ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

Atrocities committed by American soldiers against Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War have once again become an issue of public debate in the United States, yet similar actions by South Korean troops fighting America's war in Vietnam remain virtually unknown in the West. The Republic of Korea (ROK) dispatched more than 300,000 combat troops to Vietnam between 1965 and 1973, but after decades of enforced silence by successive authoritarian governments, Koreans have only recently begun to grapple with the ambiguous legacy of the Vietnam War for South Korea. In the spring and summer of 2000, testimonies in the South Korean media by Korean veterans of the Vietnam War revealed for the first time detailed, extensive accounts of Korean atrocities against Vietnamese civilians. These revelations, and the controversy they triggered within South Korea, bring into bold relief the role of Koreans in America's Vietnam War and the role of the Vietnam War in the political and economic development of South Korea.
AMERICAS KOREA,
KOREAS VIETN AM
Ch arle s K . Armstrong
Atrocities committed by American soldiers against Vietnamese civilians during the
Vietnam War have once again become an issue of public deb ate in the United States,
yet similar actions b y South Korean troops fighting America’s war in Vietnam remain
virtu ally unknown in the West. The Republic of Korea (RO K) dispatched more than
300 ,000 combat troops to Vietnam between 1 965 and 1973 , but after decades of en-
forced silence by successive authoritarian governments, Koreans have only recentl y
begun to grapple with the ambiguous legacy of the Vietnam War for Sou th Korea. In
the spring and summer of 2000, testimonies in the South Korean media by Korean
veteran s of the Vietnam War revealed for the first time detailed, extensive accounts
of Korean atrocities against Vietnamese civilian s. These revelations, and the contro-
versy they triggered w ithin South Korea, bring in to bold relief the role of Koreans in
America’s Vietnam War and the role of the Vietnam War in the political and economic
development of South Korea.
We cannot sit idly by and assume the att itud e of onloo ker
while our ally f alls prey t o Communis t aggression
as if it were a blazing fire on the other bank of the river.
— President Park Chung Hee, 9 February 19 65
We must fight the enemy in Vietnam as we d o in K orea.
Our ef forts must be directed tow ard the exterminat ion
of the Communists, reestablis hment of peace,
and reconstructio n of Vietnam.
— Lt. Gen eral Lee Sae-Ho, commander,
Repu blic of Korea Forces in Vietnam, 1 May 196 6
Cr i ti cal Asi an Stu die s
33: 4 ( 2001) , 5 2 7 -5 3 9
ISSN 1467-2715 print / 1472-6033 online / 04 / 000527-13 ©2001 BCAS, Inc.
Before it w as even halfw ay over, 2001 turned out to be a remarkable year for re-
viving repressed memories of America’s w ars in East Asia. In January, the Penta-
gon concluded its fifteen-m onth i nvestigation o f the alleged massac re of Korean
civilians near N og5n-ri (Nog5n vill age) in July 195 0.1Although the Pentagon re-
port concluded that the U.S. militar y did not bear ultimate respon sibili ty for the
massacre — a conclusion that w as less than satisfying to many, not least th e sur-
vivors of the Nog5n-ri kill ings and the victims’ families2— still the army was
forced for the first tim e since the war ended in 1953 to admit that in the earl y
stages of the war “ signi ficant n umbers of Korean ci vilians” were ki lled or in jured
by U.S. forces in the vicinity of Nog5n-ri. The Korean War, in other words, was
beginning to resemble what the Vietnam War would be in a later period. Then,
in April 2001, the New York Times Sunday Magazine carried a cover story about
an alleged massacre of Vietnamese civilians by a Navy Seals team led b y former
U.S. senator Bob Kerrey, in 19 69.3Along with a television interview with Kerrey
and other members of his platoon on the “60 Minutes” news program, the
newspaper story touched off a stream of commentari es in the U.S. media, the
likes of w hich have not been seen in many years, over the nature of, and the
blame to be apportioned for, America’s conduct in Vietn am.
Meanwhile, in a development virtually un mentioned in the Western press,
South Korea has been facing oddly parallel revelation s of its own. In fact, Kore-
ans have been closely fol lowing the i nvestigation of the Nog5n-ri massacre. Ko-
rea’s Mi nistry of National Defense (MND) has undertaken its ow n investigation
of Nog5n-r i in cooperation w ith the Pentagon team (and is reaching identical
528 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
“Between 1965 and 1973 the Republic of Korea (ROK) contributed a cumulative total of
more than 300,000 combat troops to the American war effort.” ROK troops on parade in
Vietnam, 1968. (Source: The ROK Army in Vietnam: Six Years of Peace and Construction, Seoul)
concl usions).4But while this has been going on, South Korean media have for
the first time reported detailed, eyewitness accounts of atrocities against Viet-
namese civilians committed by South Korean sol diers fighting America’s war in
Vietnam in the late 1960s. If the alleged massacre of civilians at N og5n-ri made
the Korean War seem more like the Vietnam War than many Americans w ould
otherwise have believed, So uth Korea has n ow begun to grapple with its own
lon g-suppressed memo ries of Vi etnam. These revelations are largely the result
of reporting done by the progressive South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh
Sinmun.
