Declassified documents confirms U.S. killed
civilians during 'Korean war':
South Koreans: Many killed after letter
By The Associated Press
-- -- 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
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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