Thursday, May 2, 2013

Revisiting History of Korea Again--Part 4

In his 2004 book, Target Korea: Pushing North Korea To The Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe, Australian National University Professor Gavan McCormack provided some historical background to the current crisis in Korea, when he wrote the following about the situation in Korea during the early 1950s Korean War:

"...[U.S.]General Curtis LeMay...boasted later that `over a period of three years or so, we burned down just about every town in North and South Korea both..., we killed off over a million civilian Koreans and drove several million more from their homes.' Attacks...also included a 500 bomber raid in June 1952 that destroyed a complex of hydroelectric power stations on the Yalu River, knocking out 90 percent of the country's remaining power supply; massive air assaults in July and August 1952 on Pyongyan, the heaviest bombing attack to that date in a capital, which drenched the city in napalm and produced a civilian death toll of 6,000; and finally, in May 1953, the bombing of the irrigation dams on which the agricultural infrastructure of the country depended. That raid was designed to starve the enemy into submission.

 

"...An overwhelming proportion of the [Korean] war's three to four million casualties were civilians...

"At the outbreak of war in 1950, one of the first acts of the [South Korean] Rhee regime was to order the execution of political prisoners, whose deaths were in due course attributed to atrocities by the incoming Northern forces...Declassified U.S. documents indicated that `more than 2,000' political prisoners were executed without trial in the early weeks, hundreds of them were taken out to sea from the port of Pohang and shot, their bodies dumped overboard...Throughout the country, according to Gregory Henderson, then a U.S. Embassy official in Seoul and later a prominent historian of Korea, probably over 100,000 people were killed without trial or legal warrant. Investigations into all this have scarcely begun...

"When Seoul was recaptured by U.S. and South Korean forces perhaps as many as 29,000 Koreans were executed on suspicion of collaboration with the North...The occupation of Pyongyang and many other cities and villages above the 38th parallel [by South Korean forces] was characterized by atrocities...According to one estimate, 150,000 people were executed or kidnapped...

"The official U.S. Army report at the end of the [Korean] war gave 7,334 as the figure for civilian victims of North Korean atrocities, a small fraction of those now known to have been executed by [government of South Korean leader] Rhee in the first moments of the war alone...

"...The Taejon Massacre...became the centerpiece of the U.S. case for North Korean brutality...A U.S. Army report on the massacre, including graphic photographs, was published around the world in October 1953...
"At Taejon, a town of about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, a massacre undoubtedly occurred...

"...It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the most brutal North Korean atrocity in the South was actually a Southern atrocity in a brutal ongoing civil war...

"...The figure of 1,800 massacre victims was given...Somebody--presumably in either the American military or government--seems to have made the decision to turn this into a Northern massacre, the characteristic, single atrocity of the entire war. The truth seems inescapable: The worst atorcity of the war was committed by forces acting in the name of the United Nations, and a concerted effort was then made to cover it up by blaming it on the North Korean enemy...

"...On the admission of [U.S.] General Ridgeway's Head Office, more POWs died in United Nations camps than in North Korean camps..."

No comments:

Post a Comment