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Brief History US Sabotage of Korean Peace and Reunification ~ Written by S. Brian Willson - April 4th, 2013

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  • Frank Dorrel
    Brief History US Sabotage of Korean Peace and Reunification Written
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2013
      Brief History US Sabotage of Korean Peace and Reunification
      Written by S. Brian Willson - April 4th, 2013 - www.brianwillson.com
      The U.S. decision to artificially divide an ancient homogenous Korea upon
      the surrender of the Japanese, August 15, 1945, and the subsequent
      U.S.-directed reign of terror, 1945-1948, that led directly to the war of
      national independence against western imperialist intervention, 1948-1950,
      and then, consequently, the hot war, 1950-1953, to be followed by extensive
      periods of military dictatorships until 1997 supported by the U.S.
      government, surely must rank as one of the cruelest tragedies of the
      Twentieth Century. This is virtually unknown history in the West, and
      today's issues relating to Korea cannot be understood without knowing this
      diabolical assault on the Korean soul.
      U.S. Intentions and Actions Dividing Korea, 1943-1945
      Within months of Pearl Harbor, in early 1942, U.S. State Department planners
      began to express concern in the event there was to be Soviet involvement in
      the war against the Japanese in Manchuria and Korea. They feared that the
      Russians would bring with them the fearless Korean guerrillas who had been
      passionately fighting the Japanese in Manchuria in their efforts to recover
      their homeland. The first formal international statement supporting Korean
      independence was proclaimed in November 1943 when the U.S. (Franklin D.
      Roosevelt), Great Britain (Winston Churchill), and China (Chiang Kai-shek)
      issued the Cairo (Egypt) Declaration, in which Korea was to receive
      independence "in due course" following the expected ultimate unconditional
      surrender of the Japanese. This arrogance over Korea's future existed
      despite the fact that Korea was the oldest victim of Japanese expansion.
      Fearing a Russian puppet regime in Korea once the Japanese were defeated,
      something confidentially presumed, this "conclusion" became the critical
      factor in planning for Korea. In March 1944, the U.S. State Department
      recommended "the employment of technically qualified Japanese in Korean
      economic life ... during the period of military government." (emphasis
      added) Given the extent of nearly forty years of Japanese domination and the
      humiliating subservient role forced on the Koreans, this secretly planned
      postwar U.S. military government in Korea amounted to preservation of
      Japanese imperialism and an unlawful, cruel violation of Korean sovereignty.
      At the February 4-11, 1945 Yalta "Big Three" Conference, held at Yalta, a
      city in southern Ukraine on the Black Sea, President Roosevelt, without
      consulting the Koreans, suggested to Stalin and Churchill that Korea be
      placed under joint trusteeship prior to being granted its independence at
      the conclusion of World War II, once Japan surrendered. However, the most
      important agreement achieved at Yalta was the Soviet's promise to enter the
      Pacific war theatre three months after the anticipated surrender of Germany,
      thereby relieving the U.S. of further casualties in defeating the Japanese
      in Manchuria, China, Korea, and Japan itself. This secret agreement by the
      USSR to enter the war against Japan was promised in return for possession of
      S. Sakhalin (island off the east coast of USSR just north of the Japanese
      island of Hokkaido), the Kurile Islands (extending northeast from the
      Japanese island of Hokkaido to the USSR peninsula of Kamchatka between the
      Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean), and an occupation zone in Korea if
      the U.S. insisted on joint trusteeship.
      Harry Truman had only succeeded to the Presidency on April 12, 1945, upon
      the death of President Roosevelt, only 2 months after the Yalta conference.
      Germany surrendered on May 7, starting the 3 month clock to the promised
      entrance of the Soviet Army to hopefully finish off the Japanese in Asia.
      The strategic decision to wait for resolution of the Manhattan Project
      (development of the top secret Atomic bomb) came to dominate much of secret
      U.S. policy making beginning in mid-May. Truman, only having been briefed of
      the existence of the new weapon project once taking the Presidency in April,
      and as a newcomer to international diplomacy, was believed to have dreaded
      his upcoming meeting with Stalin and Churchill at Potsdam, near Berlin, in
      northeastern Germany. The advance agenda of Potsdam was to discuss
      challenges arising out of the collapse of Nazi Germany and the disposition
      of eastern Europe vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly he delayed
      the conference. However, it is significant to note that Truman finally
      scheduled the confernece to immediately follow the critical test of the
      secret Bomb, to occur July 16 at Alamogordo, 120 miles southeast of
      Albuquerque, New Mexico.
      The test's success exceeded expectations and immediately provided the U.S.
      with unprecedented confidence in all of its post-test negotiations. Potsdam
      began on July 17 and concluded on August 2. Previously, the U.S. had
      virtually accepted the fact that once the Japanese were defeated with Soviet
      assistance, the Soviets would occupy and control the future of the Korean
      Peninsula. However, with the success of the new, most powerful, weapon ever
      developed, U.S. diplomacy was radically altered, and U.S. arrogance could
      prevail with minimal need to compromise.
      On August 8, exactly three months after the German surrender, Russian troops
      entered Manchuria, as they had earlier promised, overwhelming Japanese
      forces there. On August 12 they entered northern Korea, further ousting
      Japanese forces, thereby assuring no more U.S. casualties. This significant
      Soviet involvement now made it impossible for the U.S. to exclude the USSR
      in a post-war Korean settlement. On August 11 (three days after the entrance
      of the Soviet troops in the Japanese arena and, as it turned out, only four
      days before the imminent surrender of Japan), President Truman ordered two
      colonels in his Department of War to hurriedly identify a supposedly
      temporary line dividing Korea into two zones. The 37th and 38th parallels
      were discussed in a quick 30-minute meeting by two young colonels, one being
      Oxford-educated Dean Rusk (later to be Secretary of State under President's
      Kennedy and Johnson during the early Vietnam War years), at the newly
      constructed headquarters of the then U.S. War Department, the 34 acre
      Pentagon building in Arlington, VA. The decision on the 38th parallel, no
      surprise, created a division that placed approximately 21 million rural
      people, sixty-five percent of the country's population, and the historic
      capital city of Seoul in the United States zone. Nine million people and the
      more industrial sectors, with fifty-five percent of the land base, were to
      be in the Soviet zone. The question was whether Stalin would accept the 38th
      parallel rather than the 37th, the latter of which would have included the
      historic capital of Seoul in the anticipated Soviet zone.
