페이지 정보작성자 편집국 작성일17-12-09 19:15 댓글0건
Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(5)
V. Analysis of Verified Cases(1)
Analysis of Verified Cases
National Independence and the History of Overseas Koreans
Anti-Japanese independence movements during colonial times were conducted at home and abroad. Thus, the activities to be verified are not limited to Korea. It is difficult to categorize cases involving independence and the history of Koreans, even when the verifiability of these cases has been determined by the Committee on Independence Movement. If the type of activity is the classification criteria, then cases can be divided into the following categories: the March 1st Independence Movement; mass movements by youth, laborers, and farmers; the Singanhoe movement; the Socialist movement; and the Anarchist movement
Major Issues and Related Incidents
Problems regarding work redundancy of government departments and conflicting investigation results
Petitions in the independence movement category are directly and indirectly connected with the activities of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs (MPVA) to reward national independence activists. Overlapping authorities between the Commission and the Ministry increase administrative burden and inefficiency. In order to deal with this problem, the following criteria was considered and approved on April 18, 2006 at the 6th session of the Committee on Independence Movement.
First, for cases that the petitioner already received a notification from the MPVA on the eligibility of compensation, and where the Committee on Independence Movement believes there is no more truth to be verified, the investigation will cease.
Second, for pending cases for which a request for compensation has been filed with the MPVA, the Commission will await the MPVA’s decision. If the MPVA requests cooperation or the petitioner has personal issues, the MPVA and the Commission will launch a joint investigation.
Third, for petitions filed only with the Commission and not with the MPVA, the Commission decides on whether or not to launch an investigation.
Categorization of anti-Japanese independence movements and the history of overseas Koreans
Article 2.1.1 of the Framework Act on Clearing up Past Incidents for Truth and Reconciliation ("Framework Act") defines the scope of investigation for anti-Japanese movements as "anti-Japanese movements during Japanese rule, as well as in the years prior to colonialization." Therefore, the purpose is to trace the activities of independence movements beginning with anti-Japanese militia activities from 1894 to 1910 and the
anti-Japanese independence movement which lasted until Korea’s liberation on August 15, 1945.
With regard to the scope of investigation for the history of overseas Koreans, Article 2.1.2 of the Framework Act defines this as "efforts by overseas Koreans to support Korea's sovereignty and enhance Korea's national prestige since the Japanese occupation to the enforcement date of this Act". The anti-trusteeship movement pertains to the category of upholding Korea's sovereignty. The case involving nurses and miners dispatched to Germany and to the Taekwondo case are both categorized as efforts enhancing Korea's national prestige.
Implications of Major Incidents
Anti-Japanese movements occurred over half a century ago. Therefore, because of the length of time passed, the statements of petitioners and reference witnesses may be inadmissible in court, which complicates the task of finding evidence. Also, each cases concerns an individual person, and the case is therefore difficult to clarify without reliable records of the person involved. It was difficult to trace their activities, as well as collect their records, when the activist was in a foreign country such as Japan, China, and Russia. Nevertheless, it is significant that the verification of these cases was conducted under these difficult circumstances.
First, for the cases of Lee Yun-Hee, Won Jong-Rin and Hong Seong-Hwan, the Commission was not the first to recognize and investigate into these matters. Their cases involved anarchist activities associated with anti-Japanese activities in Japan. A renewed examination of their cases by the Commission served to give better insight into the anti-Japanese movement.
Second, the cases of Lim Jong-Eop, Jeong Yong-San, Park Won-Geun and Yu Du-Hee were eligible for verification because of the association of the anti-Japanese movement with socialism, which constituted one part of the mass movements by youths and laborers.
Third, the Miryang Massacre was verified to have been falsely accepted as a fact. After information about the supposed massacre was briefly introduced in a document, rumors of the massacre spread and were quoted in studies without verification. This case is significant in that the false information of a massacre was disproved.
Fourth, there were also cases regarding the March 1st Independence Movement, the student movement, Singanhoe, and the Provisional Government in Shanghai and military financing.
History of overseas Koreans
Cases regarding the history of overseas Koreans cover a wide scope, area, and time and require a more long-term approach to planning and investigation. The investigations that occurred at this time were the first of its kind on a national level. It is notable in that the investigations laid a foundation for future academic research by organizing and evaluating related records.