Hanky oreh Sinmun was born amid th e democratic struggles again st South
Korea’ s military regime in the 198 0s as a cri tical and much-persecuted under-
grou nd al ternative to the gover nment-cont rolled ma ss media. W ith the op ening
up of South Koreas media in the aftermath of General Chun Doo Hwan’s fall
from power in 1987, Hanky oreh Sinmun’s circulation increased till the dai ly
new spaper became the fo urth largest in the countr y. Along w ith its sister week ly,
Hanky oreh 21, the daily n ew spaper has been a consisten t voice for democrati-
zation and an unsparing critic of authoritarian govern ment and the big-business
conglomerates, or chaebol. Last spring, Hankyoreh Sinm un and Hankyoreh 21
began an exclusive investigation of atrocities by Republic of Korea (ROK) mi li-
tary in Vietn am, a subject widely know n in South Korean society but one whose
detai ls had long been denied or suppressed by successive ROK governments.
The most sensational and exten sively detailed report w as based on the testi-
mon y of retired colonel Kim Ki-t’ae, former commander of the Seventh Com-
pany, Second Battalion, of the elite ROK “Blue Dragon” Marine Brigade. N ow in
his early sixties, Kim testified to Hanky oreh in April 2000 that as a thirty-
one-year-old li eutenant he had overseen the bru tal murder of twenty-ni ne un-
armed Vietnamese youth in Quang Ngai Province on 14 November 1966. 5His
story turned out to be the tip of the iceberg; subsequ ent testimony by South Ko-
rean veterans revealed in graphic detail the horrors, still largely u nknown i n the
West, of Korea’s participation in America’s w ar in Vi etnam.
Kim Ki-t’ae testified that from 9 to 27 November 1966, th e First, Second, and
Third Battalions of the Blue Dragon M arine Brigade carried out “Operati on
Drago n Eye,” a campaign to mop up Viet Cong (VC) resistance in their area of
operations in central Vietnam. On 10 November, the Sixth Company of the Sec-
ond Battalion came under fire near the village of An Tuyet, although they su f-
fered no casual ties. Four days later, with memories of this attack fresh in their
min ds, the Seventh Comp any came upon twenty-nine Vietnamese men in a ri ce
field. The Kor eans arrested the men as susp ected VC gu errillas and tied them to-
gether by the w rists as the y searched for w eapons . Find ing no weapo ns in t he vi-
cini ty, the Korean troops were left with the choice of releasing the prisoners or
han ding th em over to the Arm y of the Repu blic of Vi etnam (ARVN). T his was the
last day of the first stage of Operation Dragon Eye. On 15 N ovember the ROK
forces involved in th e operati on w ere sup posed to hand over con trol of the area
to the South Vietnamese Army, w hich the Koreans held in low regard. Releasing
suspected VC to ARVN was tantam ount to aiding the enemy, as far as many of the
Korean soldiers w ere concerned. They felt that there was a high probability that
Arms tron g/Ameri ca’ s Kore a, Korea’ s Vietn am 529
the men would escape, regroup, and cause more troubl e. The Koreans were ex -
hausted from six days of jungle fighting, their uniforms torn, faces pain ted black
with camouflage, an d Operation Dragon Eye had yet to show any significant re-
cord of VC casualties. “What do we d o w ith these bastard s?” a platoon com -
mander asked Kim.
“Drag them over there!” was Kim’s answer. The Vietnamese men, still bound
together by ro pe, were thrown into a bom b crater that had been left b y an Amer-
ican F4 fig hter atta ck. The hol e measured some 8 me ters wi de by 4 meters deep .
The Koreans stepp ed back and threw gren ades i nto the crater, spl attering blood
and flesh into the ai r. When they were finished, moans of the living cou ld still be
heard emerging from the hole. The Koreans shouldered their rifles an d fired
into the crater, ensuring that all were dead .
As comp any commander — the highest-ranking field officer among the Ko-
rean troops in Vietnam — Kim was acutely aw are of his direct responsibility for
the action he recoun ted. As he told the Hankyoreh Sinmun, “Tens of people
lived or died according to m y orders. If I said, ‘Release them! Don’t kil l them!
they w ould live, but if I said, ‘Hey, you sons of bitches, why are you crawling
arou nd?’ they would be taken off and killed. Those twenty-nine w ere the same.
But now that I think about it, they w ere just farmers. Still, as Kim explained, in
words strikingly reminiscent of American testimonies about Nog5n-ri and the
Ameri can w ar in Vietnam itself, “Vietnam was a guerrilla w ar. We couldn’t dis-
crim inate between VC and non-VC. Civilians were aiding VC in VC villages, hit-
tin g us on the b ack of t he head. ” Kim also revealed that a m onth earli er, on 9 Oc-
tober 1966, most of the population of Binh Tai village in the Phuoc Binh distr ict
— sixty-eight men, women, and children — were massacred by ROK troops,
who set fire to the villagers’ homes and shot them when they fled the burni ng
bui ldings. In unified Vi etnam, there is now a mon ument in Phuoc B inh t o the ci-
vilians massacred by the South Koreans.
If the Korean War is a “forgotten war ” in the United States, the Vietnam War is
a forgotten, even forcibly suppressed, experience in South Korea. For Ameri-
cans, the massi ve participation of South Korean tro ops in the U.S. w ar effort in
Vietnam i s a doubly forgotten event. Few Americans are even aware that Korea
had its, or rather our, “Vietnam.” The legacies of the Vietnam War for South Ko-
reans soun d quite familiar to Americans, including post-traumatic stress syn-
drome, thousands of half-Vietnamese chil dren fathered and abandoned by Ko-
rean soldiers and civilians, and the horri fic effects of Agent Orange, for w hich
ROK veterans have been trying since 1994, so far unsuccessfull y, to sue the U.S.
government and the chemical m anufactur ers for compensation. But w hile in
the Un ited States the Vietnam War trigger ed open and sometimes violent de-
bate, debate on the Vietnam War in South Korea was silenced by the successive
mil itary regimes an d has only become a matter of limited public discussion in
the last ten years. This silence w as partly the result of the South Korean govern-
ment’s attempt to su ppress anything that might up set ROK-U.S. relation s, partly
due to sensitivity over South Korea’ s financial gain from the w ar, and partly a re-
flection of embarrassment about bei ng on the losing side — especially after
years of glowin g propaganda during the Vietnam War itself about the rightness
530 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
of Korea’s partici pation in it and the
cooperative sp irit between the Ko-
rean forces an d the South Vietnam-
ese people.