      This decision establishing the 38th parallel, publicly proclaimed on August
      15 as "General Order No. One," occurred without prior consultation with
      other countries, including the Soviet Union. This public proclamation
      occurred on the same day that Japan announced its intentions to surrender.
      No one was sure how Stalin would respond to this limit on the August Soviet
      military advances in Korea. To everyone's surprise, Stalin accepted the
      division without comment or challenge. The division of Korea had begun, even
      before Japan announced its surrender. Later, Dean G. Acheson, Secretary of
      State (1949-53), a lawyer trained at both Yale and Harvard, described the
      38th Parallel as no more than "a surveyor's line." But to the Koreans it was
      the equivalent of an egregious assault on their historic soul and
      aspirations for genuine independence. Order Number One determined that the
      Japanese were to transfer power immediately from their authority to
      specified occupation forces, and to prevent local "Left" populations from
      taking control.
      The U.S. was to take the southern zone; the already present Soviet troops
      were to remain temporarily in the northern one, with the aim of repatriating
      all Japanese in their respective sectors. The U.S. immediately created the
      United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK), which was the
      sole legal authority south of the 38th Parallel, and it remained so until
      the Republic of Korea was formally established on August 15, 1948, exactly
      three years later. Tragically, Western plans for a post-war division of
      Korea were proceeding without the prior knowledge or consent of the Korean
      Ironically, on the very same day of the Japanese surrender and U.S
      proclamation of General Order Number One, August 15, 1945, the Korean
      people, the majority seriously impoverished, openly celebrated their
      liberation after forty years of miserable Japanese occupation. The Koreans
      immediately formed The Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence
      (CKPI). By August 28, all Korean provinces on the entire Peninsula had
      established local peoples' democratic committees and, on September 6,
      delegates from throughout Korea, north and south, gathered in Seoul to
      create the Korean People's Republic (KPR). The people of Korea were
      confident they would now be able to build their own society, resuming
      control over their sovereignty which had been effectively suspended since
      the Japanese had taken over their foreign and military affairs in 1905 prior
      to formal full annexation in 1910. At that exciting moment in their lives on
      September 6, 1945, the Korean people could not have imagined that they were
      about to become victims of an even more tragic and cruel injustice, this
      time inflicted upon them by a Western nation, the United States of America,
      rather than by one of their historic Asian nemesises.
      Japan presented its formal surrender on September 2 to five-star (a newly
      established rank at the time) General Douglas MacArthur aboard the U.S.S.
      Missouri in Tokyo Bay. MacArthur was named commander of the Allied powers in
      Japan and directed the subsequent occupation that included Korea as well.
      On September 7, the very next day after the excited creation of the KPR,
      General Douglas MacArthur, as commander of the victorious Allied powers in
      the Pacific, formally issued a proclamation addressed "To the People of
      Korea," announcing that forces under his command "will today occupy the
      territory of Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude." The very first
      advance party of U.S. units, the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division,
      actually began arriving at Inchon on September 5th, two days before
      MacArthur's occupation declaration. The bulk of the U.S. occupation forces
      began unloading from twenty-one Navy ships (including five destroyers) on
      September 8 through the port at Inchon under the command of Lieutenant
      General John Reed Hodge. Hundreds of black-coated armed Japanese police on
      horseback, still under the direction of Japanese Governor-General Abe
      Nobuyuki, kept Korean crowds away from the disembarking U.S. soldiers. On
      the morning of September 9, the U.S. troops marched into Seoul, again
      protected by Japanese troops lining the streets, ushering the high-ranking
      officers into their new quarters at the Choson Hotel. And on September 9,
      General Hodge announced that Abe, the Japanese Governor-General would
      continue to function with all his Japanese and Korean personnel.
      Hodge had become known for his aggressive warfare in battles at Guadalcanal,
      Leyte, Bougainville, and the "last battle" at Okinawa, earning him the
      reputation as "the Patton of the Pacific." Patton had been nicknamed "old
      blood and guts" for his tank actions in World War I, and his later exploits
      during War II in Italy, North Africa, and France and Germany.
      Within a few weeks there were 25,000 troops and members of "civil service
      teams" in country. Ultimately the number of U.S. troops in southern Korea
      reached 72,000. Though the Koreans were officially characterized as a
      "semi-friendly, liberated" people, General Hodge, nonetheless, regrettably
      instructed his own officers that Korea "was an enemy of the United
      States...subject to the provisions and the terms of the surrender." Quickly,
      tragically, and ironically, the Korean people, citizens of the
      victim-nation, had become enemies, while the defeated Japanese, who had been
      the illegal aggressors, served as occupiers with and friends of the United
      States. Korea was inflicted with the very occupation originally intended for
      Japan. Japan was subsequently built up by the U.S. in the post-war period,
      while Korea was subjected to brutal occupation. Japan remains to this day
      the U.S. forward military base affording protection and intelligence for its
      "interests" in the Asia-Pacific region.
      This was due to strategic evaluations made by the U.S. of projected post-war
      plans of its wartime Soviet ally but who in fact were held with fear and
      mistrust by the West since the Bolshevik revolution first articulated its
      socialist philosophies in 1917. The provisions of such occupation, including
      ordinances issued by the Military Governor of Korea, were to be enforced by
      a "Military Occupation Court." On September 12, West Point Graduate and
      artillery expert Major General Archibald V. Arnold, was named U.S. Military
      Governor to replace Japanese Governor-General Abe, though most of the
      existing administrative and police personnel were retained.
