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Geochang massacre

Geochang massacre
South Gyeongsang, South Korea.
Location South Korea
Date 9 February 1951 - 11 February 1951
Target Communist sympathizer civilians
Attack type
Deaths 719[1][2]
Perpetrators Syngman Rhee anticommunist forces
Geochang massacre victims

The Geochang massacre (Korean: 거창 양민학살 사건,[3][4] Hanja: 居昌良民虐殺事件) was a massacre conducted by the third battalion of the 9th regiment of the 11th Division of the South Korean Army between 9 February 1951 and 11 February 1951 of 719 unarmed citizens in Geochang, South Gyeongsang district of South Korea.[1][][5][6] The victims included 385 children.[1][] The 11th Division also conducted the Sancheong-Hamyang massacre two days earlier. The general commanding the division was Choe Deok-sin.[7][]

In March 1951, Shin Chung-mok (ko), a leading assembly' lawmaker from Geochang reported the massacre to the National Assembly against South Korean Army cover up.[2][5][8] The National Assembly's special investigation team investigated, but failed by the South Korean Army interruption.[2][5] Shin was arrested and sentenced to death in Army court martial.[8] In May 1951, the second investigation team was dispatched by the National Assembly and they reported the South Korean Army involvement.[5] After the research, Major Han and Colonel Oh Ik-gyun were sentenced to life in prison by a military court.[5] President Syngman Rhee subsequently granted clemency to criminals.[5] This massacre is pointed out as an example of oppression under his rule.[9]

In April 2004, the Geochang Massacre Memorial Park was founded in memory of the victims, in Geochang.[1][][10]

On 20 February 2006, National Archives and Records Service reported the files about the massacre were found.[6]

In 2001, a local court ordered the South Korean government to pay reparations to the victims' families.[4][] On 18 May 2004, a general court ruled that a charge of massacre against the South Korean governmental was barred by limitation,[4][] and on 5 June 2008, the South Korean Supreme Court confirmed that the charge was barred by limitation.[3][]

In June 2010, An jeong-a, a researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission disclosed National Defense Ministry official documents on his thesis that the massacre had been done under official South Korean Army order in order to annihilate citizens living in the guerrilla influenced area.[11] On September 9, 2010, An was fired as disclosing Geochang massacre documents.[11] National Defense Ministry accused An of disclosing the documents which had been only permitted under the condition of nondisclosure.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d 편히 영면하소서!'..거창사건 희생자 위령제.  
  2. ^ a b c Stueck, William. The Korean War in world history. Univ Pr of Kentucky. p. 45.  
  3. ^ a b 대법 "거창양민학살사건 국가배상 책임 없다.  
  4. ^ a b c 거창양민학살사건 국가 배상의무 없다.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f "SURVIVOR Hundreds were killed in a 1951 massacre. One man is left to remember.".  
  6. ^ a b "Records throw light on modern Korea’s history Detailed archival documents found at government offices".  
  7. ^ 산청 시천면 양민학살, 어떤 사건인가? 아녀자, 어린이 대부분...알려진 산청 함양사건과는 별개 출처 : 산청 시천면 양민학살, 어떤 사건인가? - 오마이뉴스.  
  8. ^ a b Stueck, William. The Korean War in world history. Univ Pr of Kentucky. p. 46.  
  9. ^ "Outlook Remembering our father We have forgotten our founding father, the man who helped give birth to our democracy and its market economy. That is shameful.".  
  10. ^ "2008 외국어 관광안내표기 용례집".  (Korean)(Chinese)(Japanese)(English)
  11. ^ a b c ‘진실 공개’한 직원 내쫓은 진실위.  

External links

  • (Korean) 거창양민학살사건의 법적 해결 ― 관련법의 개정방안을 중심으로 Inseop Han SNU Center for Public Interest & Human Rights

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