ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on August 30th, 2007 at 9:40 am

Excavation Team at No Gun Ri Comes Up Empty

» by in: Korean War

I can’t say I’m not surprised:

The search for the remains of victims of a U.S. massacre during the 1950-53 Korean War is likely to end Wednesday with no remains found, officials said, adding that the remains may have been damaged by heavy rains or taken away by their bereaved families. [Yonhap] (HT: Reader)

Just think this team could not find any evidence to support a massacre at No Gun Ri, yet the journalist concludes the article by repeating the mythology:

In July 1950, U.S. soldiers opened fire on approaching South Korean refugees at Nogeun-ri, about 160 km south of Seoul, believing North Korean soldiers were hiding among them, according to a 2001 Pentagon report. Hundreds of South Koreans, including many women and children, are believed to have been killed.

The Pentagon Report never supported the claim that “hundreds” were killed yet that does no stop people from repeating this claim over and over again. If the only things you know about this issue is from the media than you know nothing about No Gun Ri. I highly recommend, if you haven’t already, to read this posting supported by fact instead of mythology, about what really happened at No Gun Ri. It is a bit long, but it takes longer to explains facts than to report mythology thus please take the time to read it if you haven’t already.

The body count mythology surrounding No Gun Ri was long ago highly cast into doubt by the US aerial surveillance of the area one week after the alleged incident took place where no evidence of a massacre could be found. You can try for yourself and see if you can find the massacre:

Aerial footage of the bridge in question at No Gun Ri.

If you couldn’t spot a massacre don’t feel bad because both imagery and forensic experts from both the US and South Korea could not find any evidence of a massacre either. This is why I’m not surprised that the excavation team searching around No Gun Ri found no evidence of this massacre as well.

Despite all the evidence against it, the term “hundreds” is still commonly used by the media, such as in this latest Yonhap article, when no evidence can be produced to support this outside of the claims of the Korean witnesses. These same Korean witness also just so happen to be demanding a multi-million dollar compensation payment from the US government.

Additionally, notice how quiet the media has been of this story. One buried story by Yonhap about this significant story and that is it. Imagine if the excavators did find evidence of a massacre what the headlines would be.

It just so happens that I visited the No Gun Ri site in June and saw for myself the excavation taking place:

Excavation site on the hill side at No Gun Ri.

They had the place staked off in grids like a typical archaeology site and when I visited they had found nothing and two months later they had to admit formally that there was nothing. Despite the claims that nothing could be found because of heavy rains and bodies being removed let me give you a perfect example of how absurd this claim is.

Korean recovery team working with Australian soldiers to recover Korean War remains.

To this day bodies and artifacts from the Korean War period continue to be found at former battle sites. Some how the heavy rains didn’t remove these artifacts and bodies. The sites are filled with every day artifacts from the soldiers that fought there:

Recovered Korean War artifacts on display at the Korean War Memorial June 25, 2007.

How come none of these every day items have been found scattered around the No Gun Ri area? The No Gun Ri mythology states that about 700+ people were moving along the railroad track that day on July 26, 1950 when US airplanes strafed and bombed the refugee column leaving bodies blown to pieces, wagons burning, and the refugees possessions scattered across the countryside. None of this physical evidence can be found at No Gun Ri, yet at Korean War battle sites from the same time frame excavators continue to find these types of artifacts:

Recovered Korean War artifacts on display at the Korean War Memorial June 25, 2007.

However, the search for the truth of what happened at No Gun Ri ended long ago when this issue took on political and ideological contexts to where the No Gun Ri myth makers have to much to loose by admitting they were wrong about what happened at No Gun Ri. Thus the sliming of an entire generation of Korean War veterans with the mythological claims of “hundreds” of civilians “massacred” at No Gun Ri will continue despite all the evidence saying otherwise.

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  • Mark
    1:40 pm on August 30th, 2007 1

    They'll find bone fragments in the beef sooner or later.

  • Mike McStay
    2:54 pm on August 30th, 2007 2

    Well, as you earlier stated, when have facts ever stood in the way of the perceived truth.

  • jion999
    10:43 pm on August 31st, 2007 3

    “Despite all the evidence against it, the term “hundreds” is still commonly used by the media, such as in this latest Yonhap article, when no evidence can be produced to support this outside of the claims of the Korean witnesses.”

    The excuse of GI Korea san for this controversy sounds like the one Japanese makes for Nanking Massacre or comfort women.