      Arnold was later replaced as U.S. Military Governor by Major General William
      F. Dean, a highly decorated World War II veteran of battles in France,
      Germany and Austria. Interestingly, when the 'hot' war started in June 1950,
      Dean became the commander of the U.S. 24th Division and was captured on
      August 25 in Taejon, being the highest ranking U.S. officer ever captured by
      the North Koreans and imprisoned as a POW for 37 and-a-half months.
      From that fateful day on September 8, 1945, to the present, a period of now
      56 years - a long, painful 660 months - U.S. military forces (currently
      numbering 37,000 positioned at 100 installations), have maintained a
      continuous occupation in the south, supporting de facto U.S. domination of
      the political, rhetorical, economic and military life of a needlessly
      divided Korea. This overwhelming U.S. role, often brutal in nature and,
      until recently, supporting repressive policies of dictatorial puppets,
      continues to be the single greatest obstacle to peace, because of its
      interference with inevitable reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Until
      1994, all of the hundreds of thousands of South Korean defense forces
      operated legally under direct U.S. command. Even today, although integrated
      into the Combined Forces Command (CFC), when the U.S. military commander in
      Korea deems there is a war situation, these forces automatically revert to
      direct U.S. control.
      The well documented but little publicly known historical record of the
      United States in Korea is nothing short of demonic and shameless: from the
      brutal U.S. formal occupation (1945-48); to steadfast support of the
      tyrannical rule of U.S. puppet, Syngman Rhee, before, during, and after the
      hot Korean War (1948-1960), under the rhetorical propaganda of a Korean
      "democracy"; to U.S. dominance in Korea from 1960 to the present, most of
      the time during which the Korean people have been forced to labor under iron
      fist military dictators while the U.S. State Department often reported to
      the U.S. population the existence of "democratic reforms" there.
      The United States direct involvement in Korea beginning in August 1945
      provides us the earliest example of U.S. Cold War behavior. When examined
      carefully, it reveals a great deal about the nature of her national psyche
      as it is expressed in corresponding misguided political and vicious military
      policies, as well as the kind of unrestrained terror that was to be in store
      for its victims. Fear of communism - a national, and Western, mental illness
      of paranoia - caused a ferocious fury of violence to be directed at
      undeserving "Third World" peoples, as the monolithic spread of communism,
      itself grossly exaggerated, was regularly confused with genuine national
      self-determination (democratic) movements striving for independence from
      Western, colonial forces.
      The United States' ability to crush the popular movement (of "communists" as
      they were incorrectly labeled by U.S./Rhee political and military leaders)
      in Korea was an important test of the success or failure of the
      "containment" policy articulated in 1948 by George Kennan, director of the
      U.S. State Department's Policy Planning Staff (PPS). Publishing a then
      top-secret document (PPS 23, February 24, 1948), Kennan laid out an honest
      assessment of the need for a successful U.S. imperial policy:
      "...we have about 50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of
      its population...In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy
      and resentment. Our real task...is to devise a pattern of relationships
      which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive
      detriment to our national security...We need not deceive ourselves that we
      can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction...We should
      cease to talk about vague and - for the Far East - unreal objectives such as
      human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The
      day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power
      concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."
      The U.S./Puppet Rhee Repression Machinery Created
      The U.S. understood that if it was to assert Western-style, capitalist
      control in Korea it had to defeat, then eliminate, the broad-based popular,
      democratic KPR. Instead of repatriating Japanese as mandated, the U.S.
      military government (USAMGIK), manned by nearly 2,000 U.S. officers, most of
      whom were unable to speak or understand the Korean language, quickly
      recruited them and their Korean collaborators to continue administrative
      functions. More important, and egregiously, the U.S. military government
      revived the feared Japanese colonial police force, the Korean National
      Police (KNP). About 85 percent of the Koreans who had served in the Japanese
      colonial police force were quickly employed by the U.S. to man the KNP.
      Other collaborators were recruited into the Korean Constabulary created in
      December 1945 by the commander of the U.S. forces in Korea, General John R.
      Hodge. Secret protocols, later revealed, gave the U.S. operational control
      of the South Korean police and all of its armed forces from August 15, 1945
      to June 30, 1949. Additionally, many Japanese and Korean collaborators who
      had been correspondingly purged, often brutally as well, by Russian forces
      and the new popular Korean committees in the north, became core members of
      powerful paramilitary groups like the Korean National Youth (KNY) and the
      Northwest Youth League (NWY) in the south which would work in concert with
      the "official" U.S./Rhee security forces.
      This was happening despite the fact that the U.S. government knew full well
      of Korean desires in 1945 for independence. General John Reed Hodge,
      commander of the XXIV Corps of the United States Tenth Army, became
      Commanding General of the US Armed Forces in Korea because his forces could
      be moved quickly to Korea after Japan's August 15 surrender. While in
      Okinawa, Japan, the XXIV Corps possessed a thorough study entitled, "Joint
      Army-Navy Intelligence Study of Korea." This report described the strong
      desires of the Koreans for their independence, and that they preferred a
      cumbersome autonomous transition to the danger and dread of continued
      control by "some successor to Japan." The study described the extent of the
      40 year Japanese rule and its collusion with an aristocratic Korean
      minority, reiterating that the majority of tenant-farmers were terribly
      oppressed. Nonetheless, the U.S. had no intention to grant the Koreans their
      historical legal and cultural rights to independence. And a subsequent U.S.
      survey of Korean attitudes disclosed that nearly three quarters of the
      population clearly wanted a socialist, rather than a capitalist, system.
      Furthermore, early reports revealed that their socialist leanings were quite
      independent of any directives from the Soviet Union, and were cooperative
      with but not under the thumb of northern Korea communists.
      The U.S. hurriedly organized wealthy conservative Koreans representing the
      traditional land-owning elite and, on September 16, convened the Korean
      Democratic Party (KDP). According to XXIV Corps intelligence, the U.S. had
      quickly identified "several hundered conservatives" among the older and more
      educated Koreans who had served the Japanese who could serve as the nucleus
      for the rapidly convened KDP. These were the Koreans who had grown wealthy
      as a result of years of collaboration with their Japanese colonizers.
