Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Wednesday, 22 March, 2000, 14:50 GMT
N Korea demands 'massacre' probe
Refugees flee Yongdong, scene of alleged US atrocities
North Korea has said the United Nations should investigate allegations that American troops massacred more than a million civilians and prisoners of war during the Korean conflict half a century ago.

In a memorandum carried by the official KCNA news agency, the communist state's Foreign Ministry called for "a special tribunal" to be set up to bring those responsible to justice.

The US aggressors herded innocent civilians into the air-raid shelter and set fire to it after pouring petrol over them

North Korean Foreign Ministry
It said that North Korea expected the world to co-operate "to thoroughly probe the truth" under international law, and demanded compensation and an apology from the United States.

"It is a commitment of the US as a criminal state to strictly punish those criminals who organised and commanded the mass killings or took part in them," said the memorandum.

It accused the US of using biological and chemical weapons along with indiscriminate air raids during the 1950-53 war.

The document cited as evidence an alleged massacre in Sinchon county, 100km (62 miles) south of Pyongyang.

"The US aggressors herded innocent civilians into the air-raid shelter and set fire to it after pouring petrol over them," it said.

War anniversary

Correspondents say North Korea has maintained for years that American soldiers carried out atrocities during the Korean War.

Cohen points towards North Korea at a US base near the demilitarised zone
US Defence Secretary William Cohen pledged support for the South last week
But they add that it has stepped up its attacks on Washington in recent months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities in June.

In the conflict, America led UN forces that fought with South Korea against North Korean invaders, who were backed by China and the former Soviet Union.

The US and its Southern ally are still technically at war with the North, although they maintain a fragile armistice.

Washington has some 37,000 military personnel stationed in South Korea and last week pledged continued military support.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Asia-Pacific Contents

Country profiles
See also:

18 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
US keeps military option in Korea
07 Jan 00 | Americas
US and North Korea to resume talks
13 Oct 99 | Americas
New strategy urged for North Korea
17 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
US eases Korea sanctions
13 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
North Korea's nuclear programme
03 Oct 99 | Americas
US tests new missile killer
18 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
South to 'end' Korean cold war
05 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Bid to bring peace to Korea
13 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: The trouble with North Korea
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories