News

Pacific Stars and Stripes
November 5, 1999
Pg. 3

NK: 148,000 S. Koreans Were Massacred By U.S. Troops

By Jim Lea, Stripes Osan Bureau Chief

North Korea says U.S. troops massacred more than 148,000 South Korean civilians at 23 locations during the Korean War.

Pyongyang’s state-operated Korean Central News Agency, in a report monitored Wednesday in Seoul, said a radio station, the Voice of National Salvation, has compiled statistics showing the massacres occurred in Seoul, No Gun Ri, Taejon, Pusan and elsewhere during the early days of the war. North Korea says the Voice of National Salvation is a clandestine station based in Seoul. South Korean authorities say the station is located north of the Demilitarized Zone.

Among atrocities listed in the report were 10,000 people killed in Seoul; 30,000 in Chunchon, 50 miles northeast of the capital; and 72,390 people in various parts of the country who were executed for providing aid and comfort to North Korean troops.

"The shuddering massacre perpetrated by the U.S. troops . . . is a heinous crime unprecedented in history, and the nation should force the murderers to pay for the blood shed by Koreans," the report said.

The Pentagon and South Korean authorities have launched investigations into reports by The Associated Press that U.S. soldiers gathered South Koreans under a railroad trestle at No Gun Ri, 130 miles southeast of Seoul, in July 1950 and shot them. Veterans say as many as 400 civilians were killed at No Gun Ri.

Since that report surfaced, South Korean news media reported on what they call similar incidents in at least 15 other places around the country.

Those reports have sparked a number of protests by anti-American groups in Seoul. Most South Koreans, however, have reacted calmly to the massacre reports, and the government says there has been no dramatic increase in anti-U.S. sentiment.

Most protests have been sponsored by the National Federation of Student Councils, a radical student group that the South Korean government has outlawed as pro-North Korean.