Here is a story in the Stars & Stripes about former residents of Wolmi-do Island in Incheon wanting compensation for their losses during the Korean War:
Every September, thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops and veterans gather at this port city for pomp-filled ceremonies, speeches and even re-enactments, marking the anniversary of the Incheon Landing, a daring amphibious assault that became the turning point in the Korean War.
But not Jeong Ji-eun, a quiet 68-year-old taxi driver whose father was killed when U.S. pilots strafed their village on Wolmi Island in the days before the Sept. 15, 1950, attack, hoping to clear out the North Korean forces embedded there.
“Who can celebrate someone’s family’s death?” he said.
The U.S. believed the attack on the island, which had been taken over by some 400 North Korean troops, was critical to the success of the invasion a few days later. Had the Incheon Landing not succeeded, some historians believe that U.N. forces could have lost the war.
More than 60 years later, Jeong and 160 others who used to live on Wolmi Island are suing the South Korean government for compensation for property their families lost in the bombing.
Also named in the lawsuit are the city of Incheon, whose boundaries include the island; the United States; and the United Nations, which oversaw the international coalition that fought the North Koreans and Chinese forces.
The lawsuit, filed in Incheon District Court in February, asks that about $2,750 be awarded to each of the 44 households represented in the suit, though some islanders say they might ask for more. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read much more at the link but the claimants want land on Wolmi-do returned to them as well and if not to be compensated with money, houses, or apartments instead. I first reported on this story last year when the Hankyoreh was busy hyping claims made by the Korean Truth & Reconciliation Commission who are notorious for their sloppy historical research that is likely politically motivated.
First of all let me just say it is horrible what happened to the effected people, but it is important to remember that they are just a small group of an overall group of millions of more Korean civilians that were adversely effected by the Korean War. If they want compensation they should lodge their lawsuit against North Korea who initiated the war in the first place. If it wasn’t for North Korea there would be no US planes needed to bomb Wolmi-do to dislodge them from the island.
While were on the subject of the pilots let discuss a few key fact that are important to remember. During the Korean War pilots had poor maps, poor on the ground intelligence, especially during the opening months of the war, as well as no smart bombs like the US military has today. So even if they knew exactly where a target was there was still a high likelihood that some of the bombs would miss it. Even today with precision smart bombs even they sometimes miss their target. Then you throw in the fact that the North Koreans often disguised themselves as civilians and the UN forces were in a desperate do or die situation and you have a perfect storm of circumstances that led to so many civilian casualties during the Korean War due to air strikes.
So should the US military have not bombed the North Koreans during the Korean War and risked losing the entire country? If you are in the Korean Truth & Reconciliation Commission you have to wonder if some of those people are disappointed that the North Koreans didn’t win the war. Anyway does anyone know if any Europeans sued the US government over the D-Day Landings?
Anyway like I said before these claimants should sue the North Korean government and then through available legal means seek compensation through assets seized from North Korea.
Finally, you can see pictures I took of Wolmi-do here. I have been there a few of times and have never seen these protesters. Has anyone else ever seen them?