Last modified on 21 June 2013, at 08:03

Category:No Gun Ri Massacre

The No Gun Ri Massacre was the killing of an undetermined number of South Korean refugees by the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment and by U.S. air attack early in the Korean War near the village of No Gun Ri, 100 miles southeast of Seoul. The South Korean government in 2005 certified the names of 163 dead and missing, mostly women, children and old men, and 55 wounded, including some who later died of their wounds. The committee said other victims' names were not reported because of the passage of time and other factors. Survivors estimate 400 were killed in these events of July 26-29, 1950. The U.S. Army says the casualty figure is "unknown."

The massacre allegations were little known outside Korea until the U.S.-based Associated Press news agency reported in 1999 that it had interviewed a dozen 7th Cavalry veterans who corroborated the Korean survivors' accounts. After years of rejecting the claims, the Pentagon investigated, reversed itself and affirmed the AP's core findings. But the Pentagon's 2001 report called the three days of bloodshed "an unfortunate tragedy inherent to war and not a deliberate killing." It found no wrongdoing and assigned no blame, and the U.S. rejected the survivors' demands for an apology and compensation.

In taking that position, however, the U.S. Army's 300-page report did not disclose the existence of military documents and veterans' statements showing that a policy and practice of indiscriminate killing of civilians existed at the time, prompted by commanders' fears of enemy North Korean infiltrators among South Korean refugee columns. The documents include a report by the U.S. ambassador in South Korea that the U.S. military had adopted a theater-wide policy of firing on approaching refugee groups. The No Gun Ri killings began the next day.

Many of these undisclosed documents, ordering troops to "shoot all refugees coming across river," and saying refugees are "fair game," for example, have been uploaded to this page, under the series No Gun Ri 01 through No Gun Ri 18. (Disregard the extraneous files new8thcav.jpg and No Gun Ri-8th Cavalry.jpg.)