      Preston Goodfellow, former Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Strategic
      Services (OSS) who had a background in U.S. Army intelligence and
      clandestine warfare, was an acquaintance with Syngman Rhee living in the
      United States, and quickly made arrangements to import the seventy-year-old
      expatriate politician to Korea. Apparently Rhee had in some way cooperated
      with OSS in Washington, D.C. during World War II. On October 16, 1945, Rhee
      was flown to Korea from the U.S. on General Douglas MacArthur's personal
      At the conclusion of World War II, Goodfellow was director of a mysterious
      "Overseas Reconstruction Corporation" which probably served as an
      intelligence front. In that capacity he became involved in Asian tungsten
      deals with the World Commerce Corporation, a postwar company established by
      heads of Allied intelligence operations, including William J. ("Wild Bill")
      Donovan, the founding director of the OSS and Goodfellow's immediate boss
      when he was gathering intelligence during the war. Tungsten was and is one
      of the most treasured strategic metals used in making hardened tank armor
      and anti-tank shells tipped with tungsten carbide. Only the more recent
      discovery of depleted uranium (DU 238) as an even more effective, but
      extraordinarily dangerous, armor plating and piercing shell has tungsten
      been replaced in this function. By early 1949 Goodfellow had become Syngman
      Rhee's principal U.S. advisor and was a key agent for Korean-American
      business deals, and likely intelligence operations, involving both the U.S.
      and Nationalist China prior to the success of the Communists over the
      Nationalists. In 1954 Goodfellow was working with the former head of
      propaganda operations for the OSS in importing tungsten for the U.S. which
      at the time was desperate to maintain its military stockpile.
      Rhee had been born in 1876 in Hwanghae Province, south of Pyonyang, into a
      struggling, though upper class family in the Yi dynasty. While attending a
      Methodist middle school in Seoul he repudiated Buddhism and Confucianism in
      favor of Christianity. However, he was vigorously opposed to the Japanese
      presence in Korea. He was arrested by Japanese police authorities and was
      sent to prison for several years. After release he had left for the United
      States in 1905, and was apparently able to arrange a meeting with outgoing
      Secretary of State John Hay in urging Theodore Roosevelt to protect Korean
      independence as the President was mediating an end to the Russo-Japanese
      War. He apparently was also able to meet with Roosevelt at his summer home
      at Oyster Bay, Long Island, at the very same time that Roosevelt's Secretary
      of War Taft was meeting with Japan's Katsura to consummate an agreement to
      Japan's control over Korea if Japan honored the U.S. control over the
      Philippines. Rhee was rudely rebuffed. Rhee remained in the United States
      and received degrees from George Washington University (1907), an M.A. from
      Harvard (1908), and an alleged Ph.D. from Princeton (1910) where he claimed
      to have studied under Professor Woodrow Wilson. He is credited to being the
      first Korean to receive a doctorate from a U.S. university, even though it
      is not at all certain that he received such degree. He returned briefly to
      Korea in 1910 to work for the Seoul YMCA as a teacher and evangelist, but
      returned to the U.S. in 1912 where he remained, part of the time in Hawaii,
      other times in Washington and New York, until Goodfellow brought him back to
      Korea on MacArthur's plane thirty-three years later with his wealthy
      Austrian wife whom he had met on a 1932 trip to Europe. To his credit an
      anti-Japanese colonialist, he had at one point been the leader of a Korean
      Provisional Government in exile, but was expelled in 1925 for embezzlement.
      Now Rhee, a Methodist, would quickly become the U.S. puppet leader in
      Buddhist and Confucianist Korea, just as Diem, a Catholic who had been
      temporarily living in New Jersey, was to be in Buddhist Vietnam nearly ten
      years later in the continuation of a tragic Asian policy in which the U.S.
      continued to confuse national movements for self-determination with
      monolithic communism. When he returned to Korea in 1945 few Koreans or U.S.
      Americans knew much about him since he had been in exile in the U.S. for a
      total of nearly forty years.
      Now, with its Korean police state forces beefed up and a Korean political
      puppet it could herald as the new democratic leader of a South Korea, the
      U.S. Military Government could begin its systematic purge of all opposition
      forces. On October 20, at the Welcoming Ceremony for the Occupation, Rhee
      made it clear he was not intending to unify the country. Rhee denounced
      Russia and the North and refused to work with the KPR that had been
      democratically created on September 6. Rhee quickly embraced the
      pro-Japanese Koreans already working with the U.S. military government,
      while denouncing the more numerous anti-Japanese advocates on the Left. On
      December 12, 1945, the USAMGIK, working closely with Syngman Rhee, outlawed
      the KPR and all its related local, provincial and national democratic
      peoples' organizations and activities. The various unions had joined forces
      in November under the National Council of Korean Labor Unions (NCKLU),
      affiliated with the KPR, but their activities were soon prohibited. All
      labor strikes were forbidden; most union activities were considered
      traitorous. Women's organizations, youth groups, and other elements of the
      popular movement were targeted as well. In September 1946, disgruntled
      workers declared a daring strike that by October spread throughout South
      Korea. The USAMGIK declared martial law. By December, the combination of KNP
      forces, the Constabulary (called the National Defense Forces by Koreans,
      later to become the Republic of Korea Army or ROKA), and right-wing
      paramilitary units, supplemented by U.S. military forces and intelligence as
      needed, had forcefully contained the insurrection in all provinces. More
      than 1,000 Koreans had been killed with more than 30,000 jailed. Regional
      and local leaders of the popular movement were either dead, in prison, or
      had gone underground.
