.kimsoft.com/2000/dprk04.htm.

 Especially, see Lee Wha Rang’s article about U.S. military officers and the use of germ weapons during the Korean War at website: www.kimsoft.com/korea/jp-germ.htm.

[xvii]       Some references to the U.S. officers’ involvement in the killing of Korean political prisoners throughout the summer of 1950 are the following:

1) Daejon Prisoner Massacre: 1) Stewart Lone and Gavan McCormack: http:// www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogun2.htm ( the number of deaths was estimated from 5.000-7,500); Korean Magazine, Mal (Aspeaking), February 1992, pp. 122-31.

2) The Systematic Killings of 1800 Political Prisoners at Suwon: Col. Donald Nicholas, How Many Times Can I Die? (Brooksville, Fla: Brownsville Prting Co., 1981), cited in Korea Web Weekly, http://www.kimsoft.com.

3) The POWs’ Killings by U.S. troops on Koje Island: 1)The personal witness of Lee Wha Rang, the ex-US Army CIC unit on Koje Island (at least 6,000 North Korean POWs were killed): http:// www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogunb.htm; 2) http:// www.kimsoft.com/2000/dprk04.htm.

 During the summer of 1950, all political prisoners in Seoul, Suwon and Taejon -- communists, nationalists and any others who opposed Rhee’s pro-American regime-- were executed as Communist sympathizers or left-wing agitators without due process.   However, most of them had never read any Communist documents. The main claims of these prisoners were the democracy, reunification and independence of Korea from US Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) against the Rhee regime’s absolute loyalty to U.S. government.

[xviii]      See some references of The U.S. and NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia and Iraq:

q       "The US/NATO War in Yugoslavia: Eight Myths," http://www.iacenter.org/myths.htm

q       "Statement from the IAC on the UN War Crimes Tribunal's report on NATO air strikes," http://www.iacenter.org/chomsky.htm

q       See also one example of the disguised reports of US military personnel concerning US air attack in foreign civil war: http://www.iacenter.org/warcrime/newsweek.htm.

[xix]         Since last May, there are new strong reactions to minimize the effect of the Nogun-ri incident through some American news media. The agenda of these media seems to dilute any sympathetic movement toward the voices of the Nogun-ri survivors. Particularly The Stars and Stripes and US News doubt the truthfulness of some ex-GIs' statements that had supported the revelation of the undeserved killings of the Korean civilian at Nogun-ri. Since other media overemphasize one-sidedly the honoring US veterans' self-sacrifices, they counter-act the effect of the Nogun-ri incident.

See the Stars and Stripes' website http://www.stripes.com/nogunri/ and US News' http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/00052/korea.htm and http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/korea/press.htm

As seen in my article, the Nogun-ri incident is only the tip of the iceberg in Korean civilian massacres during the Korean War. What is more important, most Americans never recognize that other massacres committed by the US Army had happened not only during the Korean War, but also before and after the Korean War.

Some significant instances are the followings:

(1)           Cheju April 3rd Massacre in 1948 -- the massacres of some 30,000 Cheju Islanders ordered by US Gen Dean in 1948:

Lee What Rang, "The Massacres I Saw in Korea," http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogunb.htm

(2)                 Jinbonews, October 6, 1999, http://english.jinbo.net/ninbonews/show/show/phtml?-docnbr=8075

(3)                 Korea Web Weekly, "Jeju April 3rd Massacre Not Forgotten," http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/cheju.htm

(4)                 Bruce Cumings, "The Question of American Responsibility for the Suppression of the Chejudo Uprising," http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/cheju98.htm

(5)                 Huh Sang-soo, "The US Military Government in Korea's Responsibility," http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/43hista.htm, The Dok Island Massacre on June 8, 1948, http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogun5.htm

(6)                 US Involvement in Kwangju Massacre in May 1980, Tim Shorrock, "The US role in Korea in 1979 and 1980" http://www.kimsoft.com/korea/shorrok.htm

[xx]          The Nogun-ri incident is clearly a war crime that violates international humanitarian law. See reliable references:

William J. Aceves, "Investigating War Crimes: The Struggle for Accountability Hits Home" -- http://www.kimsoft.com/1997/nogun12.htm

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