[KS] RE: Cheju Massacres

Carl Webb carlwebb at asiafind.com
Sun Aug 8 23:01:20 EDT 1999

I was hoping someone else was familar with this.  I did a brief internet search and found the following information.

The Question of American Responsibility for the Suppression of the Chejudo Uprising 

Presented at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the April 3, 1948 Chejudo Rebellion Tokyo, March 14, 1998 

Prof. Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago


On 30 January 1998, the trial of Suh Joo-sik, representative of human rights group Sarangbang, began. He was charged, inter alia, with violating the National Security Law for showing a documentary at the 1997 Human Rights Film Festival about a 1948 civil uprising on Cheju Island, which authorities claimed was subversive. 
[Source: IOC 2/98: 101.] 

US Documents Released To-date

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) enacted in the USA allows selective declassification of government documents that are 30 years or older. Under FOIA, Army intelligence reports (G-2) and the US CIC documents are available. Monthly compilation of the US Army G-2 reports has been published. The Asia Culture Research Institute of Hanlim University has published the US G-2 and the US CIC reports. However, the PMAG and KMAG reports are still off limits. 

Critical Sections Suspected Removed

The US G-2 reports detail daily events on Cheju. Even though the reports were written for American interests and consumption, they present irrefutable facts and contribute significantly to our research on 4.3. They contain information not found on any Korean documents. Strangely, a demo by the students of the Cheju Girls Middle School was reported in agonizing detail, but the really important scorched earth campaigns during November 1948 and February 1949 were hardly mentioned at all. Only three paragraphs referred to scorched earth campaigns. It is evident that sensitive documents were withheld from FOIA. 

1. The National Archives

The US Army G-2 and CIC reports, which are available in Korea, were obtained mainly from the US National Archives. It is known that boxes upon boxes of documents on Korea are in a basement waiting for archiving. The documents available in Korea were unearthed by a number of dedicated hardworking researchers working on their own. Mr. Bang Sun Ju (Asia Research Institute, Hanlim University) was chief among these researchers. 

Other Sources

Bruce Cumings, Professor, Department of History University of Chicago
1126 East 59th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637; Voice: 1(773) 834-1818, Fax: 1(773) 702-7550
Email: bcumings at midway.uchicago.edu
Korean name: Ki Myong Sa. 

Ahn Jong Chul, Kwangju City Official, Voice Work: 062-224-8033 (Extension 4705), Home: 062-372-8351 


> Date: Sun, 8 Aug 1999 10:12:36 -0500
> To: korean-studies at mailbase.ac.uk
> From: kchoi at shrike.depaul.edu
> carlwebb at asiafind.com passed on the following article to us:
> > http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/DB/issues/97/04.09/view.yuk.html
> > 
> > Truth about U.S. atrocities in South Korea must be exposed
> > Cold War-era massacres by American soldiers kept under wraps for 40 years
> Okay, this was an interesting read, and I certainly wouldn't say that 
> it couldn't have happened, but I currently have no reason to either 
> believe it or disbelieve it. Where did the author get his information? 
> If this story has been hidden for so many years, surely we're 
> entitled to to know how the author got to the bottom of it. How can I 
> know the story hasn't been embellished with each retelling, with 
> the number of dead people rising each time?
> I'm not being cynical. The story itself seems plausible and it 
> probably wouldn't take much to make me believe it, but it will take 
> more than just the story itself.
> Kevin

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