Only two petitions were received for the "Case of Korea’s Economic Growth Contributions from Dispatched Korean Nurses and Miners in Germany", but
approximately 18,000 Koreans were involved. The case spans from the 1950s to 1970s and involves multiple countries such as Korea, Germany, and North American countries. The historical background, process, and contribution to Korean economy by the dispatched nurses and miners were dealt with as a whole, and false facts about commercial aid negotiations were disproven.
While the "Taekwondo Case" had only one petition, the investigation involved numerous Taekwondo masters who practiced abroad since the 1960s. Issues such as the proliferation of Taekwondo and its current status, the roles and contributions of Taekwondo masters, the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), and the government were dealt with in a historical, comprehensive, and purposeful manner.
Main Verified Cases
Contribution of Taekwondo on Heightening Korea’s Prestige - Verified on September 9, 2008
The Commission found that the martial art of Taekwondo has contributed to the heightening of Korea's prestige overseas, ie. throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and etc. Taekwondo has grown in popularity over the last few decades and has become a popular sport practiced by some 60,000,000 people in more than 188 countries. Taekwondo’s continual spread throughout the world, and its popularity is largely due to the instructors sent by Korea’s Taekwondo Federation and the Korean government. Both organizations remain supportive of the activities of these dispatched instructors. The International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), established by Choi Hong-Hee in 1966, introduced Taekwondo internationally by hosting international competitions and dispatching instructors overseas. Their efforts remain a milestone in the rise of Taekwondo’s popularity abroad.
Later, Taekwondo became more systemized and was eventually selected as an official sport in the Olympic Games. This is largely attributed to the efforts of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), founded in 1973, and its first president, Kim Woon-Yong. The Korean government recognized Taekwondo as an effective device in utilizing cultural diplomacy and has actively aided the dispatch of instructors overseas, the hosting of international Taekwondo competitions, and the securing of adequate budgets and facilities. Hereby, the Commission found that there has previously not been sufficient documentation and evaluation concerning the above-mentioned issue and ascertained Taekwondo’s positive impact in reinforcing Korea’s national prestige.
Korea’s Economic Growth Contributions from Dispatched Korean Nurses and Miners in Germany - August 5, 2008
In accordance with the commission’s findings, Korean miners were recruited and dispatched to Germany. The Korean government was involved in both their recruitment and dispatch. A total of 7,936 Korean miners were relocated to Germany between 1963 and 1977. In the case of nurses, a total of 10,723 registered Korean nurses were dispatched to Germany beginning in the late 1950s until 1976. The Korean government also played roles in the later stage of this period.
Between 1965 and 1975, the Korean miners and registered nurses in Germany
wired a total of USD 101,530,000 back to Korea, which comprised 1.6%, 1.9% and 1.8% of Korea’s total export amount in 1965, 1966, and 1967, respectively. Considering that the foreign exchange rate was 100% and that the earned dollars in the past were valued much higher than today, Korean miners and nurses in Germany are estimated to have greatly contributed to Korea’s economic growth.
The Commission found it untrue that the Korean government received commercial loans successfully from Germany in return for forcefully depositing the Korean miners and registered nurses’ income in Commerz Bank in Germany. From Korea’s total commercial loan of DM 150,000,000 from Germany, the German government issued DM 75,000,000 under the “Protocol concerning Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Korea and Germany” to guarantee the invoice payments of imported German industrial facilities.
It was also found that approximately 60% of the dispatched Korean miners and nurses have remained in Germany and other nations and contributed greatly in forming and developing Korean communities in their respective residing nations. The commission’s findings report the dispatch of Korean miners and registered nurses to Germany was considered to be the Korean government’s first attempt to relocate Korea’s workforce overseas. Its impact on Korea’s economic growth has been greatly underestimated and inadequately documented.
A significant finding reveals that the commercial loan from Germany was not a result of the German Commerz Bank forcefully withholding wages of the dispatched Korean miners and nurses. This was found to be false. The Commission, hereby, recommended the Korean government to collect relevant documents and make full use of them for educational purposes as well as to take adequate actions to prevent the spread of false information in this regard.
Independence Activities of Yun Eung-Nyeom - Verified June 16, 2008
A petition concerning independence activities of Yun Eung-Nyeom as a liaison officer between China and Korea was verified. The petition claimed that Yun as an adviser to the Transportation Bureau of the Provisional Government of Korea in Shanghai in the early 1920s assisted in transporting important nationalist activists out of the nation and collecting donations for Korea’s independence in the Incheon region.
