truth and Rec onciliation ommission, Republic of korea.
 
HOME > Information > News Letter


News letter, Issue 1, December 27, 2007

 
 

After close examination of 7,533 civilian genocide incidents around the time of the Korean War, finally 1,222
of these cases have been classified as genocides.  Such a classification and decision has a significant
meaning, since the characteristics of truth-finding investigations hereafter will reflect this classification and
decision.  In particular, during this classification process, the TRC investigated even non-petitioners at
national level.  By doing so, the TRC was able to grasp the overall scale of genocide cases nationwide.

If we classify the 1,222 cases according to 9 different types, they are as follows: 552 massacres conducted
by soldiers and the police force; 303 cases of suspected treason; 215 cases of civilian massacre
committed by US soldiers; 101 cases from the Bodoyeonmaeng Massacre1); 26 cases from the Prisoners
Massacre2); 20 cases from the Yeosun Massacre3); 3 other cases of massacre. 

In particular, the civilian massacres committed by the US army during the Korea War are high in number. 
As of November 2007, about 215 sites have been found to be sites where civilian massacre by the US Army
took place.  So far there has not been any investigation with the exception of the Nogeunri Incident4), thus
the exact number of deaths and details of linkage to the US Army are not known. Accordingly, a nationwide investigation seems inevitable.


1) Bodoyeonmaeng was a national organization with 300,000 members formed to control and convert the
leftists. When the Korean War broke out, the government feared that the members who were formerly leftists
could not be trusted and ordered the killing of the members in the Pyeongtaek region. It is estimated that
more than 100,000 members of the Bodoyeonmaeng were massacred.
2) Immediately after the start of the Korean War, from July 4 to 6, 1950, around 1,800 political prisoners in the Daejeon Prison were massacred. At that time, the prison held about 37,000 prisoners altogether and it is
estimated that about 20,000 prisoners were killed in all (17,000 prisoners originally from Pyeongtaek were
spared). Among the deaths, there were detainees who had not yet received their sentences and it is said
that some had been arrested during illegal inspections.
3) The Yeosun Massacres refers to a series of events that include a soldiers' uprising caused by 3,000
soldiers belonging to the ROK Army stationed in Yeosun region when they refused to carry out the order to
repress the Jeju 4.3 Incident. The consequent repression resulted in counter-terrorism, massacres, looting and arson. A total of 2,634 people were killed in 7 regions including Yeosun and 4,325 were missing.
4) On July 25th, 1950, Korean villagers were forced by U.S. soldiers to evacuate their homes and move
south. The next day, July 26, the villagers continued south along the road. When the villagers reached the
vicinity of Nogeunri, the soldiers stopped them at a roadblock and ordered the group onto the railroad
tracks, where the soldiers searched them and their personal belongings. Although the soldiers found no
prohibited items (such as weapons or other military contraband), the soldiers ordered an air attack upon
the villagers via radio communications with U.S. aircraft. Shortly afterwards, planes flew over and dropped
bombs and fired machine guns, killing approximately 100 villagers on the railroad tracks. Those villagers
who survived sought protection in a small culvert underneath the railroad tracks. The U.S. soldiers drove
the villagers out of the culvert and into double tunnels nearby. The U.S. soldiers then fired into both ends of
the tunnels over a period of four days (July 26-29, 1950), resulting in approximately 300 additional deaths.
 
 
 
 
Today 8
  Total 39,149