      Korean Division Becomes "Legal"
      Seventy-three-year-old Rhee was elected President on May 10, 1948, an
      election boycotted by virtually all Koreans except the conservative, elite
      KDP and Rhee's own right-wing political groups. Rhee legally took office as
      President on August 15, and the Republic Of Korea (ROK) was formally
      declared. In response, three-and-a-half weeks later (on September 9, 1948),
      the people of the north begrudgingly created their own separate government,
      the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), with Kim Il Sung as its
      Premier. Korea was now clearly, and tragically, split in two. Kim Il Sung
      had survived being a guerrilla fighter against the Japanese occupation in
      both China and Korea since 1932 when he was twenty years old. Kim was
      thirty-three when he returned to Pyongyang in October 1945 to begin the
      hoped-for era of rebuilding Korea free of foreign domination, and thirty-six
      when he became North Korea's first premier on September 9, 1948.
      Meanwhile, the Russian forces that had occupied the north since August 1945
      withdrew on schedule in December 1948, leaving only a small number of
      advisors behind. After the ROK was officially proclaimed in August 1948, the
      U.S. State Department argued to delay the expected withdrawal of U.S. combat
      troops until June 30, 1949. This provided Rhee with additional benefits from
      U.S. combat support against his civilian and guerrilla opposition. These
      forces were finally withdrawn at the end of June 1949, replaced by a 500-man
      Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG), headed by Brigadier General William
      L. Roberts.
      Meanwhile, in September 1949, following the withdrawal of the majority of
      U.S. troops, Rhee's anxiety increased about the lingering guerrilla war and
      the growing strength of the DPRK's air forces, even though the Russian
      military had withdrawn from the North in 1948. He wanted to begin building
      his own air force, alleviating his nervous dependency upon the United States
      air forces. U.S. military and political leaders were opposed to granting
      aircraft to Rhee whose eagerness to invade the North they believed could
      cause a needless provocation with the North. Also secretary of State Acheson
      had denied the same request from Chiang Kai-Shek for his Nationalist forces
      fighting the Chinese Communists. Pastor Goodfellow was supporting his friend
      Rhee's request for air forces for the ROK. Rhee found additional sympathetic
      support from Goodfellow's friend, General Claire Chennault, who founded the
      Civil Air Transport (CAT) after World War II, the "Flying Tiger" air force,
      subsequently controlled by the CIA.
      CAT had been flying mercenaries and supplies for China's Kuomintang (KMT)
      forces who by late 1949 were sequestered in Burma in the wake of the
      Communist victory. All of the CAT planes had by then been safely moved to
      Formosa. In August 1949 Chiang Kai-Shek visited Rhee seeking an airbase in
      Korea that could assist the Nationalists in their continued campaign against
      the Chinese communists. Rhee in turn invited Chennault to Korea in November
      1949 to present plans for developing a Korean air force along with the
      necessary secure bases. However, not until the Korean hot war started did
      the U.S. brass authorize the forty CAT planes relocated to six CIA training
      stations in Japan and Korea to fly transport, bombing and intelligence
      missions against Chinese installations along the coast, as well as serving
      the U.S./ United Nations campaigns against North Koreans. The nearly
      bankrupt airline, despite CIA funds, had a new lease on life, and was given
      the job of running the Korean National Airline as well.
      The Systematic Elimination of Civilian Dissent
      Both U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and George Kennan, Asian
      specialist at the U.S. State Department, made it clear in 1949 that the
      ability of the "democratically elected" Syngman Rhee to suppress the
      internal threats to his regime was very important for the success of our
      containment (of "communism") policy. The "guerrillas" had to be quickly
      eliminated so that the world could clearly witness Korea's successful
      handling of the "communist threat." The stakes were high in Korea for the
      U.S., and the West in general, and the U.S. wanted to make sure that their
      puppet Rhee would prevail, no matter the cost to the Korean people or to
      their aspirations for a reunified country. Goodfellow had briefed Rhee at
      the end of 1948, referencing his conversations with Acheson about Korea,
      that the guerrillas had to be "cleaned out quickly...everyone is watching
      how Korea handles the communist threat." This helps explain the large role
      the U.S. military played in suppressing any and all resistance to the Rhee
      regime: advisers with all Korean army and police units, use of spotter
      planes to ferret out guerrillas, daily briefings of counterinsurgency units,
      interrogation and torture of prisoners, regular intelligence briefings, use
      of transport planes carrying armed troops and supplies, and even the
      occasional use of U.S. combat forces.
      The Rhee/U.S. forces escalated their ruthless campaign of cleansing the
      south of dissidents, identifying as a suspected "communist" anyone who
      opposed the Rhee regime, whether openly or quietly. In fact, most
      participants or believers in the popular movement in the south were
      socialists and unaffiliated with outside "communist" organizations. As the
      repression intensified, however, alliances with popular movements in the
      north, including communist organizations, increased. The Cheju Island
      insurgency was crushed by August 1949 with 30,000 to 60,000 Koreans murdered
      and nearly 300 villages destroyed, but on the mainland, guerrilla warfare
      continued in most provinces until 1950-51. In the eyes of the commander of
      U.S. military forces in Korea, General Hodge, and new "President" Syngman
      Rhee, virtually any Korean not a publicly professed rightist was considered
      a "communist" traitor. Therefore massive numbers of farmers, villagers and
      urban residents were systematically rounded up in rural areas, villages and
      cities from throughout South Korea. Captives were regularly tortured to
      extract names of others. Thousands were imprisoned, and even more thousands
      forced to dig mass graves before being ordered into them and shot by fellow
      Koreans, often under the watch of U.S. officers. Estimates of civilians
      murdered under the pretext of killing "communists" during the era of legal
      U.S. occupation (August 15, 1945-August 15, 1948) and the succeeding
      extended period until June 30, 1949 when U.S. combat troops were finally
      withdrawn, often are in the 500,000 range, with the lowest figure being
      100,000, the highest being 800,000.