When the ROK sent its “expedi-
tion ary forces” to Vietnam in the late
196 0s, the action was portrayed in
the South Korean media as a noble
defense of freedom against commu-
nist aggression, welcomed by the
South Vietnamese.6Strict media cen-
sorship in the ROK until the late
198 0s ensured that this interpreta-
tion of Korea’s Vietnam War experi-
ence would hold. Even in the war
mem orial established in Seoul in
199 4, the display on ROK forces in
Vietnam adheres to this relentlessly
positive representation of South Ko-
rea’s Vietnam venture. As recently as
May 1 995, then South Korean minis-
ter of education Kim Suk-hui was re-
moved from her post for referring to
the Kor ean War as a “civil w ar” and to
South Korean soldiers in Vietnam as
“mercena ries.” Only in the 1 990s did
public discussion about the ambigu-
o u s l eg a cy o f K or e a ’ s Vi e tn a m
emerge in South Korea. The growing
pop ular consciousn ess of the war is
evident in the form of novels, films,
and a slow trickle of infor mation
from the mass media and a rel uctant Ministry of National Defense.
Amid this wave of information and debate about Korea’s Vietnam, the com-
plexity and significance of the Vietnam War for the Republic of Korea has come
to light in an unpreced ent ed degree, and the connection betw een Vietnam and
Korea’ s political an d economic development is becoming increasingl y clear.
The common understanding, particularly in the United States, of the Vietnam
War in terms of the global cold war or U.S.-Vietnamese relations, has ten ded to
obfu scate the sign ificance of Vietnam w ithin the East Asian region. Perhaps
most importantly for South Korea, the Vietn am War is responsible, in no small
measure, for the Korean econ omic “miracle” of the 1960s to the 1990 s.
Betw een 19 65 and 1973 the Republic of Korea contributed a cumulative total
of more than 300,000 combat troops to the American war effort, second only to
the United States itself and far exceeding all other Allied contributions com-
bin ed. At its peak in 196 7, the ROK troop presence in Vietnam was just over
Arms tron g/Ameri ca’ s Kore a, Korea’ s Vietn am 531
Disabled Vietnamese survivor of an attack by
ROK troops that killed forty in her village in
1966. (Credit: Hankyoreh 21, 27 April 2000)
50,000.7According to official South Korean statistics, not released until 1991,
4,6 87 ROK soldiers were killed and some 8,0 00 w ou nded in the Vietnam War.8
South Korean President Park Chung Hee’s decision to com mit ROK combat
troops to assist the Americans in Vietnam in the mid-19 60s was not without pre-
ceden t. As earl y as January 195 4, th e South Korean govern ment un der Syngman
Rhee vol unteered, through a communication with the U.S. ambassador to th e
ROK, to send a combat division to rel ieve the French in Vietnam and Laos.9The
Eisenhower admi nistration turned d own Rhee’s un solicited offer, in part be-
cause of fear of provoking Chi na and North Korea at a time when the ROK itself
was thought by the Americans to be unstable and militarily vulnerable. How-
ever, after General Park’s coup i n 1961 and the establishment of a more stable
mil itary government in 1963, coinciding with the escalation of the U.S. pres-
ence in Vietnam, the perception of the American planners changed. Despite
criti cism by opposition politicians an d the domestic media, Park again volun-
teered South Korean troops to fi ght for the Americans in Vietnam , and this time
the Americans agreed. ROK involvement began in September 1964 w ith a co n-
tingent of some one hundred an d thirty mem bers of a Mobi le Army Surgical
Hospital (MASH) and a group of ten Taekwondo instructors; thirteen m onths
later, Sou th Korea sen t its fir st full divis ion of co mbat tr oops to Vietn am, con sist-
ing of fifteen thousand m embers of the Capital (“Fierce Tiger” ) Division and five
thou sand members of the Blue Dragon Mari ne Di vision.10
ROK assistance to the U.S. effort was based in part on political reciprocity: the
Johnson administration under its “More Flags” campaign sought to i ntern atio na liz e
532 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
Korean National Cemetery, Seoul. Kim Ki-t’ae, former commander of the Seventh Com-
pany, Second Battalion, of the elite ROK “Blue Dragon” Marine Brigade, bows before the
grave headstone of a fellow ROK soldier who was killed in Vietnam. Kim revealed the
“horrible acts” committed by his troops in Vietnam. (Credit: Hankyoreh 21, 27 April 2000)
the war, gi ving the war the appearance of an al lied effort rather than a unilateral
U.S. action . In exchange, Park Chung Hee w on renewed U.S. backin g for his un-
pop ular dicta torship an d a contin ued American troop commi tment. B ut the p ri-
mary motivation for ROK participation, and perhap s its greatest long-term ben-
efit to South Korea, was economic.
Vietnam was a goldmine for South Korea. A decade earlier, Japanese p rime
min ister Yoshida Shigeru had called the Korean War “a gift fro m the gods” for
stimulating economic development in postwar Japan; without the Korean War,
it is unlikely that the U.S. occupation would have ended as early as it did or that
the Japanese economy would have taken off as d ramatical ly. Similarly, the Viet-
nam War spurred th e South Korean economy and helped su stain the Park dicta-
torship. Sou th Korea’ s economic takeoff in the mid-1960s would not have been
possible without the profits gai ned by fighting for the United States in Vietnam.
War-related income in the form of direct aid, military assistance, procurements,
and soldiers’ salaries amounted to over $1 billion. In 1967 alone war-rel ated in-
come accounted for nearly 4 percent of South Korea’s GNP and 20 percent of its
foreign exchange earnings. In particu lar, South Korea’s emergent heavy-indus-
try sector — steel, transportation equipment, chemical ex ports, an d the like —
was given an enormous and invaluable boost by the Vietnam War.11 Major South
Korean companies that to ok off during the w ar are now household names, in-
cluding Hyundai, Daew oo, and Hanjin , the parent company of Korean Airlines.
Park’s first five-year plan for Korean economic developm ent was mapped out
with Vietnam in mind; the w ar, for example, largely paid for the construction of
South Korea’s first exp ressway, the Seoul-Pusan highway, built between 1968
and 1970. 1 2
As is w ell kn ow n b y observers of and participants in the Vietnam War, ROK
soldiers in Vietn am gained a reputation for harsh, ferocious, even b rutal behav-
ior. This fact w as not lost on the American force commanders, who could criti-
cize ROK behavior w hile acknowledging its usefulness. For example, U. S. forces
comm ander Gen eral Creighton Abrams, comparing the Allied w ar effort to an
orchestra, once said that the Koreans play only one instrument — the bass
drum.13 Th e ROK area of operati on s extend ed along the coast from Cam Ranh
Bay in the south to Qui N hon in the north, and the ROKs (pronounced “Rocks”)
were viewed with a measure of resp ect and even fear by the Americans, who
rarel y mingl ed with the Ko rean troops but wer e happ y to send them to take care
of the tougher tasks of pacification. ROK officers in Vietnam included future
presidents Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo, and it was soldiers hardened by
comb at i n Vietnam who l ed the bloody suppression of the Kwangju u prising in
South Korea in M ay 1980, as General Chun consolid ated his grip on power.
Evidence about the brutality of RO K troops in Vietnam remains lar gely an ec-
dotal, and there has been until now no systemati c investigation of atrocity
claims i n Korea. Th e Hankyoreh Sinmun series of articles on the Vietn am War
was not only the first large-scale j ournalistic treatment of th e subject in Korea,
but also the first Korean attempt to corroborate stories of ROK atrocities
thro ugh investiga tion in Vietn am itself. Kim Ki-t’ae’ s story of sixty-ei ght civi lians
killed by So uth Korean soldier s in October 1966, for ex ample, w as confirmed by
Arms tron g/Ameri ca’ s Kore a, Korea’ s Vietn am 533
aHanky oreh Sinmun in vestigation in Ph uoc Bi nh. B ut even as a necdotes, man y
of the atrocity stories show considerabl e and revealing con sistency. For exam-
ple, an oft-told story is that ROK soldiers regularly cut off ears and/or noses of
VC to keep a record of the nu mber of enemy killed; ear-cutting scenes occu r no
less than four times in the film version of Ahn Jung-hyo’s Vietnam War novel
White Badge. Kim Ki-t’ae, in his testimony to Hankyoreh Sinmun, confi rms that
the Koreans took the noses and ears of VC victims home as souven irs. Although
this was apparently sometimes done by Americans in Vietnam as w ell, s ystem-
atic slicing of ears and noses is strikingly remi niscent of the Jap anese practi ce of
removing the ears of K orean victims durin g the Hideyoshi invasions of the
159 0s. A mound of what are sai d to be Korean ears from these invasi ons remains
a tourist attraction near Kyoto, called the “Grave of Ears” (Mimizuka). There is
no evidence that Korean sol diers were deliberatel y mimicking this an cient Japa-
nese practice — somethin g that would have been richly ironic given the history
of Korean-Japanese relations — but Hideyoshi’s record of atrocities in Korea
was an established part of every ROK citizens’ history education. Other reports
claim that ROK soldiers removed the hearts of living victi ms, or flayed entire
skin s from killed VC to hang on the trees as warnings. While much research is
needed to confirm the extent and nature of Korean atrocities in Vietnam, the
ROK reputation for ferocity in the war is simply too well established and too
often repeated by Korean, Vietnamese, and American witnesses — to be
dismissed.
This ferocity may be explained by several factors: the experience of the Ko-
rean War and the nature of ROK military trai ning that shaped the Korean sol-
diers; the legacy of J apanese wartime imperialism; and the ambiguous racial
one m ight even say semi-colonial — position of the Korean soldiers placed be-
tween the Americans and the Vietn amese. First, the brutality of South Korean
troops i n Vietnam w as indi rectly a product of the brutality of the Korean War,
which killed upwards of 2 m illion Koreans. Many of the Korean civilian deaths
were the result of U.S. bombing, and not a few atrocities were committed by the
Nor th Koreans and the Chinese. Bu t the newl y formed ROK Arm y seems to have
been particularly indiscriminate, an d civilian casualties racked u p by ROK
troops d uring the three-month UN-U.S.-South Korean occupation of North Ko-
rea (September-December 1950) probably number in the hundreds of thou-
sands.14 Most of the ROKs in Vietnam had been young boys during the Korean
War and had seen at close range the in humanity of that civil conflict. E ducated
all their lives to consider “Reds” as less than human, such men were well-suited
for an anticommunist campaign of violence. The train ing of ROK frontline so l-
diers, partly because of th e South Korean military’s roots in the Japanese mili-
tary, was — an d to some extent remains — particularly harsh. Un til recen tly all
able-bodied South Korean men, w ith very few exceptions, w ere required to
serve in the military for nearly three years, and basic training was a fearsome or-
deal th at could sometimes be fatal. It is not difficu lt to imagine these young sol-
diers, in the co nfusing conditions o f w ar far from their homeland, few able to
speak French or English (mu ch l ess Vietnamese), losing their sen se of discrimi-
nati on an d control in combat.
