|Location||Sinchon, North Korea|
|Date||17 October 1950 - 7 December 1950|
|Deaths||30,000, one fourth of Sinchon population|
The Sinchon Massacre (Korean: 신천 양민학살 사건, Hanja: 信川良民虐殺事件, Sinchon civilian Massacre) was a mass murder of civilians between 17 October and 7 December 1950, in or near the town of Sinchon, during the outbreak of the Korean War. It is widely acknowledged that many civilians died during the war, but the reasons for this are debated. Sinchon is currently part of South Hwanghae Province, North Korea.
North Korean claim
North Korean sources claim that approximately 35,000 people were killed by American military forces and other supporters during the course of 52 days, which would have been about a quarter of the population of the county. Jack Willey of The Militant claimed that according to "Ri Song Jin, a witness to the massacre, imperialist forces tortured many Korean patriots in the basement of the Sinchon church at the beginning of the occupation, then buried the dead and near-dead bodies in a trench." The Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities was established in 1958 and displays remains and belongings of those who are claimed to have been killed in the incident.
In a report prepared in Pyongyang, the non-governmental but allegedly Communist-affiliated International Association of Democratic Lawyers lists several alleged incidents of mass murder by U.S. soldiers, and claims that the massacre was overseen by a General Harrison or Halison, an apparent reference to William Kelly Harrison. Their report claims that Harrison took photos of the massacre. There is no evidence to confirm their testimony, and Harrison was reportedly shocked by the claim. Other reports also concluded there was no Harrison in the area at the time, and that it was either a pseudonym or a false claim.
The Institute for Korean Historical Studies, summarized in a Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation report, concluded that both Communists and anti-Communist vigilantes were engaging in wholesale slaughter throughout the area, and that the 19th Infantry Regiment took the city and failed to prevent the secret police that came with them from perpetuating the civilian murders, but did not participate themselves. Furthermore, when Communists retook the city, the population was again purged. Other sources have concluded that the "massacre" was caused by a local rivalry that used the fog of war as a pretense.
- Jong-yil Ra "Governing North Korea. Some Afterthoughts on the Autumn of 1950". Journal of Contemporary History Vol. 40, No. 3 (Jul., 2005), pp. 521–546 doi:10.1177/0022009405054570
- List of massacres in North Korea
- List of massacres in South Korea
- Massacre in Korea, a painting by Pablo Picasso, depicting the Sinchon massacre
- Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities
- "< 북에서의 6.25 `미군만행' 확인될까 >". JoongAng Daily. 2001-05-16. Retrieved 2012-08-03.(Korean)
- The Militant - May 20, 2002 - Sinchon massacre by U.S. military exposed
- Past news
- Report on U.S. Crimes in Korea
- Facts Forum vol. 4, no. 6 (1955), p. 5
- Review: Hwang Sok-yong, The Guest (Seven Stories Press, 2005)