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Occurrence at Nogŭn-ri Bridge: An Inquiry into the History and Memory of a Civil War

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Abstract:

This inquiry begins with the American Civil War and then moves into an investigation of history and memory in the context of the Korean War, using the alleged massacre of Korean civilians in the vicinity of Nogŭn village (Yongdong country) as a focal point. The article describes the progressive political background of Yongdong county and argues that revelations about the Nogŭn-ri massacre must be seen against the backdrop of leftist activity and guerrilla warfare in an area that was long known as the "red county." Finding themselves facing "essentially a guerrilla war [fought] over rugged territory," the American military forces responded by creating a free-fire zone. The author links these free-fire operations with U.S. actions during the war in Vietnam and then explores how and why the U.S. government (with the complicity of the mainstream media) has buried stories about the murder of civilians and he weighs U.S. responsibility for these atrocities.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/146727101760107406

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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