Anti-Japanese Movement Activities of Won Jong-Rin - Verified on June 9, 2008
A petitioner appealed for truth verification for Won Jong-Rin. According to the petitioner, Won was arrested by the Japanese police while engaged in anti-Japanese independence movement activities in May 1921 in Japan. The petitioner claimed that Won, together with his friend, established a socialist organization called the Hukdo-hoe in Japan. Upon returning to Korea, he promoted Korean independence by publishing an anti-Japanese magazine.
Anti-Japanese and Anarchist Movement Activities of Hong Sung-Hwan - Verified on April 8, 2008
A petitioner appealed for truth verification for Hong Sung-Hwan, a leader in the anti-Japanese movement in 1925. The petitioner claimed that Mr. Hong organized a socialist organization, called the Jagak-dan, and worked actively to enlighten farmers and to promote Korean independence. According to the petitioner, he also went to Japan in
1932 and published an anti-Japanese newspaper and magazine that promoted Korean independence.
Anti-Japanese Movement Activities of Im Jong-Yeop - Verified on February 12, 2008
According to a petitioner, during the Japanese colonial period, Im Jong-Yeop led a variety of anti-Japanese movement activities. He organized a youth movement and led a general strike against a Japanese textile firm. The Commission verified that Im was a leader in those activities and was also imprisoned for his involvement.
Anti-Japanese Movement Activities of Jeong Yong-San - Verified on February 12, 2008
According to a petitioner, during the Japanese colonial period, Jeong Yong-San led farmers in anti-Japanese movement activities. As a result, he was imprisoned at Daejeon Prison. On February 12, 2008, the Commission found that Jeong, besides being a leader of anti-Japanese activities, was also a leader in the reorganization of a communist party.
Anti-Japanese Movement Activities of Yu Du-Hui - Verified on February 12, 2008
According to a petitioner, in the early 1920s, Yu Du-Hui led a variety of independence activities, including a youth movement and the establishment of a local branch of the Shingan-hoe, a Korean independence activist organization. The petitioner also claimed that from 1929, Yu was imprisoned for eight years after he participated in the Joseon Communist Party Incident. On February 12, 2008, the Commission verified the truth of this case.
Anti-Japanese Movement Activities of Park Won-Geun - Verified on February 12, 2008
According to a petitioner, in 1934, Park Won-Geun was arrested and imprisoned for one and a half years by the Japanese authorities for engaging in various independence activities. On February 12, 2008, the Commission verified the truth of this case.
The Independence Activities of Park No-Sun in Yeonhaeju - Verified in February of 2008
A petitioner, the son of Park No-Sun, claimed that his father participated in independence activities against the Japanese Imperial Army after joining a militia group named the Daban Troops in a village called Daban near Khabarovsk, Russia in 1918. According to the petition, Park was actively involved in a military campaign against the Japanese Army in the Nicolsk and Ourssourisk regions until 1922.
The Independence Movement Case of Lee Yun Hee - Verified on May 29, 2007
A petitioner appealed for truth verification for his late father, Lee Yun Hee, who participated in the anti-Japanese independence movement in Japan and Korea throughout the 1920's.
The Anti-Japanese Movement Case of Park Chang Rae - Verified on May 15, 2007
A petitioner appealed for truth verification for his father, Park Chang-Rae, who
participated in the anti-Japanese independence movement as a student at Yeosu Fishery School. According to Commission findings, Park Chang-Rae, a student at the time, was imprisoned for a year for his involvement in the anti-Japanese movement. The Commission verified the truth on May 15, 2007.
The Verification of Jeong Sang-Yun’s Role in Founding the Cheolsan Branch of Shingan-hoe - Verified in May, 2007
A petitioner, the son of Jeong Sang-Yoon, claimed that his father had active roles in founding the Cheolsan Branch of Shingan-hoe in 1928 and, as a result, was imprisoned for two years. Shingan-hoe emerged from two different groups with different ideologies. They merged to form a single organization which the Japanese colonial regime suppressed and later dismantled. Jeong was also involved in community outreach activities for aiding the nation’s independence movement.
The Jang Do-Won’s Independence Activities in Hamheung - Verified on April, 17, 2007
A petitioner, the son of Jang Do-Won, appealed for truth verification for his father who led independence activities in Hamheung during the March 1 Independence Movement. At the time, Jang was a teacher at the Hamheung Youngsaeng Middle School. He was arrested and held at the Seodaemun Prison by the Japanese Imperial Police.
