“U.S. Atrocities Are Not Things of the Past”

Interview with Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark (center), Brian Becker (left), Chairman of the U.S. Get Out Of Korea Committee, and Rev. Jong Gi Ryol (right)


What is the significance of the war crimes tribunal to be held in the U.S.?


During the 20th century, the Korean people have been forced to suffer severe agony by the U.S.

The Korean people were victims of atrocious crimes in the U.S.-launched Korean War from 1950 to 1953. In the three-year war, about 6 million Korean people were sacrificed, and 4 million of the total war dead were civilians, not combatants. Immoral massacres and indiscriminate napalm- or germ-bombing by the U.S. troops took their lives.

But the world knows only distorted facts about this, because mass media and major powers of the world have schemed to cover up the truth on a large scale for fear of the disclosure of facts about U.S. troops’ atrocities. So, we have an important duty to make public the truth of history.


What is your point of view on judging the U.S. forces’ war crimes?


We should take a correct viewpoint in investigating the atrocities committed by the U.S. troops. The U.S.’s systematic massacres started in September 2, 1945, the day when the U.S. forces landed on Inchon Port. The U.S. put protesters and communists in prison, tortured and, what is worse, killed them. Even after the conclusion of the armistice agreement in 1953, the U.S. stationed and continue to station its troops in south Korea, inflicting the pain of national division on the Korean nation up to now by, dividing the Korean Peninsula in two.

It is another aspect of the U.S.-committed barbarous acts that the U.S. has made military threats to and an economic blockade against the DPRK. The U.S. has persistently continued vicious propaganda, which labels Pyongyang and the people of the DPRK as “devils” to justify its aggressive Korean policy.

Why has the U.S., which desperately crushed communism in the Cold War era, still clung to vicious propaganda against the DPRK even after the end of the Cold War? This is because the U.S. is afraid of the main factor for the DPRK’s victory over severe trials imposed by the outside forces being made public.

Exaggerating a “threat” by the DPRK, the U.S. is now trying to force the DPRK to reduce its military force to half. But 37,000 strong U.S. forces are stationed in south Korea, and nuclear weapons are deployed in the whole area of south Korea. Which is the real threat? The answer is obvious.

During my visit to the DPRK, I could see the reality of the DPRK that all the people were advancing their way through many hardships and making a firm onward march toward a bright future.

We will show the people of the world what the DPRK really is as well as reveal the truth about the war crimes committed by the U.S.


How do you evaluate the U.S. Korean policy?


I am one of the persons who experienced for a long time the process of enforcement of the U.S.’s foreign policy. Historically, the U.S. committed bloody massacres often under the mask of a “liberator.” A hard-and-fast principle in analyzing the U.S.’s external policy is never to blindly accept what the U.S. says and does, and never to have any sweet visions of them.

With the AP report in 1999 on the Rogun-ri massacre, the world came to know that U.S. troops had committed a massacre of civilians in Rogun-ri, south Korea, during the Korean War. The then President Clinton said that he would do anything for the settlement of the Rogun-ri issue, but what changed? Nothing changed. Far from changing favorably, the situation is getting more serious after the Bush Administration was inaugurated. The DPRK-U.S. relations came to a standstill, in spite of the hope that the bilateral relations were expected to improve.


What is your opinion on the issue of the withdrawal of the USFK?


The U.S. has stationed its troops in south Korea, attaching strategic significance to the Korean Peninsula which is surrounded by China, Russia and Japan. No country can enjoy freedom or peace, if foreign troops continue to stay in it.

In the U.S., the Korean War is called “a forgotten war.” But, I think that Korean people can never forget the barbarous acts committed by U.S. forces. Searching for truth and reconciliation are closely related with each other. First, the U.S. should begin with recognizing the atrocities it committed, and then, it should put an end to barbarous crimes that still continue. This is really the best way for the U.S. to contribute to the reunification of Korea.

We should raise international public opinion to put pressure to make the U.S. withdraw from Korea. That is why we wage a campaign to accuse the U.S. of its war crimes and to tell the truth about its wartime massacres of civilians to the world.



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