Survivors recall massacre
by U.S. troops at Sinchon
and Brian Becker visited the Democratic
Peoples Republic of Korea in February as a Workers World Party delegation.
visit to the Sinchon Museum in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea was a
museum documents the terrible atrocities carried out by U.S. soldiers during the
Korean War against the civilian population of Sinchon County in socialist north
large museum is filled with evidence of this mass murder. In 52 days of
occupation, from October to December 1950, the U.S. military killed 35,383
people, or a quarter of Sinchon County's
room brought more horror, as a guide showed photographs, belongings and weapons
connected to innumerable U.S. war crimes. There was well-documented evidence of
2,000 people pushed off the Sokdang Bridge, 1,000 women thrown into the Sowon
Reservoir, 600 others found in the Pogu Reservoir, 1,200 stuffed in an icehouse
and then burned to death.
900 people perished in an air-raid shelter when U.S. soldiers poured gasoline
into the ventilation hole and ignited it.
horror was similar to that seen at Al-Ameriyah Shelter in Baghdad, Iraq, which
the U.S. deliberately bombed during the 1991 Gulf War, incinerating 1,100
people. Like the Korean museum, that shelter has been turned into a shrine to
the martyrs and a permanent account of U.S.
short drive to Wonam-ri brought us to two storehouses in which 400 mothers and
102 children had been butchered. We were met by a man who was one of two
children who survived that
Sinchon Museum carefully documents the systematic destruction of people's homes
and livelihoods in the county: 5,484 dwellings burnt; 618 factories, public
buildings and irrigation facilities destroyed; 681 transport vehicles and
214,413 farm implemented destroyed; 9,624 oxen and other domestic animals
large section of the museum is devoted to the popular resistance to this
genocide. It includes photos of the People's Guerrillas, mass leaflets,
newspapers, and especially pictures of popular leaders whom the U.S. had
room documents the continuing resistance to U.S. military occupation of the
Korean peninsula. A large photo shows south Korean student Rim Su Gyong speaking
to a mass rally in 1989 outside the museum. Rim came to north Korea to support
reuniting the north and south of the country, which are kept separated by the
presence of 37,000 U.S. troops on the border. Her presence inspired mass marches
throughout the north.
her return home, she was jailed for five years by the south Korean regime. Brian
Becker, who went to the DPRK to support this struggle and was also on the
current Workers World delegation, stands next to Rim in the
politics behind the
were U.S. soldiers so brutal during the Korean
U.S. occupiers were encouraged to carry out atrocities by a high command that
was furious at being pushed out of the area by hundreds of thousands of Chinese
volunteers fighting alongside the soldiers of socialist north Korea. This was at
a time when the U.S. corporations' dream of absorbing Asia as a giant market
after World War II was being frustrated by revolutions throughout the area.
Anti-communism was rising to a fever pitch in the United
of U.S. war crimes came to international attention soon after Sinchon County was
liberated. Teams from the Commission of International Association of Democratic
Lawyers and the Women's International Democratic Federation investigated and
confirmed the evidence. They wrote extensive reports in 1951 and 1952 that
became the core evidence for the current
our delegation left the museum, a large group of high school students arrived
for a tour. While it is painful that these young people must see such horror, it
is also clear why these young people harbor no illusions about the true nature
war crimes during the Korean War are again coming to world attention. The July
1950 U.S. machine-gun massacre of hundreds of peasants at Nogun-ri is the most
publicized. The Western media have now reported 38 instances of U.S. military
attacks on south Korean
terrible massacres that the U.S. carried out in the north should be added to
that count. An estimated 2 million Korean civilians died during the war, most at
the hands of the
summer the U.S. military and the south Korean regime will be commemorating the
50th anniversary of the Korean War with battle reenactments, including mock
landings, that will $39 million.
those opposed to this hideous pageant must bring to world attention the genocide
that followed those landings.
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