534 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
A second, related reason for the Korean soldiers’ fierceness was the legacy of
Japanese col onial rule and wartime mo bilization. As historian H an Hong-koo
poi nted out in an editorial in Hankyoreh 21, the RO K ar my was directly de-
scend ed from the Jap anese military and its officers included Park Chung Hee, a
veteran of Japan’s anticommunist counterinsurgency campaigns in Manchuria
in the 1930 s.15 And, like Park an d other Koreans who fought for the Japanese in
their semicolony of Manchukuo, Koreans in Vietnam were fi ghting a war that
was n ot their own. They had no long-term commitment to Vietnam and had less
to lo se than the main occupying power; the Korean soldiers were there to get
the job done.”16 Furthermore, Japanese counterinsurgency w as, even as such
camp aigns go, a parti cularly harsh and unforgiving type of warfare. 1 7 By 1940
the Japanese had succeeded in brutally “pacifying” most of Manchuria, but cer-
tain ly di d not gain much love from the local popu lation in the process. Much
more than the Americans, the Korean officers who had com e of age in the Man-
churian antiguerrilla w ars were aware of the brutal nature of “su ccessful”
coun terinsurgency.
Finally, the Korean behavior can also be explained by the difficult interstitial
position of Koreans in a war w ith such glaring racial divides. The racist aspects
of the American War in Vietnam are w ell known and do not need to b e repeated
here; the Korean s looked like” the enemy and therefore had to doubly p rove
themselves as effective fighters in the eyes of the Am ericans. And, again as they
had i n the Jap anese empire, the Koreans occupied a position that could be
somewhat elevated in the ethnic scheme of things. Ju st as Koreans in Manchuria
were often seen by the Japanese as superior to the local Chinese but inferior to
their Japan ese masters in the 193 0s, so Koreans could beco me more than
“gook,” if not qu ite “white,” in th e eyes of the Americans in Vietnam.18 The nov-
elis t Hwang Suk-young, a veteran of the ROK Blue Dragon Marines in Vietnam,
ill ustrates this po int in hi s autobi ographical n ovel Shadow o f Arms. As an Ameri-
can criminal investigation officer and his Korean counterp ar t drive thro ugh the
streets of Da Nang, they carry on the following dialogue:
“You’re a Korean, aren’ t you? Your girl s are also nice. There were two Ko-
rean girls in the stri p show at the club last night. Both of them looked ex-
actly like American women.”
“You mean an American army club?”
“Yes, but Koreans can go there if they re working for investigation head-
quarters. No gooks, though.
“Who are gooks?”
“Vietnamese. They’re really fi lthy. But you’re like us. We’re the allies.19
The irony, of course, is that the term “gook” itself w as the most widely used
Ameri can pejorative for Koreans in the Korean War (although the term did not
originate at that time, as is often assumed; the term w as probabl y coined during
the U.S. war in the Phil ippines at the turn of the twentieth century). Fighting the
Ameri cans’ w ar, the Koreans fou nd themselves in the positi on of the Western
pow er in Asia, and they could see the “natives” from the Americans’ perspective
— a situation not unlike what Frantz Fanon described for the colonized black in
Africa: as “black skin, w hi te masks.”20 Perhaps w e can call this in the East Asian
Arms tron g/Ameri ca’ s Kore a, Korea’ s Vietn am 535
context yell ow skin, white masks”: the Koreans amb iguous and unstable posi-
tion between the “colonizer (the Americans) and the “colonized” (the Viet-
namese) encouraged an attitude tow ard the Vietnamese that could be even
mor e condescend ing and dehu manizin g than that o f the Ameri cans th emselves.
This helps to explain both the bru tality of Korean forces tow ard the Viet Cong
and the di sdain they felt toward the Army of the Republic of Vietnam .
After Kim Ki-t’ae’s testimony was published in April 20 00, several more Viet-
nam vets told Hankyoreh Sinmun about atrocities they had witnessed or partic-
ipated in. On e officer described an ROK massacre in Phung Nhi, Quang Nam
Province, in February 1968, as “a second My Lai” (although it occurred one
mon th before America’s My Lai massacre) an d said it also reminded him of
Nog5n-ri.21 These public, detailed accounts of atrocities have brought the dis-
cussion of the Vietnam War to a new level of awareness in South Korea. Al-
thou gh discussion of South Korean soldiers in Vietnam had been emerging in
ficti on and film sin ce the earl y 199 0s,2 2 Hankyoreh Sinmun w as the fi rst to b ring
to light eyewitness accoun ts of atroci ties. Some of the other media in South Ko-
rea over the past year-and-a-half have followed suit with their ow n published
stories of Korean brutality in th e Vietnam War.23
The mainstr eam South Korean media has had little to say about Hankyoreh
Sinmun’s s tories, and offi cial ci rcles ha ve strongly su ggested th at this sordi d his-
tory should be kept quiet. (As one MND General said to Hankyoreh Sinmun,
“Why bring this up after 30 years?”) The Ministry of National Defense d enies any
knowledge of the massacre, while one high-ranking ROK military official ex-
cused any such actions by ROK troops by saying that they “could not differenti-
ate innocent civilians from Viet Congs.24 The Mini stry of For eign Affairs and
Trade (MOFAT), meanwhile, has said that such revelations could damage warm-
ing economic and political relation s between the ROK and socialist Vietnam,
and they “would not be good for the 5,500 Korean compatriots l iving in Viet-
nam.”25 MOFAT also cautioned that “if accusations that our troops commi tted
atrocities in th e Vietnam War are made repeatedly, Seoul’s bargaining pow er in
the N og5n -ri talks with the U.S. will be weakened significantl y.”26 Accord ing to
this view, South Korean atrocities in Vietn am somehow cancel out American
atrocities in Korea.