The Deportation of Anti-Trusteeship Social Activists - Partially Verified in April, 2007.
A petitioner, the son of Shin Kyung-Deuk, appealed for truth verification. He claimed that his father and 19 other activists participated in anti-trusteeship activities and were deported to the Soviet Union where they were held in labor camps. The commission could only determine that one of the 19 activists listed had participated in the anti-trusteeship activities. The other claims have yet to be verified.
Massacres by Groups that Opposed the Legitimacy of the Republic of Korea
A total of 17 cases of massacres by groups that oppose the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea were investigated. Based on investigation results, it was revealed that the massacres were committed on a scale larger than what was petitioned to the Commission and included all of the South Korean areas occupied by North Korean forces. This indicates that before, during and after the Korean War, massacres were a general phenomenon with differences only in the perpetrators and pattern.
Most of the massacres in this category that were filed with the Commission occurred during the Korean War and can be divided into three time periods: Occupation, retreat, and post-retreat of the North Korean army. Perpetrators included the North Korean People's Army, local leftists, the North Korean law enforcement and police agencies, and local communist guerrillas. These incidents can be seen as another category
of massacres during the Korean War.
Major issues and related incidents
Criteria in deciding to investigation
The Commission's Committee of Independence Movement assumed the responsibility of accepting or dismissing the petitions for those claiming to be victims of abuse by the North Korean People's Army and by leftists. The interpretation and application of Article 2.1.5 of the Framework Act in determining the initiation of investigation raised the need for establishing criteria.
Unlike illegal massacres by the South Korean military and the police during the Korean War period which are covered by the Commission's Committee on Massacres, the Committee on Independence Movement in Article 2.1.5 of the Framework Act defines massacres committed by groups opposing the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea as "terrorist acts, human rights violations, violence, massacres and suspicious deaths by parties that denied the legitimacy or were hostile towards the Republic of Korea from August 15, 1945, to the end of the authoritarian regimes". This expands the period and scope of investigation by the Committee on Independence Movement.
Discussions within the Commission have indicated that the selection criteria based on this definition would be too broad and therefore not align with the more stringent criteria of the Committee on Massacres. For example, if the provision is interpreted verbatim in cases involving groups that oppose the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea during the Korean War, then any death caused during battle can be eligible for investigation by the Committee on Independence Movement. As a result, cases of corporal damage, property damage, deaths in battle, forced arrest, and deaths after disappearance were dismissed except for those cases with compelling evidence. In missing person cases, various types exist such as murder, kidnapping, and voluntary border-crossing, voluntary enlistment in the North Korean People's Army, and forced drafting. Therefore, ample consideration was given before the launch of an investigation. If the MPVA previously decided on the case, or if a court previously ruled on it, then it was dismissed in order to avoid work redundancy. If the scope of the case, however, extended beyond what was originally petitioned, as in the Tongyeong Murder case, then it was accepted despite any previous rulings.
Basis for the assumption and confirmation of victims
The Commission's Committee on Independence Movement debated several times on victim identification problems. It was then decided that cross examinations be conducted between the claims of the applicant, the statements of the reference witnesses, and documentation such as government documents. The same criteria were not applied to all the investigations uniformly, but the overall process is as follows.
When statements are used as evidence, credibility is scaled differently according to the relationship of the witness to the petitioner or victim of the case. Priority for a statement is given to the reference witness rather than the petitioner, with the highest priority given to the reference witness chosen by the investigator. Also, in adopting statements by eye-witnesses, depositions by witnesses unrelated to the victims were given first priority. If the petitioner were the witness or victim, the details of the
statement are corroborated, and then validated based on reviewing the family register, the date of death, and other related documents. Witnesses are categorized according to what they witnessed, including for example, the arrest, the incident or sacrifice, the collection of bodies, or the burial of bodies. In addition, multiple statements by those who only heard about the incident, including friends and relatives are adopted.
Second, in order for certain documents to be adopted as evidence, even those written by the MPVA (example: list of Korean War victims by the MPVA), the police, other government organizations, or associations of bereaved families, these documents have to have identical information from different sources. However, the names listed on the U.S. Korean War Crimes Division (KWC) documents were identified as victims, because the KWC documents had been based on the statements of witnesses and offenders. Lists and KWC documents are critical in identifying the time and the place of the non-petitioned cases and their victims as well as the number of victims and even the existence of such incidents. This especially pertains to situations where not every case can be investigated.
