Newspaper: Army Confirms No Gun Ri

ByABC News
December 6, 2000, 12:38 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, Dec. 6 -- An Army investigation has found that American soldiers panicked and fired into a group of unarmed refugees near the hamlet of No Gun Ri in the early days of the Korean War, but it did not find conclusive evidence that they had orders to kill thecivilians, a newspaper reported.

The story, in todays edition of The Washington Post, saidmilitary investigators were unable to determine how many civiliansperished in the incident at a railroad bridge in late July 1950.

The Pentagon report, a year in preparation, would be the firstformal acknowledgement by the U.S. military of its involvement inthe massacre at No Gun Ri, The Post said. Military officials hadpreviously denied the involvement of American troops.

The report, based on more than 100 interviews and a review ofmore than a million pages of documents, is expected to be releasedin the next six weeks, and could come sooner, depending on talks inSeoul, the paper said.

A Pentagon spokesman was not immediately available to comment onthe report of the Army findings.

Questions of Responsibility

Former Rep. Pete McCloskey, R-Calif., a member of an eight-member civilian advisory panel to the Pentagon inquiry, confirmed that the Armys draft report says there is no evidence that orders were given to fire on the refugees at No Gun Ri. Hesaid he disagreed with that conclusion and urged a revision.

We have seen statements from one officer and nine enlisted menat No Gun Ri who referred to those orders, McCloskey said.Unless the Army has information we have not yet seen, I cantunderstand how they reached their conclusion.

Three other members of the panel, reached by The AP, declined tocomment.

Defense Secretary William Cohen ordered the Army inquiry afteran AP report a year ago told of the shooting of many civilians byAmerican GIs at the hamlet during a chaotic retreat southward frominvading North Korean forces.