SOUTH KOREA: Exposed South Korean Soldiers Massacred Vietnamese during Vietnam War


Urgent Appeal Case: UA0700

Last year, the Associated Press reports exposed that U.S soldiers massacred Korean civilians during the Korean War and the most documented of these killing happen in Nogunri. It is well known that Korean soldiers participated in Vietnam war from 1963 to 1973. Recently, a Korean newspaper exposed that Korean soldiers had massacred innocent vietnamese civilians. The Asian Human Rights Commission supports the initiative of the Peace Committee of Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS] in this appeal to seek justice for victims of war crimes. 

The painful history of Nogunri’s victims has been ignored for fifty years, but at last the facts have come to light. Recently it has come to our attention that during the Vietnam War Korean soldiers also conducted massacres of innocent civilians. Testimony of such slaughter of Vietnamese 
civilians by Korean soldiers in Vietnam war was given in an article of the Korean weekly magazine Hankyoreh 21, titled \”Remember Vietnam’s Soul\”. 

Currently, discussion of these massacres has become a prominent issue in the Vietnamese media. 

Korean soldiers participated in the Vietnam war from 1963 to 1973. They killed approximately 41,400 of the enemy. However, an unknown number of ordinary Vietnamese people tragically lost their lives as well. The Ministry of Culture and Communication of Vietnam has publicly estimated that the number of innocent victims killed in the provinces like QUANG NGAI, QUANG NAM, and BINH DINH was approximately 5,000 people. It was reported that most Vietnamese people have not forgotten the shock of the 
massacres yet and the mental anguish of the survivors have had serious and had lasting effects. 

The Korean citizens participated in various campaigns on massacres in Vietnam; writing cards to apology through the coordination of KHIS and collecting contributions with Hankyoreh 21 to build schools and hospitals in Vietnam in districts that suffered the most damage. Through these 
activities, they have asked Vietnamese pardon of past crimes committed by Korean soldiers. 

The Korean public opinion on this issue is shown below: 

1. The real facts of the massacre should be publicly revealed 66.3% 
2. There is a need to dispatch a fact-finding mission 66.9% 
3. The Korean government should make a public apology and provide compensation to Vietnamese victims 77.9% 

*source: Hankyoreh survey 

Nonetheless,the Korean government has avoided addressing this matter at all. \”Nogunri massacre\” during the Korean War and \”Vietnamese Civilians Massacre\” during the Vietnam War are representative cases of the twentieth century in which Korea was at one time a victim, and at another, an oppressor. 

We are requesting yourself and your organization’s support in solidarity to seek justice for victims of massacres in Vietnam. The statement below supports efforts to persuade the Korean government to: 

* establish a fact-finding mission 
* issue a public apology to the Vietnamese victims of the massacres. 

Place your name and Organistion, endorsing the statement below and send it to KHIS. The statemen will be published in the Hankyoreh Newspaper with the list of supporters. 


Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS) 
Fax: 822-3673-5627 
E-mail address: <> 

—————————- STATEMENT —————————— 

To : President Kim Dae jung 

We ask that you make an inquiry to establish the facts concerning the \”Vietnamese Civilian Massacre\” by Korean soldiers and make a public apology for these incidents to the Vietnamese people. 

We have heard that an estimated 5,000 Vietnamese civilians were massacred by Korean soldiers in the provinces of QUANG NGAI, QUANG NAM, and BINH DINH during the course of the Vietnam war. Many innocent people including 
women, children and the elderly were killed without regard, and the massacres have left deep scars on the memories of the survivors. For this reason we request an official apology from those responsible in the military for ordering the operations and compensation to the innocent victims of the massacres. It is certain that we will not be able to enter 
the new millenium with a clear conscience if we don’t make an effort to console the grief of the Vietnamese. We must do our best to uncover the truth and prevent tragedies like these fromhappening in the future. Once more, we stress that the true peace will only be accomplished by having the 
upright courage to uncover the facts of the case. Even during the passing from one millenium to the next, the truth of these tragic massacres cannot be suppressed. 

We urge the Korean government to: 

1. Establish the facts of the case. Soldiers who took part in the the war have suggested that first of all, the real facts of the massacre should be revealed. We have agree with this. The Korean government should establish a joint inquiry commission with the Vietnam government. 

2. If the recent reports prove to be well-founded, the Korean government should apologize publicly to the Vietnam government and the people by accepting responsibility for the occurrence of the massacres. 

3. The Korean government should give recompensation and to the survivors of the massacres. 

4. The Korean government should compensate the Korean soldiers who were forced to commit these inhumane acts and have since been suffering from the guilty consciences until now. 

5. Please, provide financial support for inquiry into the real events of the massacre. 

Your name: 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA0700
Countries : South Korea,