Scope of investigation and victims
Massacres before and after the Korean War occurred throughout the nation in similar patterns, the main difference being only with different perpetrators. According to records of the Korean War Civilian Victims Foundation (http://www.war625.com/), a total of 992,019 South Koreans were victimized, including 374,160 civilians. The MPVA's List of Korean War Victims in 1952 records 59,964 victims.
These numbers are assumed to account for only part of the total number of victims. The same is true for the 1,600 petitioned cases of massacre by groups opposing the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea. Accordingly, previously unknown cases and victims were revealed in the verification process, and the question of how to deal with these non-petitioned cases was raised.
After rounds of discussion, the Committee on Independence Movement decided to deal with non-petitioned cases that became recognized during the investigation while still keeping the focus on petitioned cases. It was also decided that there be investigations into non-petitioned victims based on the petitioned cases at the local level, such as in Geumsan and Dangjin. Therefore, the Committee on Independence Movement focused on the confirmation and assumption of the petitioned victims, but non-petitioned victims were also recognized and recorded during investigation. The actual details of the incident were investigated in cases where the incident was confirmed through documents and statements of occurrence but where the involvement of the petitioned victim was uncertain.
Implications of major incidents
Massacres during the North Korean People's Army’s occupation and retreat
The massacres by groups opposing the legitimacy of the ROK were committed in North Korean Army occupied areas during its occupation and retreat. After the war turned against North Korea, orders were given to "eliminate all factors that could help the landing of UN troops." In Seocheon, on September 27, 1950, a total of 240 to 250 people including members of the military and police, right-wing group members, dignitaries of
the local community, and right-wing collaborators were locked in the warehouse of the Seocheon Registry Office and burned to death. These people had been captured, interrogated, and released by North Korean officials during mid-September, but they were recaptured on September 25 and killed on the 27th.
The list of massacres reads 23 people including rightists, prison guards, public servants, police officers and government workers killed in Wanju; 96 victims from pro-right-wing families killed in Cheonjang-ri, Haejae-myeon, and Muan-gun; 118 government officers and rightists massacred in Geumsan; 250 active members and veterans of the military and police and members of the right-wing group in Dangjin; 51 to 55 right-wing group members killed in Muju; 50 public servants and rightists detained at the Incheon Police Station; and three rightists dubbed "reactionaries" killed in Tongyeong.
Perpetrators were local leftists and North Korean soldiers, such as communist militia members, North Korean police officers, local communist guerrillas, and officers of the Communist Party and North Korean army. Victims were local government officers, their families, and members and leaders of right-wing groups. In some cases, all members of the family were killed including the children. These facts were confirmed by the statements of surviving villagers, documents and verdicts by the KWC, and the List of Korean War Victims published by the government in 1952. During the process, the investigation reinforced the validity of these documents.
Identifying victims of non-petitioned cases through petitioned cases
The Committee on Independence Movement made a decision to deal with non-petitioned cases recognized during investigation. The focus however was still placed on petitioned cases. Also, it was decided there be investigations into non-petitioned victims based on the petitioned cases at the local level. Examples include the cases in Geumsan and Dangjin.
In the Geumsan Incident, a total of 118 public servants and rightists were killed from July to November 1950 when the North Korean Army occupied the area. Perpetrators were communist militia, North Korean soldiers, and communist guerrillas. Massacres occurred even after the North Korean Army retreated. In November 2, 1950, the North Korean Army attacked and set fire to the Buri Police Station. Leaders of the local community and their neighbors were attacked, and 38 people were killed. The dead included the daughter and daughter-in-law of a community leader. Both of whom were shot when the attackers realized that the leader was absent.
The killings in the Geumsan area can be divided into retaliations against the Bodo League Incident, orders to kill rightists during the North Korean People's Army’s retreat, and the victimization of civilians by communist guerrillas. The incidents indicate that massacres were committed repeatedly by groups opposing the legitimacy of the ROK during the periods of occupation, retreat and post-retreat of the North Korean Army from July to November 1950. Victims were killed indiscriminately, including babies and the elderly. The fact that residents in the Geumsan area were taken to Muju and killed by Muju leftists indicates that the local leftists were acting in cooperation with those in other areas.
