Clark Report: US war crimes in N. Korea

Barry Stoller bstoller at
Wed May 30 20:26:56 MDT 2001

People's Korea. 30 May 2001. International Fact-finding Team Visits DPRK
to Accuse U.S. of its Wartime Atrocities in Korea.

The international fact-finding team, headed by former U.S. Attorney
General Ramsey Clark, visited the DPRK between May 15 and 19 to
investigate the cases of massacre committed by U.S. troops during the
1950-53 Korean War.

During its five-day visit, “the international group to probe the truth
behind GI’s atrocities” inspected scenes of massacres committed by U.S.
troops, heard testimonies of survivors and discuss matters concerned
with DPRK officials concerned in preparation for “the Korea
International War Crimes Tribunal on U.S. Troop Massacres of Civilians
during the Korean War” to be held from Jun. 23 to 25 in New York.

The investigation team visited Sinchon County in South Hwanghae Province
to conduct an inquiry in “the Sinchon Massacre,” while visiting the
Sinchon War Museum, collecting documents and materials on the massacre
and hearing testimonies of victims. (The U.S. troops, after occupying
Sinchon County, killed 35,383 innocent people in the county or a quarter
of the total population of the county from October 17 to December 17,
1950. In the DPRK, the Sinchon massacre is a symbol of the U.S. troops’
wartime massacre.)

Mr. Clark said that as an American citizen he felt guilty about GI’s
atrocities during the Korean War. Noting that the U.S. government,
afraid of the disclosure of its wartime atrocities to the world, has
tried to cover up the truth, he stressed that victims’ testimonies were
of great importance as they exposed part of the U.S.’s history of
aggression against Korea and would be widely used to let many people
know about the sufferings imposed by the U.S. on the Korean people.

The fact-finding team also held talks in Pyongyang with survivors of the
Korean War and collected their testimonies about U.S. troops’ mass
killings of civilians, indiscriminate bombing by the U.S. Air Force and
its use of germ bombs.

The former U.S. attorney general said that facts probed and testimonies
made by victims would be made public at the upcoming international war
crimes tribunal to be held in New York.

In a press conference held on May 18 in Pyongyang, Ramsey Clark said
that he had “the urgent task to let people know about the misfortunes
and sufferings the Korean people have undergone since the U.S. forces
occupied South Korea in 1945.”

“We will strive to let people of the world have a correct understanding
of Korea and war crimes committed by the GIs,” he added.

[N.B.] The investigation team also said, in a press conference in Seoul
after wrapping up its five-day visit to North Korea, that it witnessed
the severity of the U.S. wartime crimes committed in North Korea during
the Korean War and that their crimes were much severer than those
committed in South Korea in the scale of damage and degree of cruelty.

Referring to the facts that the U.S. still stations its armed forces in
south Korea and creates the condition of the division of Korea, Ramsey
Clark pointed out that the U.S. still persistently makes vicious
propaganda against the DPRK to cover up the truth about its war crimes.

[N.B.] Stressing that the biggest scar left by the Korean War was the
division of Korea, he said that the U.S.’s policy of maintaining the
division of Korea should be punished as “a crime against peace” in the
New York war crimes tribunal.

Brian Becker, a joint chairman of the International Action Center, said
he would make every effort for the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from
South Korea and for a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In September 1999, Associated Press began publishing a series of
articles based on an investigation of the massacre that took place in
the south Korean village of Rogun-ri in July 1950.

Faced with the increasing demand at home and abroad for a thorough
inquiry into the truth about the incident, the U.S. and South Korea
formed a joint investigation body to probe the Rogun-ri massacre.

But their 15-month-long joint investigation of the massacre produced a
joint investigation report which evaded liabilities of the government
and the armed forces of the U.S. for their active commitment in the
massacre. Lame duck President Clinton supported this U.S. no-fault
conclusion, issuing a statement of “regret,” which the survivors
denounced as a total whitewash.

The historic people’s war crimes tribunal is scheduled to be convened on
Jun. 23 in New York, co-sponsored by the Korea Truth Commission on U.S.
Military Massacres of Civilians, the International Action Center, a U.S.
national progressive organization, and Veterans for Peace, a veterans’
group in the U.S.

The tribunal will judge cases of massacre committed by the U.S. armed
forces from 1945 to 1953 and crimes committed by the USFK against South
Korean people after the truce of the Korean War.

Kitandra Shandra, former justice of the Indian Supreme Court, will serve
as presiding judge. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former
justice of the South Korean Constitutional Court Pyon Jong Su and a
north Korean lawyer will form a joint prosecution panel.

Mr. Clark said that one of the main purposes of the New York war crimes
tribunal is to expose the U.S. war of aggression against Korea to “raise
international public opinion that the U.S. should not interfere in the
matters of the Korean nation and prepare a favorable situation for
Korea’s reunification” as well as to thoroughly probe the truth behind
war crimes.

In the war crimes tribunal, victims in North and South Korea and in
foreign countries will make testimonies on war crimes committed by U.S.
troops. A joint judging panel will be formed by lawyers from 16 nations
which participated in the Korean War as members of the U.S.-led U.N.

