NATIONAL

Professor condemns U.S. military`s role in Korean War

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  • Published : Apr 6, 2010 - 12:29
  • Updated : Apr 6, 2010 - 12:29
A Korean professor`s Web-based newspaper column is causing controversy after he wrote on Wednesday that without the U.S.`s intervention, the Korean War would have ended earlier and suffered fewer casualties.
Kang Jeong-ku, a sociology professor at Dongguk University, wrote on Internet that casualties during the Korean War were so high because U.S. military forces intervened unnecessarily with the civil war and slaughtered innocent civilians.
"If the U.S. had not have intervened in the civil war which was intended to unite the two Koreas ... the war would have ended in a month and the causalities would have reached less than 10,000," Kang wrote on the Daily Surprise.
During the war between 1950-53, about 1 million people were either killed or injured. Before the war, the South and North were separated after the U.S and the former Soviet Union took charge of each country.
In 2001, Kang was prosecuted on charges of violating the National Security Law after leaving a pro-North message in the visitor`s notes at Mangyeongdae, the birth home of former North Korea`s dictator Kim Il-sung. The 60-year-old professor was later released on bail.
Kang has also sided with left-wing activists who are calling for a statue of General Douglas McArthur, a U.S. forces leader during the Korean War, to be dismantled in the western port city of Incheon.
"MacArthur is not a person who saved Koreans` lives, but an enemy who snatched away Koreans` lives," Kang has said.
MacArthur led the Incheon landing on Sept. 15, 1950, which marked a crucial turning point in the war against North Korean troops.
The landing helped the U.S.-led Allied forces recapture Seoul and advance closer to the North Korea-China border before being pushed southward by invading Chinese troops.
But progressives say his aggressive push up the peninsula fueled the ultimate separation between North and South and caused chronic war casualties.
The statue of MacArthur has been a hot spot for demonstrators since anti-American sentiment surged following the death of two middle school girls who were killed by a U.S. armored vehicle in an accident.
In a show of gratitude to the American soldier, Koreans in the late 1950s erected the bronze statue of MacArthur in a central park at Incheon that overlooks the sea area through which his troops came ashore.
Progressives want its removal, saying it is a shameful symbol of the U.S military presence on the Korean Peninsula.
But, conservative groups call for protection of the statue, saying it represents the alliance of South Korea and the United States.
(hjjin@heraldcorp.com)

By Jin Hyun-joo