In the Dangjin Massacres, it was found that government workers, current and former members of the military and the police, and right wing group members were killed by local North Korean police officers and leftists between July and September 1950.
Most of the victimizations took place early August 1950, especially between the night of September 27 and the following dawn, immediately before the retreat of the North Korean People's Army. 98 victims were identified, but the total death toll is estimated to reach 210, including those unidentified.
Main verified cases
Daejeon Massacres – Verified on November 25, 2008
The Commission verified that in late September 1950, North Korean soldiers massacred 1,557 people, including members of rightwing parties, American and South Korean POWs, foreigners, and Christians. The Commission reviewed the KWC Reports and other relevant documents, interviewed petitioners and reference witnesses, and conducted on-site investigations.
From September 25th to 27th, a majority of the victims were killed after being accused of suppressing, detaining, and murdering leftists. The approximate number of victims killed at different sites was estimated to be as follows: 500 victims killed at Daejeon Prison, 600 victims killed in the Yongdu Mountain areas, 110 victims killed at a cathedral and monastery, and 15 victims killed at the Daejeon Police Station. The execution locations for the remaining victims are unknown.
Most of the victims were male and their ages ranged from 20 to 40 years old. From mid-September 1950, as the war situation deteriorated for North Korean soldiers, they began to execute any suspects who could potentially aid UN troops. The massacres occurred in the beginning of October 1950. U.S. War Crime investigators conducted investigations on the massacres and wrote a full report concerning the incidents. In 1952, the Chungnam Provincial Office built memorial facilities for the victims’ remains. The Commission recommended that the government amend the relevant records and provide peace and human rights education.
Buyeo Region Massacres– Verified on November 11, 2008
The Commission found that from July to September 1950, fifteen rightwing members were massacred by local leftists in the Buyeo region. Around the time of these killings, North Korean soldiers and local leftists forced South Korean students and youth to join the North Korean People’s Army.
The Commission reviewed numerous records, including the RG 242 (National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized) and conducted interviews with witnesses.
The Commission found that even before the outbreak of the Korean War, tensions had arisen between leftists and rightists in the Buyeo area. The majority of the massacres conducted by leftists in the region occurred between mid-July to September 27, 1950. The victims, whose property was confiscated before execution, included three people: a politician, a village leader, and a rightwing organization member.
On September 27, 1950, leftists tortured and killed four rightwing activists. Two days later, North Korean soldiers tortured and executed a former journalist for being a rightwing activist. The Commission verified that the fifteen victims were leading members of rightwing organizations in the region.
The Commission confirmed that from August 1950 onward, North Korean
soldiers and local leftists in the Buyeo region forced 671 civilians to join the North Korean People’s Army.
The Commission recommended that the government amend the Family Registry, revise the local history of the Korean War period to reflect the new findings, and promote relevant education.
Communist Sympathizers’ Abduction of Shin Gyo-Sik in Cheongju
- Verified on November 4, 2008
The Commission found that a large number of civilians were massacred in September 1950 by local communist sympathizers and North Korean forces. Furthermore a considerable number of young people were forcibly drafted or abducted to meet the capacity of the North Korean People’s Voluntary Army.
Victims in the Cheongju region were mainly accused of being right-wing sympathizers and arrested and then detained at Cheongju Prison or local police stations managed by North Koreans, at the time of the incident. Many of the victims were killed by left-wing sympathizers and North Korean forces on September 24th and 25th. The estimated number of casualties reached at least 234, and the petitioners, Shin Gyo-Sik and three others, were also identified to have been amongst them.
The majority of the victims of the incident were those classified as right-wingers; i.e., most people who were previously active members of the National Student Union, Daehan Youth Association, and other right-leaning organizations. They were detained at local prisons, police stations, and/or North Korean National Security Intelligence Service facilities only to be killed later,
Details of the incident were revealed by information sent on July 20, 1952, by the Minister of Internal Affairs in response to a request from the U.S. Army war crime investigation bureau chief who wanted to confirm the accuracy of the contents of the document, RG 153 KWC#41. The date of the incident and the number of victims were revealed in this document.
The North Korean National Security Intelligence Service was found to be responsible for issuing the execution order, and local left-wingers, including police officers, North Korean forces, and communist guerillas implemented thereof. In order to secure sufficient combat capacity, North Korea issued the Wartime Mobilization Order and established the Committee for Organizing the People’s Voluntary Army. The number of people killed was listed as follows; Approximately 220 people were killed in the mountain areas near the prison, 14 people were killed within the prison, 120 were killed under the Seomun Bridge, and 95 people were killed in Sanseong-ri Cave.