The Hanky oreh Sinmun investigation did final ly get a pow erfu l public re-
sponse, however, when an irate group of “frien ds of the Korean military” de-
scend ed on the newspaper ’s offices in Seoul on 27 Jun e 2000. Several hundred
members of the “ROK War Veterans’ Association,” dressed in combat fatigues,
began a demonstrati on in front of Hanky oreh Sinmun’s headquarters in the
early afternoon . By 4:00 P.M., the mob w as chanting an gry slogans and throwing
rocks at the newspaper office’ s windows. Shortly before 5:00 P.M., the group
stormed the building, trashi ng offices, destroyin g computers and p rinting
equi pment, an d injur ing seve ral worke rs. In the p rocess the dem onstra tors al so
smashed twenty-one cars that happened to be parked in the n eighbourhood.27
Other than the Hanky oreh Sinm un itself, not a single Korean newspaper re-
ported the incident.
536 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
The ROK government, eager to cooperate with th e United States in the inves-
tigation of Nog5n-ri, has yet to make any attempt to look in to the actions of its
own troops in Vietnam. For its part, the Vietnamese government while forth-
comi ng with informatio n for Hankyo reh Sinmun’s reporters, has not sought to
make a public issu e of this history with the ROK government. Economic consid-
erations are undoubtedly an important factor here also. By the late 199 0s,
South Korea was Vietnam’s fou rth-largest trading partner and fifth-largest for-
eign investor, behind Japan an d ahead of the United States. The now-flou nd er-
ing Daew oo congl omerate, always eager to exploit “emerging markets,” built a
five-star hotel in Hanoi and has become the single-largest corporate investor in
Vietnam. When Pr esident Kim Dae Jung visited Vietnam for the Association of
Sou theast Asi an N ations su mmit i n Decemb er 19 98, he a lluded t o the w ar as “ an
unfortunate period in the p ast” and said that the two co untries shou ld “build
forw ard-l ooking relations.”28 But the past remains a painful memory for both
sides. Vietnamese survivors of South Korean atrocities have told their own
hair-raising stories to the Hankyoreh Sinmun. Most ROK Vietnam vets continue
to be margin alized and remain almost invisible in So uth Korean society. The es-
timated seven thousand Korean vi ctims of Agent Orange were not incl uded in
the 1984 class-acti on sui t that gave compensation to victims from the United
States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (and w ere certai nly not encouraged
to join the suit by then-president and Vietnam veteran Chun Doo Hwan).29
Abandoned Vietnamese children of Korean fathers, though not suffering the
same racial stigma as Amerasians fathered by American soldiers, are equally a
tragi c legacy of the w ar. Despite decades of forced amnesia in Korea, the truth of
Korea’ s Vietnam has begun to emerge into the l ight, revealing yet another dis-
turbing layer of the history of America’s w ars in Asia. This heretofore hidden his-
tory reminds us that Ameri ca’s Vietnam War, as unique and extraordinary as its
tragi c impact has been, is only one part of an East Asian regional conflict that
lasted three decades, from the 194 0s to the 1970s, and involved a score of gov-
ernm ents, millions of civilians, and h undreds of thousands of soldiers from
acros s the r egion. Man y detai ls of this thir ty-years’ wa r have yet to be u ncovered ,
but taken as whole thi s conflict has left behind a salient political and economic
legacy for today s East Asia, as well a host of difficult memories on both sides of
the Pacific that have yet to be resolved.
N ot es
1 For the full text of the Pentagon report online, see http://www.army/ mil/
nogu nri.
2. Responding to President Clinton’ s expression of “r egret” for the incident and
the U.S. gover nments offer to pay for a monument to the victims, some of the
Korean survivors responded, “We don’t need the scholarship and monu-
ment.…We want a more sincere apology, not a vagu e statement of regret, from
the U.S. government.” New York Times, 6 December 2000, A1.
3. Gregory L . Vistica, “What Happened in Thanh Phon g,” The New York Times
Magazine , 2 9 April 20 01.
4. K orea Update (Seoul), Januar y 2001, 1.
Arms tron g/Ameri ca’ s Kore a, Korea’ s Vietn am 537
5. Hankyoreh Sinmun, 19 April 2000, 1; Hankyoreh 21, 27 April 2000, 34-37.
6. In fact, the decision to send ROK troops to Vietn am w as w orked out solely be-
tween the United States an d South Kor ea, without con sulting the Republic of
Vietnam government in the matter. Tae Yang Kwak, “The Vietnam War and Ko-
rean National Development,” M.A. thesis (Harvard University, 1999), 26-27,
based on memoranda between William P. Bundy and President Lyndon B. John-
son, archived in the Johnson Library.
