U.S. KILILNGS OF CIVILIANS
October 5, 1999
Korea (AP) – North
Korea on Monday criticized the alleged mass
killing of civilian refugees by U.S.
soldiers in the early days of the Korean War and demanded that Washington
It was the
first official reaction from the communist sate on last week’s news report on
the alleged killings in Nogun-ri village in July
1950. "The truth of history cannot be
distorted and covered," said Pyongyang’s
Rodong Sinmun, the main newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. It said the U.S.
forces committed massacres not only in Nogun-ri, but
also in other areas during the 1950-53 war.
North Korean troops committed far more atrocities, summarily executing U.S.
prisoners of war and slaughtering large numbers of South Korean civilians.
commentary, Rodong criticized the U.S.
and South Korean governments for dismissing repeated requests for an
investigation by South Koreans who say they survived the Nogun-ri killings.
Last week, The
Associated Press reported accounts by American veterans and South Korean
villagers who said they saw U.S.
soldiers kill up to 400 civilians under a railroad bridge at Nogun-ri, South Korea. The news agency also found once-classified
documents showing that U.S.
commanders ordered their troops to shoot civilians as a defense against
disguised enemy soldiers.
After the AP
report, the U.S.
and South Korean governments promised thorough investigations into the Nogun-ri killings. "The U.S.
imperialists should clearly see the situation and make an official apology for
their murderous crimes against the South Korean people," Rodong said. North
Korea also repeated its demand that Washington
withdraw 37,000 U.S.
troops from South Korea.
Korea says the U.S.
military presence raises tension on the divided Korean peninsula. The United
States says the U.S.
troops are in South Korea
to deter threats from the communist north.
The two Koreas
are still technically at war because no peace treaty was signed at the end of
the Korean War. Their border is the
world’s most heavily armed.
officials from Seoul’s
main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, conducted a preliminary
field investigation Monday, interviewing Nogun-ri
survivors and visiting the bridge. It
marked the first time any South Korean government officials questioned the Nogun-ri survivors.
Nogun-ri remained a hot issue in the National Assembly, where
legislators criticized the government for dismissing earlier survivors’
claims. The survivors have said they do
not want communist support in their campaign to win compensation and an apology