Why did U.S. troops shoot at No-Gun-Ri incident?

Essay by Keir August 2007

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AbstractOver 50 years after the "Forgotten War", the countries that fought in the war, namely the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States, still blame each other for starting the war, for war crimes during the war and for many other unresolved points of contention. Also, the United States' undeclared war in Korea continues today because the fighting was stopped only stopped by a 'ceasefire' in 1953. The Armistice Agreement was never turned into a permanent peace treaty, although such an outcome was promised in the Agreement.

This essay deals with the No Gun Ri incident in late July 1950, very close to the official start of the Korean War. This incident was mentioned at all by the media outside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, where nearly 400 South Korean civilians were shot to death by United States army. By comparison, 200-500 civilians were murdered by US army troops in the infamous My Lai incident in 1968.

This essay will deal with the question of whether U.S troops shot on stationary Korean civilians who showed no threat to them, or whether they shot because of DPRK soldiers secretly mixed in among the civilians. In the beginning of this essay, other so called Massacres by DPRK will be discussed, and then the No Gun Ri incident will be discussed. The essay will investigate the condition of the U.S. troops' and the villagers' conditions. The reason why U.S. troops decided to shoot Korean villagers will be debated in the end.

The two main sources that will be used for this investigation are 'The bridge at No Gun Ri: A hidden nightmare from the Korean War' and 'No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident'. It is noteworthy that these two sources...