18 May 2008

Hundreds of Thousands killed by South Korea

During the Korean War, it was common knowledge that North Koreans would carry out mass executions of property owners and right-wing activists. My father's family fled the Communist-held areas precisely because it had some property.

What has been hidden very well, however, is South Korea's just-as-brutal execution of suspected leftists, many of them innocent illiterate peasants with no knowledge of Communism, who had been recruited into political prisoner camps - with incentives - just to fill government quotas, then executed when the North's forces were bearing down south.

A conservative estimate of the dead number at least 100,000, and most likely over twice that number may have been killed.

The US, which backed the brutal Syngman Rhee regime (Rhee was himself American), was ambivalent at best about these killings. Only when did relevant US documents become declassified after the Cold War did some of these atrocities start to see the light of day. The previous leftist government of South Korea have set up toothless commissions that are further looking into the issue, but the newly elected Moonie right-wing government wants to have none of it, saying that re-opening old wounds won't help (a sentiment very well shared in Koreatown USA).

I consider this issue to be at the same level of atrocity as Japan's well-publicized massacre of residents of Nanjing, China. The truth must be known, so that no similar acts of barbarism will ever be practiced anywhere in the world again. Also time for the US to re-assess its "alliance" with the Moonies in the South Korean government; as far as I am concerned, the "alliance" became null and void on the day Reverend Moon arrived on US shores and started wrecking American democracy.

AP via Yahoo!