7. Robert M . Blackburn, Mercenaries and Lyndon Johnson’s “More Flags”: The
Hiring of K orean, Filipino and Thai S oldiers in the Vietnam War (Jefferson,
N.C.: McFarland and Co., 1994), 15 8. The second-largest non-U.S. foreign com-
bat force in Vietnam was the Australian contingen t, which peaked at 11,5 86 in
1970 – less than one-quarter the number of South Korean s that same year. ROK
government figures give the number of total troops deployed as 312,853 over
the eight-year period of South Korean combat activity in Vietnam. In addition,
some 16,000 South Korean civilians were employed in Vietnam during the war.
8. Cited in Ahn Junghyo, “A Double Exposure of the War,” in America’s Wars in
Asi a: A Cultural Approach t o History and Memory, ed. Philip West, Stephen I.
Levin e, and Jackie Hiltz (Armonk, N .Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1998), 166. Given the
large number of ROK troops in Vietnam and the dangerous field positions they
occup ied, this casualty figure seems suspiciously low. Nevertheless, this re-
main s the official ROK record of casualties. According to Sou th Korean MN D
stati stics as w ell, some 41 ,000 “V C” w ere kill ed by R OK troops, but this figure is
also difficult if not impossible to verify.
9. Dong-Ju Choi, “The Political Economy of Korea’s Involvement in the Second
Ind o-China War,” Ph.D. diss. (University of London, 19 95), 90; cited in Kwak,
“Vietnam War,” 9-10.
10. Kwak, “Vietnam War,” 19-20. Considering that almost an entire generation of
Americans were familiar with Korea primarily through the television show
“M .A.S.H.,” o stensibly set in the Korean War but r eally about the Vietn am War, it
may seem appropriate that the Koreans’ first direct involvement with the Viet-
nam War w ould be through a M ASH unit. The Capital Division would later, un -
der the command of General Roh Tae Woo, play a pivotal r ole in the 1979 C hun
Doo Hw an coup, and Roh would succeed Chun as ROK president in 1988.
11. Jung-en Woo notes that, even though exports to Vietnam in the late 19 60s
made up only 3 .5 per cent of South Korea’s total exports, Vietnam took in 94 .29
percent of ROK steel exports, 51.75 p ercent of its transp ortation equipment,
40.77 p ercent of its non-electric machinery, and 40.87 percent of its chemical
exports. See Jung-en Woo, Race to t he Swift: State and Finance in Korean In-
dustrialization (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990 ), 94-86. Without
Vietnam as a largely captive market for su ch goods in the 1960s, it is highly un-
likely that South Korea could have become so successful in these sectors in the
1970s and 1980s.
12. John Lie, Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea (Stanford:
Stanford University Press, 1998), 64.
13. Quoted in Harry G. Summers Jr., His torical Atl as of the Vietnam War (Boston:
Houghton Mifflin , 1995), 15 4.
14. Callum MacDonald, “‘So Terrible a Liberation’: The UN Occupation of North
Korea,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 23, no. 2 (Ap ril-June 19 91): 5-10;
Bru ce Cumings, The Origins of t he Korean War, vol. 2, The Roaring of the Cat a-
ract (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), 673-80.
15. Han Hong-koo, “Massacre Breeds Massacre,” Hankyoreh 21 , 4 Ma y 2000 , 26.
16. Dur ing World War II, Korean soldiers in the Japanese w artime empire had a
reputation for harshness not unlike that of the ROKs in Vietnam. Korean POW
guards in Southeast Asia, for example, were particularly well known for their
538 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
bru tality — as were Korean police in Manchuria. See Bruce Cu mings, Korea’s
Place in the S un: A Mod ern History (New York: Norton, 1997), 178.
17. It certain ly appears that U.S. military p lanners were looking at the Japanese
“success” in counterinsur gency to learn lessons for Vietnam. See Chong-Sik
Lee, Count erinsurg ency i n M anchuria: The Japanes e Exp erience, 1 931-1 94 0
(Santa Monica: RAND C orporation, 19 67), a translation of Japanese cou nterin-
surgency documents commissioned by R AND at the height of the Vietnam War.
The documents include lengthy descriptions of the Japanese military’s exten-
sive practice of relocating farmers to “collective hamlets” (shud an buraku),
with obvious parallels to the “strategic hamlet” policy of the United States in
Vietnam.
18. Just as the ROK forces who fough t in Vietn am have been l argely forgotten in the
United States, so too the hundreds of thousands of Korean colonial subjects
who fought in the Japanese Imperial Army have b een almost completely forgot-
ten in Japan.
19. Hwang Suk-young, Shadow of Arms, trans. C hun Kyung-ja (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cor-
nell University, East Asia Program, 19 94), 25. This suggests another aspect of
the Ko rean pr esence in Vietnam tha t is widel y known anecdota lly b ut has never
been investigated empirically, namely, the apparentl y large number of “enter-
tain ment women” — as well as the men w ho worked with and employed them
— brought from South Korea to service both Koreans and Americans.
20. Frantz Fanon, B lack S kin, White Masks (New York: Grove Press, 1967).
21. Hankyoreh Sinmun, 4 May 2000 , 20.
22. Perhaps the best-known account in the English langu age is Ahn Junghyo’s
novel W hite B adge (New York: Soho Press, 1989), which w as made into a film of
the same name in 199 2. Interestingly, the Korean title of both the n ovel and film
tran slates as “White War,” w ith obvious racial implications , but the author him-
self chose to translate it differently.