Hereby, the Commission recommended that the government amend the relevant records, such as the Family Registry, in accordance with the above findings, revise the regional history concerning the Korean War, and educate accordingly.
Lee Seok-Sang Case: Victimized by Leftists - Verified on November 4, 2008
The Commission found that from July to September 1950, rightwing landowners and their family members were executed by local leftists and North Korean soldiers. The Commission conducted an investigation on the ruling of the case by reviewing the victims list from the Korean War, as well as acquiring testimonies from survivors and witnesses.
Starting on July 20, 1950, North Korean soldiers occupying the area engaged in
sporadic civilian killings at Gimje. This includes mass killings, which occurred on September 27 and 28, as North Korean soldiers and local leftists evacuated Gimje County. At least 65 civilians were massacred by local leftists. Several notable execution incidents include the killing of Lee Seok-Sang, a wounded soldier, who was shot to death by North Korean soldiers on July 25, 1950; the killing of 14 rightwing activists and Christians by local leftists between July and August 1950; the execution of five men, including a policeman, by North Korean soldiers on August 2, 1950; the torture and killing of eight rightwing Christian activists and a South Korean soldier by local leftists; and the killing of Jeong Pan-Seok, five of his family members, and 15 village Christians by local leftists on September 27, 1950. Local leftists also killed 63 villagers, including a former police detective who served during the Japanese colonial period.
The Commission verified that at least 208 people, including former soldiers, policemen, landowners, rightwing group members and their relatives, were massacred either by North Korean soldiers or local leftists in the region. The Commission recommended the government amend the Family Registry and local history and to provide education on the massacre.
The Case of the Massacre at Yangpyeong - Verified on July 3, 2007
Thirty-two petitioners appealed for truth verification for 61 civilians massacred by the North Korean Army in Yangpyeong County between September 26th and 30th, 1950. The commission verified the truth by examining and investigating the Korean and
U.S. Army records on Korean War crimes.
Tongyeong Murder Case - Verified on June 24, 2008
The Commission concluded three people were slain at a local brewery located in Ahnjeong-ri, Gwangdo-myeon, Tongyeong-si, Gyeongnam Province. The Commission’s findings report that the victims were murdered by local leftists on August 30, 1950, during the beginning of the Korean War. On August 17, 1950, the Tongyeong area was seized by North Korea but recaptured two days later by the South Korean navy. At the time, the people of Gwangdo-myeon were still engaged in ideological feuds, and this lasted until September 11, 1950.
Cho Young-Ki and two others, who had been accused of being right-wing South Korean supporters, were lynched and killed by 10 local leftists at a brewery that was used as a headquarters for the left-leaning regional self-defense forces. Bodies were removed and buried in a nearby hillock. The Commission recommended correcting the dates of the victims’ deaths in the Family Registry and revising relevant governmental records of the regional history in accordance with the findings.
Massacre at Muan-gun - Verified on June 24, 2008
The Commission verified that on October 3, 1950, leftists massacred 96 right-wing residents of Cheonjang-ri, Haejae-myeon, Muan-gun. Around 10:00 pm on October 3, 1950, four regional leftist leaders selected the execution lists for right-wing residents in the region. The selected families were bound and dragged by the leftist perpetrators to a nearby shore. The perpetrators executed the adult family members using knives, clubs, bamboo spears, and farm implements before pushing them off a cliff near the shore. Children under the age of 10 were executed by pushed them into a deep well.
While the Commission identified 96 victims, including 22 children and 43 women,
the total number may be as high as 151. The total number of leftist perpetrators is estimated to be 54. Because of the execution of women and children, this massacre reflects the inhumanity and brutality of the war. The Commission therefore recommended that this incident provide an opportunity for self-examination in regards to the atrocities of war.
Geumsan Massacre - Verified on June 17, 2008
The Commission found that at least 118 suspected rightists, including civil servants, were killed by left-leaning regional self-defense forces, communist guerillas, and the North Korean People’s Army in Geumsan Country after the area was seized by North Korea. Most of these deaths were estimated to have occurred between July and November 1950. On September 25, 1950, a number of right-wing government personnel, including civil servants, serving the South Korean regional government were brought to Geumsan and executed. Their bodies were buried in a nearby hill called Bibimi-jae.
