ASIAN AMERICAN ISSUES
THE NOGUNRI MASSACRE
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:58:07 PM)
he story first broke to an incredulous world in late September when reporters for the AP tracked down and interviewed former GIs who had fought in the early days of the Corean War. Near a village called Nogunri, about 100 miles south of Seoul, they were ordered to gun down several hundred unarmed Corean civilians, they said, mostly women, children and elderly men.
A surreally horrifying picture of the Nogunri Massacre has been painted by the witness accounts of both Corean survivors and American G.I.s. The horror began when a group of between 300 to 500 Corean fleeing civilians were strafed by U.S. jets. They ran for cover under a rail bridge where they remained huddled together for over a day. A small and beleagured American unit had taken up position on a hillside overlooking the rail bridge. During the night they were given radio orders to machinegun down the refugees. As the civilians lay huddled or tried to run, the G.I.s carried out the grim order. A small number of Coreans managed to escape but most were slaughtered in a bloody heap under the bridge.
The order was justified on the ground that some North Corean guerillas had been caught trying to slip behind allied lines disguised as Corean villagers. As to whether any North Coreans were discovered among the slaughtered Nogunri civilians, the ex-G.I.s have conflicting recollections. Some said that a few were discovered while others had no such recollection.
The Nogunri massacre took place in late July of 1950, during the first month of the Corean War when the U.S. and South Corean armies were overpowered by swiftly advancing North Corean troops. The North Corean surprise invasion of June 25 was spearheaded by Soviet tanks against which the allies were, for the moment, ill-equipped to defend. Soon after the Nogunri incident the allies were pushed back down to a 75-mile square defensive perimeter around Corea's southeastern tip known as the Pusan Perimeter. It wasn't until the successful execution of the Inchon landing that the allies broke out and pushed back north.
When the AP story broke Corean President Kim Dae-jung hesitated for four days before ordering the formation of an investigative task force, then asked it to coordinate a lockstep investigation with the U.S. Defense Department team approved President Clinton. Both leaders have expressed their wish to see the investigation uncover the full truth, no matter how difficult or embarrassing. In late October the U.S. Army's team arrived in Seoul to begin coordinating witness interviews, schedule for a joint site survey and the inspection of documents, most of which are in the possession of the U.S. Defense Department. So far neither side has agreed to expand the investigation beyond Nogunri or discussed compensation for its survivors and victims.
If the investigation bears out witness accounts of a slaughter, should the U.S. provide upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to survivors and victims or apologize and have it written off to the exigencies of a desperate military situation?
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WHAT YOU SAY
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I am not totally sure about the following info but I heard that Nixon and Park Chung Hee made a deal...in return for sending ROK soldiers to Vietnam, the US gave a huge economic aid to Korea...which aided the great economic jump.
All the equipment and funding for ROK activities in Vietnam was provided by the US.
Thursday, May 09, 2002 at 14:00:41 (PDT)
Let's make one thing very clear. The U.S would not have defended Corea were it not a region of vital interest to the U.S. Do you think that the U.S. is currently aligned against the entire Arab world and general world opinion because we just feel sorry for Israel, and want to lend a hand?
In the interest of objectivity
Friday, April 26, 2002 at 11:56:31 (PDT)
I find your commments disgusting and is a typical response that critics of America expect to hear from us.
Just for the record, im a white male
and of a conservative bent (actually libertian because the Democrats and Republicans are the same) just so you wont throw all this "hey you are bleeding heart" liberal crap.
How in your right mind can you possibly support the machine gunning of hundreds of civilians, because we suspected that a few North Koreans may among them, and guess what, they found out that the number of North Korean soldier was almost nil.
Obviously we realized we did something wrong or we wouldnt have tried to hide it so long.
This wasnt a case of accidentally killing of civilians, this was A WILLFUL, INTENTIONAL ATTACK ON INNOCENTS. I have read accounts where soldiers said they were ordered to wipe out the civlians because North Korean soldiers might be among, so they did it without even flinching, which i find very disturbing.
And dont hide behind the we are at war and civilians die crap just because we are America. I love this country, it has the most freedoms of any country in the world, but that doesnt mean that we haven't made mistakes. Instead of hiding behind patriotism and making an excuse for such things as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2 or the intentional killing of civilians during Korea or Vietnam we should admit that we were wrong doing those things.
We are known for conducting ourselves like humans being for the most part during wartime and for helping those in need even our enemies and thats what makes us different from other countries.
So lets admit we made a serious blunder here. Lets not confuse imperialism with patrtiotism.
By the way, thanks for letting us know you are an American, I hope not everyone thinks all of us who are patriotic and love this country are also imperialistic and blind.
Tuesday, January 08, 2002 at 10:10:30 (PST)
American. almost 5,000 Korean soldiers were killed in vietnam for your country.. then why the hell your media start bashing on Korean soldiers who depended thier lives from VC at the same time Nogunri incident was reavealed?
any kind of atrocities in War tend to derive from Racism and diffrence of idelogy. and American government try not to concede that simple fact..
Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 14:09:28 (PST)
Yeah, I think all sides should pay for their war atrocities, be it North Koreans, South Koreans, or Americans. But I'm afraid Americans will take the brunt of this cost, given that Americans were the ones responsible for dividing the country, installing a right-wing dictator and his cronies, then inviting themselves into the civil conflict and prolonging the war, dropping more bombs on the penninsula than all of WWII combined, responsible for innumerous cases of rape and pillage.
Sunday, September 02, 2001 at 01:22:29 (PDT)
i agree with your post, although the comment about it being a "necessity" of war is a bit dubious. Whether or not it was a crime is also subject to interpretation. The systematic gunning down of women, children and the elderly over days, more then hints that things may have gotten way out of hand to say the least. with all the talk in the news of Japan not owning up to its war crimes, largely out of pride, i think the U.S. should set a nice example and avoid similar excuses. which, for the most part, America has.
Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 12:05:17 (PDT)
The veracity of the stories about what occurred and how many North Coreans were actually among the non-combatants will never be known.
It was a regretful, perhaps even horrendous event, but a necessity of war. It was not a crime or racially motivated attack.
Perhaps from North Corea. While they're at it, they can pay reparations to the families of the 53,000 Americans who were killed, the 8,000 who went missing in action (assuredly dead), and the 103,000 who were wounded defending an unknown little country on the other side of the world.
Friday, July 20, 2001 at 13:38:19 (PDT)
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