Document Details Horrific N.Korean Massacre in Korean War
North Korean troops massacred some 2,000 abducted South Koreans over the course of three days during the Korean War, a U.S. military document recalls. The document titled "Legal Analysis of Korean War Crimes Case Number 141" gives a detailed account of the atrocity.
A single unit under the North Korean Home Affairs Ministry slaughtered some 2,000 South Korean public servants on a hill northwest of Kiam-ri, South Pyongan Province in October 1950.
The massacre came a month after South Korean and allied forces started marching north again after the amphibious Incheon Landing in September that year turned their fortunes around.
The North Korean unit took over from other troops some 2,000 prisoners in an area called Sibyeon-ri in the document and presumed to be in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon Province.
The prisoners were South Korean public servants who had been abducted in Seoul and Kaesong, which was in South Korea before the war, during the North Korean invasion.
The massacre began around midnight on Oct. 8. Some 800 to 1,000 prisoners were shot dead by 4 a.m. the following day, and the carnage started again at midnight on Oct. 9. y 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 10, all were dead.
To save time, the North Koreans proved keen students of other totalitarian regimes by making the prisoners stand on the edge or even inside three mass graves before they shot them and then simply covered them with dirt. The mass graves were later identified by South Korean and U.S. military investigators.
Told about the massacre by local informants, the U.S. military started an investigation in November that year. The document also illuminates the horrific mistreatment of the prisoners. They were given almost nothing to eat on their journey, and anyone who fell behind was beaten. Sick prisoners were sent to the end of the line and shot. By the end of their trek some 200 prisoners had died that way.
The 80-page document was written by a U.S. military command in the rear area in June 1953 based on the testimonies of three captured North Korean soldiers who had taken part in the massacre, civilian witnesses, and on-the-spot investigations.
The document was spotted by an association that looks out for South Koreans abducted by North Korea from Prof. Lee Young-jo of Kyunghee University.
Lee Mi-il of the association told reporters in front of Cheong Wa Dae, "If the upcoming inter-Korean summit fails to handle this kind of case, then any peace is false."
"If anybody is to talk about peace on the Korean Peninsula and cessation of the war, they should first solve the issue of abduction victims from the Korean War that was overlooked in the armistice negotiations," Lee said. "We strongly urge that the matter should be put on the agenda of the inter-Korean summit."