With the world’s press spending a great deal of its energy on the rather fractious relationship between the USA and North Korea, a look back in time gives us some fascinating insight regarding the geopolitical stresses that rule the region, particularly the stresses that occurred during the Korean War.
Thanks to the International Action Center and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers(IADL), a Non-Governmental Organization which was founded in 1946 and acts as a consultative group to UNESCO, we have an interesting document that outlines some of America’s actions on the Korean Peninsula during the early 1950’s.
In March 1952, the IADL issued a Report on U.S. War Crimes in Korea during the Korean War.
In the early 1950’s, the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea repeatedly asked the United Nations to protest violations of international law by their enemies, the United States-led international coalition.
These requests were ignored by the UN and, as such, the Council of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers set up a Commission consisting of lawyers from several nations to investigate these allegations with a “boots on the ground” trip to Korea which took place from March 3rd to March 19th, 1952.
The team went on visiting the provinces of North and South Piengan, Hwang Hai, Kang Wan, including the towns of Pyongyang, Nampo, Kaichen, Pek Dong, Amju, Sinchon, Anak, Sariwon and Wonsan among others.
The IADL notes that, under United Nations rules, the U.S. invasion on the Korean Peninsula was unlawful and that President Truman’s orders to the American Navy and Air Force should be considered an “aggressive act” that went against the UN Charter.
The Commission investigated the allegations that American forces in Korea were using bacteriological weapons against both the DPRK armed forces and the nation’s civilian population.
Between the 28th of January and the 12th of March (i.e. during the dead of winter), 1952, the Commission found the following insects which carried bacteria in many different locations.
The Commission noted that many of the insect species had not been found in Korea prior to the arrival of American forces and that many of them were found in mixed groups or clusters that would not normally be found together, for example, flies and spiders.
The insects were infected with bacteria, such as the plague, cholera and typhus. As a result, a great quantity of fish of a species which live in regions between fresh water and salt water were found half rotten state and were infected with cholera.
On various occasions since May 6th, 1951, American planes used asphyxiating and other gases or chemical weapons. In the first attack on Nampo City, there were 1,379 casualties of which 480 died of suffocation and 647 others were affected by gas.
According to witnesses, the commander of the U.S. Forces in the region of Sinchon by the name of Harrison ordered the mass killing of 35,383 civilians (19,149 men and 16,234 women) during the period between October 17th and December 7th, 1950.
The civilians were pushed into a deep open grave, doused with fuel oil and set on fire. Those who tried to escape were shot.
In another case, on October 20th, 2015, 500 men women and children were forced into an air raid cave shelter located in the city of Sinchon. Harrison ordered American soldiers to put explosives into the shelter and seal it with sacks of soil prior to the fuse being lit.
Prior to the Korean War, the capital city of North Korea, Pyongyang, had a population of 464,000. As a result of the war, the population had fallen to 181,000 by December 31, 1951.
In the period between June 27, 1950 and the Commission’s visit, more than 30,000 incendiary and explosive devices were dropped on the city, destroying 64,000 out of 80,000 houses, 32 hospitals and dispensaries (despite the fact that they were marked with a red cross), 64 churches, 99 schools and university buildings.
The IADL Commission unanimously found that the United States was guilty of crimes against humanity during the Korean War and that there was a pattern of behavior which constitutes genocide.
And Washington wonders why the North Koreans are so hostile toward the US military? The irony of Washington’s criticism of other nations (i.e Syria) and their use of chemical weapons is stunningly hypocritical.
Russia Insider / ABC Flash Point News 2020.