The massacre was conducted by members of an ad-hoc entity and of North Korean troops. They received their authority from the chief of an ad-hoc Geumsan police entity. At dawn, on November 2, 1950, a group of communist guerrillas overwhelmed the Buri-myeon Police Branch Office governed by right-leaning South Koreans, and incinerated the building after capturing those inside. Through the course of the assault, many villagers stood accused of collaborating with the South, and thirty-eight of them were executed.
The Commission also confirmed additional mass killings of civilians by communist partisans in locations such as Seokdong-ri, Namyi-myeon and Eumji-ri, Geumsan-gun. Most of the victims were either accused of being affiliated with South Korean governing entities or accused of having right-leaning ideas. Among the many innocent civilians, the accused also included members of the Korean Youth Association and the Korean National Association; both represented right-wing political organizations. In spite of the accusations, the Commission discovered that the majority of the casualties were not the result of political disputes discussed above but the result of people’s personal animosities and a desire to eliminate their adversaries. According to the Commission’s investigation, the perpetrators of the Geumsan massacre were members of the regional self-defense force, communist partisans, North Korean troops, and local leftists residing in the area. The Commission recommended revising historical accounts
kept in governmental archives in accordance with the findings.
The Dangjin Massacres - Verified on June 2, 2008
Twenty-five petitioners appealed for truth verification for 25 massacres conducted by leftists at a public cemetery in Dangjin, Chungnam between August and September 1950. The Commission verified that leftists massacred between 140-250 civilians at four sites in Dangjin. The commission recommended that the government amend the relevant records and promote local history education programs.
The Case of Kim Sang-Yong: The Gochang Massacre - Verified on May 14, 2008
Six petitioners appealed for truth verification for a massacre conducted by leftists at Gochang-myeon in Jeollabuk Province on September 28, 1950. The Commission ascertained that approximately 70 to 120 civilians, including Kim Sang-Yong, were massacred by the leftists. The commission recommended that government amend the
relevant records and promote local history education programs.
Seocheon Registry Office Massacre Case - February 12, 2008
The 48 petitioners requested an investigation by alleging that 52 people were massacred by leftist forces in Seocheon County on September 27, 1950. The investigation results, along with documents and witnesses' testimonials, confirmed that approximately 250 Seocheon residents were confined in the Seocheon Registry Office storage room and burned alive at 1:00 a.m. on September 27, 1950.
Leftist forces attempted to eliminate anybody who could be of use to the UN forces. On September 25th, 1950, immediately after the UN forces arrived, the leftists captured approximately 250 people suspected of sympathizing with rightists and confined them in a 39.6 square meter storage room in the Seocheon Registry Office. They then proceeded to stack firewood around the storage room before pouring gasoline on it and setting it on fire.
The victims included police officers, family members of the South Korean army, and regional leaders. They were killed for actively participating in activities against communists, such as criticizing communism or attempting to communicate with South Korean army fleets. Victims with a high social status or strong right-wing tendencies were relocated to Daejeon Prison before being killed.
The Politics Protection Department executed this massacre under orders from the left-wing Seocheon County Labor Party Committee. The Commission confirmed the facts of this case and the extent of the damages by reviewing a variety of sources, including the U. S. War Crime Investigation Team Report, Daejeon Local Court Criminal Department, “The 2,980th Judicial Decision Judgment on April 8th, 1952”, the Bureau of Statistics and Public Information's 1952 list of Korean War victims, and witness testimonials. Until now, many had criticized discrepancies in the number of victims. Testimonials and previous documents suggest that the number of victims ranged from 50 to 360 people, but the Commission confirmed that the actual number of the victims is approximately 250.
The Case of Chang Geum-Chul’s Family - Partially Verified on November 27, 2007
Three petitioners appealed for truth verification for the kidnapping and killing of Jang Geum-Chul's family by the North Korean Army and leftist force during July and August 1950. The Commission verified the incident and identified the victims but was unable to identify the perpetrators. Thus, the commission only partially verified this case.
The Case of Kim Tae-Hwan - Verified on November 27, 2007
Twelve petitioners appealed for truth verification for the killing of 13 civilians, including Kim Tae-Hwan, by the North Korean army during the Korean War period. Referencing both the Korean and the U.S. records, the Commission verified this case on November 27, 2007. The Commission recommended that the government amend the relevant records and promote peace education
(to be continued)
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