Map of Silmido and the surrounding area.
Silmido is an uninhabited island next to Muuido Island in the Yellow Sea. Silmido is located in the west coast of South Korea. It has 0.25081km2 land area and 6 km circumference. It is 20 km from Incheon Metropolitan City of southwest and is about 5 km away from Incheon International Airport. Silmido is connected two times a day to Muuido as mud flat. Most of this island consists of mountains that are around 80m high.
Silmido became historically significant when it was used as the training ground of Unit 684 army group. On 1968, January 21, North Korea’s guerrillas infiltrated the border and reached till Segumjunggogae (Sinyeong-dong, Jongno-gu) of Seoul to attack the Blue House to assassinate the President Park Chung-hee. From this 1.21 state, the Central Intelligence Agency of South Korea built 209th Detachment, 2325th Group (unit 684- 1968. April) in revenge. At that moment, unit 684 members had to endure hellish training for 3years and 4months. However, during the training period, South Korean government decided to follow policy that ties the two countries. From that, Unit 684 members escaped Silmido to mutiny. However, they were invested by government troops in Youngdungpo-gu Daebang-dong. Then, Unit 684 group committed suicide in a stolen bus (they exploded grenades boom with gunshot, 4 members survive - Silmido state) on August 23rd 1971. After Silmido became a state, the island became hidden.
After the novel ‘Silmido’(1999) of Baek Dong-ho was published, Silmido became known. The movie ‘Silmido (film)’(2003) of Kang Woo-suk hit 10 million audiences, and Silmido’s history was known. Nowadays, even after the movie set is already gone, many people go this island to feel historical base.
Blue House Raid
On January 21, 1968, a group of 31 North Korean military soldiers was sent to South Korea by Kim Il-sung to kill President Park Chung-hee. A firefight began when the commandos were just 800 yards from the Blue House (the South Korean Presidential Palace). In all, 68 South Koreans were killed and 66 were wounded, including about two dozen civilians. Three or four Americans also died and three were wounded.
The assassination mission was subsequently cancelled. On 23 August 1971, for reasons which remain unclear, the members of Unit 684 revolted, killing most of their guards and making their way to the mainland where they hijacked a bus to Seoul. The bus was stopped by the Army in Daebang-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul and 20 members of the Unit onboard were shot or committed suicide with hand grenades. The 4 survivors were sentenced to death by a military tribunal and executed on 10 March 1972.
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