Below are comments from our readers.


I was a 7th Infantry Division foot soldier in early 1951.  When our troops stopped the Chinese Spring Offensive cold in 1951 and began to drive them North, the few N.S. roads were jammed with refugees fleeing South.  None, in my memory, were running toward the North.  They were sometimes 4 and 5 abreast with A-frames bearing all they owned. 

    Our military ordinance had to be deployed thru the unbroken line of fleeing refugees.  Overhead shots or warning shouts would not stop these poor folks.  Urgency seemed to demand deployment through their lines were we to survive.  It was rough on the Koreans and it was rough for us.  It was hell. 

    Well, war is hell.  Somebody smarter than me figured that out a long time ago.  If this atrocity occurred I ask your understanding and forgiveness.  The troops had to do what they had to do.  We did the best we could at the time, as I recall.





From:  Johnny Bang

Date:  Tuesday, October 05, 199912:46 p.m.

To the Editors of Korea WebWeekly


Dear Sirs: 


My name is Johnny Bang.  I’m a 1.5 generation Korean-American.  I am a graduate of Rutgers Law-Newark and I am an active participant in NJ politics and community groups—including Korean-American organizations.  The news about Nogun-ri massacre has moved me to write an open letter to the American public to inform them as to how I and some of my fellow Korean-Americans feel about this controversy. 


Thank you,

Johnny Bang




As you may have recently heard or read, it has been reported that U.S. troops fired upon unarmed civilians at Nogun-ri during the early days of the Korean War.  We, the undersigned, are some of the leaders and/or active participants of the Korean-American community.  We write to you today to express our thoughts regarding this controversy. 

    There have been other controversies, such as the American use of chemical weapons against other Americans in Vietnam, that turned out to have been fabricated by overzealous journalists.  Considering the tragic scope and magnitude of this controversy, we hope that this also turns out to be a story that never happened. 

    Due to the nature of the charges, however, we ask that the U.S. Army, Department of Defense and the Office of the President of the United States perform a thorough investigation.  Should the allegations prove legitimate, we hope that the United States government will act in a forthright and honorable fashion. 

    If indeed there was a massacre at Nogun-ri, we want to make it absolutely clear that we and most of our fellow Korean-Americans will not condemn an entire nation for the atrocious behavior of a few depraved individuals.  We remember that over 5.7 million Americans served during the Korean War—a vast majority having done so in a manner to make America proud. 

    And we cannot and will not forget that 54,246 Americans sacrificed their lives so that a country they never heard of and its people could continue to live and later thrive in freedom.  We, in fact, would not be here in America, to enjoy all of its freedoms and its opportunities, were it not for the brave men and women who answered the cries of a nation beleaguered by the aggressions of a neighboring dictatorship. 

    We do not mean to state that the Nogun-ri Massacre, if true, is inconsequential.  Nevertheless, the deaths of hundreds, however unnecessary and tragic, must not be allowed to take attention away from the millions of lives that were saved by American intervention nor from the countless South Koreans who died fighting side-by-side with their American compatriots against communist aggression.  Upon the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, let us not reflect upon the evil of a few men, but rather upon the evil of war itself. 


(Signed) Johnny Bang; Ben Choi, Esq.; J.H. Choi, 16 Committee; Pastor Chung, Grace United Methodist Church; Dr. Chuck Kim; John Kim, President, Korean-American Assoc. of South NJ; P.J. Kim, V.P., Student Government, Princeton; S.Y. Kim, Esq.; Young D. Kim, DVM, former Pres., KAA-SNJ; Korean American Assoc. of NY (as a group); Myong Chol Lee, Pres., K-A Association, Inc. – ROK Chapter; Young Bin Lee, MD, former Pres., K-A Assoc. of NJ; Pastor Park, Harvest Ministries 2nd Generational K-A Church; Young Sook Sim, Pres., K-A Community Service Center – NJ.