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The Sinchon Massacre was an alleged mass murder of civilians, communist sympathizers and North Korean loyalists in the autumn of 1950, in or near the town of Sinchon, during the outbreak of the Korean War. Sinchon is currently located in South Hwanghae province, North Korea. 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[1]. Jack Willey of The Militant claimed that "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[2]." 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[3], and has been compared to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC[4]. Sharon Ayling of the Workers World newspaper writes that "There was well-documented evidence of 2,000 people pushed off the Sokdang Bridge, 1,000 women thrown into the Sowon Reservoir, 600 others found in the Pogu Reservoir, 1,200 stuffed in an icehouse and then burned to death. Over 900 people perished in an air-raid shelter when U.S. soldiers poured gasoline into the ventilation hole and ignited it."[5]

Actuality of the incident

The incident has been wholly or partly denied by many, as to the extent of the North Korean description. One source claims that although American forces killed civilians in the area, a company of South Korean president Syngman Rhee's secret police, headed by Kim San Ju, were involved in the incident, and murdered any communist sympathizers[6]. An article from Korea Today mentions a "General Harrison" as the "main culprit of the Sinchon massacre[7].

There are claims that the North Korean government exaggerated the incident and asserted magnified death statistics as a propaganda tool against the United States[4].

References

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