      Political prisoners under U.S. occupation increased from 17,000 in southern
      Korea at the time Rhee was brought from the United States in October 1945,
      to over 21,000 by December 1947. By mid-1949, there were 30,000 alleged
      "communists" in Rhee's jails, and an estimated 70,000 in so-called "guidance
      camps" used as overflow prisons. By December 1949 as many as 1,000 people a
      day were being rounded up, tortured, and imprisoned. Meanwhile numerous
      others were being murdered summarily after torture, not even having the
      "privilege" of being thrown in prison. Agents had penetrated every
      organization, every student group, every cafe, and every workplace seeking
      any evidence of publicly expressed dissent and contempt for the Rhee regime.
      And even though the bulk of U.S. troops had departed, officials from the
      U.S. embassy and with the remaining 500 man U.S. Military Advisory Group
      knew and was complicit in this reign of terror.
      A 1948 CIA personality profile analysis of Rhee, apparently the first ever
      prepared on a foreign leader by the relatively new CIA, concluded: "The
      danger exists...that Rhee's inflated ego may lead him into action disastrous
      or at least highly embarrassing to the new Korean Government and to the
      interests of the U.S." It is certainly true that the U.S. was worried about
      Rhee provoking a military attack against the North across the 17th Parallel.
      But a bloodbath within the South, exterminating or imprisoning virtually the
      entire popular movement, which at one time clearly represented the vast
      majority of Korean citizens, was of no concern to the U.S. In fact, it
      supported and directed much of it! Though at times the U.S. government
      privately censured Rhee and his military and Korean National Police units,
      U.S. officials consistently publicly praised the "free and democratic"
      Republic of Korea (ROK).
      This sordid record of U.S. policy and its consequent behavior in Korea
      between 1945-50 served as a "training" model to be subsequently emulated,
      "refined" and at times varied to suit the situation. For example, following
      the 1965 CIA coup in Indonesia replacing the unacceptable (to the U.S.
      government) "Neutralist" President Sukarno with military strongman Suharto,
      systematic identification and elimination for several years of those
      perceived as sympathetic with Sukarno or who were thought to be "communist"
      led to the murders of anywhere from 500,000 to one million. The Phoenix
      program in South Vietnam sought to eliminate the Viet Cong civilian
      infrastructure from 1967-72, with estimates of those killed and/or captured
      reaching nearly 70,000. U.S. support for the counterrevolutionary government
      in El Salvador and its associated death squads from 1980 to 1994 led to the
      murders of 75,000 people, and displacement of more than a million. In
      revolutionary Nicaragua, U.S. created counterrevolutionary terrorists called
      Contras that marauded from 1982-90 through the countryside, destroying
      villages and assassinating those identified as supportive of the
      revolutionary government. More than 75,000 Nicaraguans were murdered or
      severely maimed.
      There are many other examples, as well, perhaps six or seven dozen, where
      the use of military and security forces have used (and continue to use)
      terrorism under the aegis of fighting terrorism, more than not with U.S.
      support and direction, to preserve an ideology that supports the way of life
      for the elite and privileged at the expense of the poor majority. But with
      the possible exception of the barbaric purge in Indonesia from 1965-1967,
      which murdered anywhere from 500,000 to one million, the systematic
      elimination of the popular movement in Korea directed by the U.S./Rhee
      regime from 1945-50 continues to rank as the most aggrieved of all
      victim-nations during the so-called Cold War.
      Meanwhile, and ironically, the period 1945-50 was experienced by most U.S.
      Americans as being among the most pleasant in their history. Basking in
      military victory from World War II, feeling invincible with possession and
      further development of the most powerful and technologically sophisticated
      military weaponry ever known to humankind, the people of the United States
      through their plutocratic government and capitalist economics were to rule
      the world. They would perceive as a threat virtually any alternative
      political-economic idea and prevent it from taking hold. "Manifest Destiny"
      began its truly global march to everywhere.
      U.S. Decides To Announce Beginning of Hot War
      The hot war apparently began at Ongjin very near the 38th Parallel in
      western Korea about 3 or 4 a.m. on June 25 (Korean time), 1950. This was in
      the same general area where heavy fighting had erupted at Kaesong in early
      May 1949, when battles, apparently started by six infantry companies from
      the south, lasted four days, taking the lives of 400 North Korean and 22
      South Korean soldiers. According to U.S. and South Korean officials, nearly
      100 civilians were also killed in Kaesong. Subsequent heavy fighting
      occurred in June on the remote Onjin Peninsula on the west coast above
      Seoul, and in August when forces from the north attacked the ROKA occupying
      a small mountain north of the 38th Parallel. Rhee had constantly threatened
      attacks on North Korea, creating anxiety among U.S. advisers. Just how the
      fighting started and by whom on that particular day, June 25, 1950, depends
      on one's source of information. The North's official version claims that
      South Korean forces had been shelling with howitzers and mortars the
      Unpa-san area on the Ongjin Peninsula on June 23-24. Then the ROKA's 17th
      Regiment attacked a northern unit at Turak Mountain on the Onjin Peninsula
      on June 25 which was repelled by the northern forces. The South claimed, on
      the contrary, that elements of ROKA's 17th Regiment counterattacked and were
      in possession of Haeju City, the only location north of the 38th Parallel
      claimed to have been taken by the South's forces. This was announced on the
      morning of June 26. The details are irrelevant, however, since a civil and
      revolutionary war had been raging for nearly two years with military
      incursions moving routinely back and forth across the 38th Parallel. The war
      was announced to the world as a premeditated, belligerent attack of
      communist forces from the north against a sovereign democratic society in
      the south. The quick introduction of U.S./U.N. military forces beginning on
      June 26 occurred with no understanding by the West (except by a few astute
      observors such as journalist I.F. Stone) that in fact they were entering an
      active revolutionary, civil war in progress explicitly against five years of
      U.S. interference with the passionate effort of indigenous Koreans to
      achieve genuine independence. These additional outside forces simply fueled
      Korean passions even more, while creating further divisions among them.