The Korea Truth Commission, a pan-national coalition of civic groups,
was organized in June 2000, participated in by civic organizations of
North, South and overseas Koreans, after the political parties and
organizations of North Korea issued a joint appeal to their South Korean
counterparts and overseas Koreans to unfold a more active nationwide
struggle to disclose and condemn the U.S. wartime massacre of Korean

While activities for investigation in the U.S. wartime massacres of
civilians had been severely restricted in south Korea for a long time,
the DPRK established a national fact-finding committee in July 1950, the
month following the breakout of the Korean War, to probe U.S. war
crimes. Ever since the cease-fire of the war, the committee ha conducted
a systematic investigation up to now, widening its scope of activity to
crimes committed by the USFK in South Korea.

Jong Gi Ryol, secretary-general of the joint secretariat of the Korea
Truth Commission, announced that North and South Korean lawyers would
meet in Beijing on Jun. 17 to draw up a joint indictment to be presented
to the upcoming Korea international war crimes tribunal. He also
informed that Ramsey Clark, lawyer Michael Choe and other lawyers plan
to file a suit in a U.S. court against the U.S. government for the war
crimes committed by its armed forces during the Korean War.


“U.S. Atrocities Are Not Things of the Past.”

Interview with Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General.

Q: What is the significance of the war crimes tribunal to be held in the

During the 20th century, the Korean people have been forced to suffer
severe agony by the U.S.

The Korean people were victims of atrocious crimes in the U.S.-launched
Korean War from 1950 to 1953. In the three-year war, about 6 million
Korean people were sacrificed, and 4 million of the total war dead were
civilians, not combatants. Immoral massacres and indiscriminate napalm-
or germ-bombing by the U.S. troops took their lives.

But the world knows only distorted facts about this, because mass media
and major powers of the world have schemed to cover up the truth on a
large scale for fear of the disclosure of facts about U.S. troops’
atrocities. So, we have an important duty to make public the truth of

Q; What is your point of view on judging the U.S. forces’ war crimes?

We should take a correct viewpoint in investigating the atrocities
committed by the U.S. troops. The U.S.’s systematic massacres started in
September 2, 1945, the day when the U.S. forces landed on Inchon Port.
The U.S. put protesters and communists in prison, tortured and, what is
worse, killed them. Even after the conclusion of the armistice agreement
in 1953, the U.S. stationed and continue to station its troops in south
Korea, inflicting the pain of national division on the Korean nation up
to now by, dividing the Korean Peninsula in two.

It is another aspect of the U.S.-committed barbarous acts that the U.S.
has made military threats to and an economic blockade against the DPRK.
The U.S. has persistently continued vicious propaganda, which labels
Pyongyang and the people of the DPRK as “devils” to justify its
aggressive Korean policy.

Why has the U.S., which desperately crushed communism in the Cold War
era, still clung to vicious propaganda against the DPRK even after the
end of the Cold War? This is because the U.S. is afraid of the main
factor for the DPRK’s victory over severe trials imposed by the outside
forces being made public.

Exaggerating a “threat” by the DPRK, the U.S. is now trying to force the
DPRK to reduce its military force to half. But 37,000 strong U.S. forces
are stationed in South Korea, and nuclear weapons are deployed in the
whole area of South Korea. Which is the real threat? The answer is

[N.B.] During my visit to the DPRK, I could see the reality of the DPRK
that all the people were advancing their way through many hardships and
making a firm onward march toward a bright future.

We will show the people of the world what the DPRK really is as well as
reveal the truth about the war crimes committed by the U.S.

Q: How do you evaluate the U.S. Korean policy?

I am one of the persons who experienced for a long time the process of
enforcement of the U.S.’s foreign policy. Historically, the U.S.
committed bloody massacres often under the mask of a “liberator.” A
hard-and-fast principle in analyzing the U.S.’s external policy is never
to blindly accept what the U.S. says and does, and never to have any
sweet visions of them.

With the AP report in 1999 on the Rogun-ri massacre, the world came to
know that U.S. troops had committed a massacre of civilians in Rogun-ri,
South Korea, during the Korean War. The then President Clinton said that
he would do anything for the settlement of the Rogun-ri issue, but what
changed? Nothing changed. Far from changing favorably, the situation is
getting more serious after the Bush Administration was inaugurated. The
DPRK-U.S. relations came to a standstill, in spite of the hope that the
bilateral relations were expected to improve.

Q: What is your opinion on the issue of the withdrawal of the USFK?

The U.S. has stationed its troops in south Korea, attaching strategic
significance to the Korean Peninsula which is surrounded by China,
Russia and Japan. No country can enjoy freedom or peace, if foreign
troops continue to stay in it.

In the U.S., the Korean War is called “a forgotten war.” But, I think
that Korean people can never forget the barbarous acts committed by U.S.
forces. Searching for truth and reconciliation are closely related with
each other. First, the U.S. should begin with recognizing the atrocities
it committed, and then, it should put an end to barbarous crimes that
still continue. This is really the best way for the U.S. to contribute
to the reunification of Korea.

We should raise international public opinion to put pressure to make the
U.S. withdraw from Korea. That is why we wage a campaign to accuse the
U.S. of its war crimes and to tell the truth about its wartime massacres
of civilians to the world.


Barry Stoller

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