    Because Japanese used to suffer the accusation of Koreans and Chinese to overstate the number of victims so often, we know the next step Koreans would take.


    They would criticize Americans for destroying the remains and evidences of No Gun Ri massacre after Korean War and ask for showing the evidences and apologizing for America’s war crimes.

    First of all, they are not interested in analyzing the truth of the controversy itself.

    They just like to criticize someone without evidences for their victimization and nationalism.

  • Surabol
    11:35 pm on August 31st, 2007 4

    Well, I think even most Japanese will agree that Nanking massacre happened. The rape, murder, the who enchilada. The only point of dispute is the extent of the damage. I do believe the Chinese exeggerate the event and the number of the dead. They manipulated photos and even staged certain shots. But there are overall strong evidence that criminalizes Japan over Nanking.

    No Gun Ri might be a little different. They say 700 people were shot down, but according to the blog here, the latest excavation failed to recover even a single bone or remains. Even an aerial photo taken the day after found no bodies underneath the bridge.

  • jion999
    6:08 pm on September 1st, 2007 5


    "the latest excavation failed to recover even a single bone or remains."

    It would not be persuadable for illogical Koreans because they started to criticize Americans without evidences in the first place.

    When Japanese insisted that there was no evidence that Japanese government ordered to coerce Koreans women to be comfort women, they said Japan was hiding the evidences.

    It means they started to criticize Japan without concrete evidence.

    I know the controversy of No Gun Ri would not end even if they found there were no remains there.

    They criticize Americans because they hate Americans.

    No Gun Ri is just excuse for them to criticize US.

    Korean’s anti-US sentiment is similar to anti-Japan sentiment.

    They are twins of Korea’s nationalism and jingoism.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    12:06 pm on September 2nd, 2007 6

    I have heard both sides of the story about Nanking but have not studied it very closely so I will just say that I don't want No Gun Ri to be in anyway linked to Nanking.

    A tragedy did happen at No Gun Ri what I'm disputing is the motivations of the soldiers, the sequence of events, and the body count mythology. Most veterans put the body count around 10-15 I can't find a scenario where it could have exceeded 50. The fact nothing was found tends to suggest that 50 is probably even too high of a number now and the lower number from the veterans is probably the most accurate.

  • jion999
    8:06 am on September 3rd, 2007 7

    GI Korea

    The point is the reason why they hate Americans and Japanese only which are very friendly countries to Korea?
    Why they don’t criticize Russia which divided Korean peninsula with US?
    Why they don’t criticize China which had conquered Korea for hundreds years and invaded Korea during Korean War?

    I think this fact shows very interesting mentality of Koreans.
    I hope you would make a new thread to analyze about this question some day.

  • jion999
    12:53 am on September 3rd, 2007 8

    GI Korea

    I said such kind scientific study about number of casualties in No Gun Ri doesn't work to Koreans.

    Even if you succeed to deny No Gun Ri massacre completely with so many evidences, they will find another fault of Americans and continue to criticize US.

    Katsura-Taft agreement, Division of Korean peninsula, Korean comfort stations called "Texas" for American GIs, crimes of GIs…..

    There are so many topics they could use to criticize US.

    They can use anything to criticize US if they have an intention to do so with any kind of efforts.


    Criticizing foreigners and pretending to be victims…..

    It is their style to show their nationalism.

    Even the traffic accident of GI was called "massacre" in Korea and so many malicious stories were fabricated. You know.

    I know you love Korea.

    Korea must be your second mother country.

    However, it is not easy to treat Korea's jingoism.

    It is not the matter of logic.

  • Dan
    5:23 am on September 3rd, 2007 9


    I see your point on who the koreans pick to critcize. I like to explain it with the "PC" Effect. Russia and China would not care what korea said about them. So for Korea it would be a waist of breath. Now US and to a lesser extent Japan, really do care what is said, so in this way korea gains a foot hold with the "victim" card. If US was as evil as korea seems to proclame, well they would be too frightened to say a word about it. They would pay US money not to hurt them and keep mouth shut. But US is victim of "PC" mentality, and therefore can be easily pushed around with words. The koreans not only know this, but depend on it. When I was in korea in the 90s a korean friend refered to US as a "paper Tiger". For better or worse, depending on your outlook, Iraq changed that. Now US is warmonger.

    Glad you brought that up.

  • jion999
    12:46 pm on September 3rd, 2007 10



    Very good explanation about the mentality of Koreans.

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