      This tragic paranoid misunderstanding by the U.S., and the West in general,
      accompanied by deeply held racism, helps to explain, but not in any way
      excuse, the massive numbers of civilians ("gooks") massacred by U.S./U.N.
      forces, including, of course, by the ROK army itself, and the incredible
      devastation of civilian targets and murder of millions of civilians from the
      tenacious aerial bombing campaigns conducted throughout the war. Many of the
      bombing missions were carried out by the 1,008 bomber crews of the Strategic
      Air Command (SAC) under direction of its young and reckless commanding
      General, Curtis LeMay, who had recently directed the firebombings that
      destroyed all or parts of sixty-six Japanese cities in 1945. The extent of
      the hatred felt by U.S. forces toward Koreans was sometimes reported by
      shocked news people. The derogatory term "gooks" was as commonly applied to
      Koreans by U.S. military personnel as it was to Vietnamese later, during the
      Vietnam War. The Rhee forces, mostly made up of Koreans collaborating with
      their former Japanese occupiers, were also merciless in their killing of
      fellow Korean civilians in both southern and northern areas of Korea.
      Bombing Everything
      During the Korean "hot" war, General Douglas MacArthur ordered the U.S. Air
      Forces "destroy every means of communication, every installation, factory,
      city, and village" south of the Yalu River boundary with China. Pyongyang
      and 76 other Korean cities in the north were leveled during the 37-month
      bombing campaign coinciding with the hot war period.
      Massive saturation bombings, especially with napalm and other incendiaries,
      alone murdered perhaps 2.5 million civilians. Major General William B. Kean
      of the 25th Infantry Division ordered that "civilians in the combat zone" be
      considered enemies. The famous July 25, 1950 Fifth Air Force memorandum to
      General Timberlake declared that adherence to Army orders to "strafe all
      civilian refugees [have been] complied with." USA Today (Oct. 1, 1999) and
      The New York Times (Dec. 29, 1999) reported from declassified U.S. Air Force
      documents the "deliberate" strafings and bombings of Korean "civilians" and
      "people in white." In the August 21, 1950 issue of Life, John Osborne
      reported that U.S. officers ordered troops to fire into clusters of
      Germ Warfare
      An early study examined the allegations of the use by the United States of
      bacteriological and chemical weapons in Korea. The Commission of
      International Association of Democratic Lawyers' Report on U.S. Crimes in
      Korea, March 31, 1952, concluded that the U.S. used both germ ("deliberate
      dispersion of flies and other insects artificially infected with bacteria,
      with the intention of spreading death and disease") and chemical ("use of
      poison gas bombs and other chemical substances") warfare against both
      civilians and combatants in North Korea. Established at the September 1951
      Berlin Congress of the Association, the Commission consisted of eight
      lawyers, one each from Austria, Italy, Great Britain, France, China,
      Belgium, Brazil, and Poland. The Association had been prompted by a Report
      of the Committee of the Women's International Democratic Federation in
      Korea, May 16-27, 1951, an international commission of 22 women from 18
      countries (including Canada and 7 Western European nations) that found
      systematic war crimes by a number of means were being committed by U.S.
      forces and South Korean forces under the command of the U.S., though it did
      not specifically discuss use of bacteriological or chemical weapons.
      China convened its own international study, Report of the International
      Scientific Commission for the Investigation of the Facts Concerning
      Bacteriological Warfare in Korea and China, issued in Peking in 1952,
      finding significant use by the U.S. of germ warfare.
      In all, thirty-six U.S. officers, mostly pilots, most from the Fifth Air
      Force, as well as some from the 1st Marine Air Wing under direction of the
      Fifth Air Force, gave their Chinese jailers statements admitting their
      participation in biological (germ) warfare. Most captured flyers
      acknowledged that tho they were subject to stress and duress, they were
      neither physically beaten nor provided information to include in their
      statements. The most exhaustive study of extent of US collaboration in the
      POW camps conducted by the US Army concluded that in fact there was no
      brainwashing nor beatings nor torture, but that the US prisoners were from a
      cultural background that failed to provide them with political insight and
      emotional maturity for dealing with such adverse experiences. Shortly after
      the confessing US prisoners were released in 1953, they were placed under
      strict control and the US government presented recantations signed by
      one-quarter of those who confessed. The majority did not recant, at least in
      Of course, the U.S. denied the various allegations and accusations of its
      use of biological and chemical warfare, and does so to this day. However,
      thanks to two York University professors in Toronto, Canada, Stephen
      Endicott and Edward Hagerman, we now have the benefit of their 20-year
      exhaustive study, The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets from the
      Early Cold War and Korea (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998).
      Carefully researched, their report concludes that the United States
      experimented with and deployed biological weapons during the Korean War, and
      that the U.S. government lied both to Congress and the U.S. public in saying
      that its biological warfare program was purely defensive (for retaliation
      only). A large and sophisticated offensive biological weapons system had
      been developed in the post-World War II years, and was used in North Korea.
      However, their study does not identify any use of germ warfare in South
      Korea, the Koreans have insisted it was used in South Chollah Province.
      Threat of US Use of Atomic Weapons on Northern Korea and China
      Due to the early military successes of the northern forces pushing the ROK
      army and U.S. forces far south of Seoul, General MacArthur, on July 9, 1950,
      requested the use of Atomic bombs to protect his retreating forces. After
      some deliberation in Washington, this request was denied. This was the first
      of at least nine separate circumstances when the U.S. seriously considered
      using Atomic/Nuclear bombs against northern Korea and adjacent regions of
      China during the Korean War. A second "active consideration" of use of the
      Bomb occurred on November 30, 1950, following entrance into the war in late
      October of the Chinese military "hordes," when President Truman publicly
      suggested General MacArthur might be given authority to use the Atomic bomb
      at his discretion to stop the Chinese. This created a tremendous furor in
      Europe which initially dampened the idea. Nonetheless, Truman ordered SAC to
      "dispatch...bomb groups" to Asia to "include Atomic capabilities" and had
      non-assembled Atomic bombs moved to aircraft carriers off Korean coasts.
      Seven subsequent known serious considerations of using the Bomb occurred.
