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Declassified documents confirms U.S. killed civilians during 'Korean war':

South Koreans: Many killed after letter

By The Associated Press

04/19/07 "
AP" -- -- Since the No Gun Ri refugee killings were confirmed in 1999, South Koreans have filed complaints with their government about more than 60 other alleged large-scale killings of civilians by the U.S. military during the Korean War.

In the war's early days, the U.S. ambassador in South Korea reported to Washington that the military, fearing North Korean infiltrators, had adopted a policy of shooting refugees approaching U.S. lines.

Some of the reported mass killings:


A declassified U.S. Navy document confirms that on Sept. 1, 1950, the destroyer USS DeHaven, at the Army's request, opened fire on a refugee encampment on a beach near the southern South Korean port of Pohang. Survivors say 100 to 200 refugees — mostly women and children — were killed.


On Aug. 10, 1950, survivors say, U.S. troops and aircraft fired on villagers who had sought shelter from fighting in a large family shrine in Kokan-ri in southernmost South Korea. They say 83 were killed, including many children. Declassified documents show that commanders of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, operating in that area, had issued orders two weeks earlier to shoot civilians found in the war zone.


As many as 300 refugees were killed, many suffocated, on Jan. 20, 1951, when U.S. warplanes dropped apparent napalm firebombs at the entrance to a cavern where the South Koreans were sheltering 90 miles southeast of Seoul, survivors say. An observer plane had flown overhead beforehand. Declassified documents show U.S. pilots were sometimes directed to attack large civilian groups on suspicion they harbored infiltrators.


Also in January 1951, south of Seoul, U.S. warplanes killed 300 South Korean refugees as they jammed into a storehouse at the village of Doon-po, survivors say. They say the planes attacked without warning after the refugees set a fire outside to keep warm.


In another napalm attack that month, U.S. warplanes struck Sansong village, 125 miles southeast of Seoul, killing 34 villagers, a declassified U.S. military document said. It quoted U.S. officials saying Sansong villagers had helped North Korean troops, who kept supplies there, but it also reported "no enemy casualties" in the strike. Survivors denied they had aided the enemy and said they had no warning to evacuate.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press

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