      1. In December 1950, only a short time after Truman's public suggestion
      elicited negative responses from Europe, the Joint Chief of Staff (JCS)
      supported General MacArthur requested discretionary use of over thirty
      Atomic bombs to be dropped on "retardation targets" and "invasion forces" if
      necessary to avoid defeat.
      2. In March and April 1951, the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested use of
      Atomic bombs against Chinese bases in Korea and China, a plan supported in
      principle by President Truman who ordered the transfer (of completely
      assembled Atomic weapons) "to military custody" in Asia (Guam and Okinawa,
      Japan) for use against Chinese and North Korean targets if the Soviets and
      Chinese in any way escalated the war that spring.
      3. In June and July 1951, the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested use of
      Atomic weapons in tactical operations, five months after the first U.S.
      tests of tactical Nuclear weapons, in case of "unacceptable" deadlocks in
      the peace talks that had begun in July.
      4. In October 1951, three Army colonels traveled from Washington, D.C.
      to Japan and Korea for a top secret meeting with General Ridgeway, commander
      of the U.N. forces, and other officers, in part to initiate plans and
      preparations for "the employment of atomic weapons in support of ground
      operations" in Asia. In September and October 1951, U.S. bombers flew
      simulated Atomic bombing runs over northern Korea, even dropping dummy
      Atomic bombs, in preparation for using the real thing if peace talks were
      unacceptably stalled.
      5. In May 1952, when General Mark Clark replaced General Mathew
      Ridgeway as Commander of the U.N. forces, he proposed a number of new steps,
      including deployment of Atomic bombs.
      6. In February 1953, shortly after President Eisenhower was elected to
      office, he directly threatened China with Atomic bombs. The U.S. Air Force
      transferred fresh Atomic bombs to Okinawa, and its chief of staff, Hoyt
      Vandenberg, publicly suggested that an area in northeastern China, Mukden
      (Shenyang, 150 miles north of the border with Korea containing a large air
      base), would be an appropriate strategic target. This crisis was averted by
      diplomacy of Soviet leaders who immediately succeeded Stalin after his death
      on March 5.
      7. On May 20, 1953, the National Security Council seriously discussed
      the "extensive" use of atomic bombs against China, including much of
      Manchuria, if the Communists did not accept "reasonable" peace terms.
      Secretary of State John Foster Dulles transmitted a message through Premier
      Nehru of India to the Chinese and North Koreans, that the U.S. was prepared
      to use the Bomb during another adjournment of the peace talks. It should be
      noted that just one year later Dulles also offered two Atomic bombs to aid
      the French besieged at Dien Bien Phu in northwest Vietnam. Fortunately,
      Georges Bidault, Dulles' counterpart as French foreign minister, turned down
      the offer due to his wise realization that the French forces would be wiped
      out as well if Atomic weapons were used.
      On at least two other occasions the U.S. has seriously considered using
      nuclear weapons against North Korea. The first was in 1969, within a few
      months after Nixon became President, when the North Koreans apparently shot
      down a U.S. plane, killing thirty-one persons. Nixon and his Secretary of
      State, Henry Kissinger, recommended dropping a Nuclear bomb, but were
      subsequently persuaded to nix the plan. The second time was in June 1994,
      when President Bill Clinton was on the verge of bombing North Korea's
      nuclear program in Yongbyon. Though it wasn't clear whether Clinton intended
      to use low-level nuclear bombs, it was clear that bombing of nuclear
      facilities risked substantial radiation over a wide-area. Only the personal
      interventions of South Korean President Kim Young Sam and former U.S.
      President Jimmy Carter on an emergency diplomatic mission averted the crisis
      within hours of the planned bombing.
      Brian's email is: bw@...
      All of Brian's essays on his website are well worth reading at:
      BLOOD ON THE TRACKS: The Life & Times of S. Brian Willson:
      Short Autobiography of S. Brian Willson: www.brianwillson.com/autobiography

      Here is Brian's interview on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on October 28th,
      2011: www.democracynow.org/2011/10/28/blood_on_the_tracks_brian_willsons
      You can watch Brian's 8-minute segment from my film: "What I've Learned
      About US Foreign Policy" at:

      9-Minute Trailer for: "PAYING THE PRICE FOR PEACE: The Story of S. Brian
      Willson & The Peace Movement" - Directed by Bo Boudart

      If you feel inspired to help get this important film finished, please send a
      donation to:

      Beau Monde Image Foundation
      PO Box 7395, Menlo Park, CA 94026
      (This is a 501 C-3 organization. So it is Tax Deductable)

      Bo has already interviewed Daniel Ellsberg, Father Roy Bourgeois, Medea
      Benjamin, Col. Ann Wright, Martin Sheen, Alice Walker, Phil Donahue, Blase
      Bonpane, Ron Kovic, Ray McGovern,
      Charlie Clements, Camila Mejia, Bruce Gagnon, Charlie Liteky, Duncan Murphy,
      Leah Bolger (current president of Veterans For Peace), Elliot Adams (past
      president of VFP), Ed Ellis, David Swanson, Mike Prysner, Lou Wolf, Jeff
      Paterson (of Courage to Resist) & others. He still plans to interview Amy
      Goodman, Kris Kristofferson, Ed Asner, Kathy Kelly & Cindy Sheehan.

      Bo Boudart is a producer of wildlife, ecology, cultural, human rights,
      cultural, educational and science programs. He has initiated productions in
      Asia, Indonesia and Philippine Island Archipelagos, South America, Africa,
      Australia, the Arctic, the Caribbean, and throughout the United States.
      Boudart has produced documentaries, animations, educational, marketing and
      informational programs for distribution in all formats. Many of his programs
      have aired on the Discovery Channel, Public Television, Canadian
      Broadcasting, NHK Japan, French TV, and the Middle East.

      Bo Boudart
      Director of: "Paying The Price For Peace"

      In Peace,

      Frank Dorrel
      Associate Producer of "Paying The Price For Peace"
      Publisher of ADDICTED To WAR

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