23. For example, in early 2 00 1 the jou rnal K orea Report 21 , published by the Ko-
rean House for International Solidarity, produced a collection of articles on Ko-
rean massacres of Vietnamese civilians, comparing them to N og5n-ri and to
Japanese atrocities in World War II.
24. Hankyoreh 21, 4 May 20 00, 2.
25. Ibid., 19 April 2 000, 1 .
26. K orea Times, 20 April 2 000, A3.
27. Hankyoreh Sinmun, 28 Ju ne 2000, 1.
28. Newsreview (Seoul), 19 December 199 8, 7. How ever, when the Vietnamese
State president visited Seoul on 2 3 August 200 1, Kim D ae Jung said to him “I am
sorry for the suffering caused to the Vietnamese people by our participation in
that unfortunate war.” Kim further offered ROK financial assistance to build
hospitals in the five provinces of central Vietnam where ROK troops had been
active. Hankyoreh Sinmun, 24 August 20 01, 2.
29. These victims, as well as Koreans exposed to Agent O range sprayed by the U.S.
military in Korea along the DMZ in the late 1960s, continue to press the U.S.
government, along with Agent Orange manufacturers Dow Chemical and
Mon santo, for compensation. See Newsreview, 2 9 May 1999, 34.
Arms tron g/Ameri ca’ s Kore a, Korea’ s Vietn am 539
540 Cri tical Asi an Stud ies 3 3:4 (2001)
State ment of Con cern
We, members of the editorial and governing boards of Critical Asian Studies, con-
demn the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and
the attempted attack that resulted in the deaths of over five thousand people from
more t han se venty countries. We strongly endorse efforts to bring t he perpetrators
to justice and to prevent other assaults against people in the United States and else-
where in the world.
We urgently appeal to the pre sident of the United St ates, the secretary general of
NATO, the se cretarygene ralof t he United Nations, and all other inte rnational lead-
ers to respond judiciously with restraint and careful judgment to these crimes. In
particular, we implore leaders of the United States and other nations to halt the
bombing of Afghanistan and t o refrain from att acking other nations. The mechanism
of international human rights law and judicial institutions must be used to bring
those responsible to justice. Indiscriminate use of violent and destructive instru-
ments of war wreaks havoc on innocent lives and perpetuates hatred and strife.
As scholarsand teachers in the field of Asian studies, we know of the devastating
impact of U.S. warsand other violent actions in that part of the world that have pit-
ted the superior technologicalmight of the United States and other powers against
Asianpeoples. We are aware of the suffering inflicted upon them as a result of wars
in the twentieth century. We have witnessed the immense costs of overt and covert
wars and repressive states in Asia that fall disproportionately upon ordinary men,
women, and children and continue long after violent conflicts end. Our work docu-
ments the chasms that divide governingelites from common citizens and analyzes
the pr ocessesby which the desperat e and disenfranchised come to e mbrace terror-
ism and follow the likes of Osama bin Laden.
These understandings lead us to assert that it is neither accurate nor just to hold
the government of a nation accountable for the crimes of a terrorist group that may
operate within its borders without clear evidence that the government shares re-
sponsibility for those crimes. Even when such evidence can be produced, as in the
case of Afghanistan, it remains critical that innocent civilians living within the te rri-
tory of any state found re sponsible for the recent t erroristcrimes not be punished for
the actions of a government. Protecting their safety must be a high priority in anyr e-
taliatory action.
Lastly and emphatically, we urge that there be no indiscriminate destruction in
meting out justice to those responsible for the crimes of 11 September 2001. Hu-
man rightsand the welfareof the innocent must be respected. At the same time, we
urge citizens of the United States and of other nations to reflect upon and seek un-
derstanding of the repercussions of the ir own nation’s policies at home and abroad
so that the irinvolvement in the cyclesof violence and vengeance may be broken.
11 October 2001
Chapter
This chapter, based on an analysis of printed sources, archival material, memoirs, and biographies, outlines the history of interaction between Vietnamese women and the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) since 1945, and discusses the scope and nature of the protests and solidarity actions against the American War that WIDF member organizations and the organization’s leadership initiated and supported. The chapter emphasizes the active role of Vietnamese women and their organizations within and beyond the WIDF in providing information and initiating protest and solidarity actions. This included information about the large-scale sexual violence committed against Vietnamese women, and the proposal for what became the Friendship Hospital for Mothers and Children in Hanoi, officially opened in 1979. The case of the British National Assembly of Women serves to illustrate the type of actions undertaken by a WIDF member organization to protest the warfare, inform the public of what was going on in Vietnam, and to collect money for the Hanoi Hospital.
Chapter
World Literature is a vital part of twentieth-first century critical and comparative literary studies. As a field that engages seriously with function of literary studies in our global era, the study of World literature requires new approaches. The Cambridge History of World Literature is founded on the assumption that World Literature is not all literatures of the world nor a canonical set of globally successful literary works. It highlights scholarship on literary works that focus on the logics of circulation drawn from multiple literary cultures and technologies of the textual. While not rejecting the nation as a site of analysis, these volumes will offer insights into new cartographies – the hemispheric, the oceanic, the transregional, the archipelagic, the multilingual local – that better reflect the multi-scalar and spatially dispersed nature of literary production. It will interrogate existing historical, methodological and cartographic boundaries, and showcase humanistic and literary endeavors in the face of world scale environmental and humanitarian catastrophes.
Article
Full-text available
The Vietnam War is a widely examined topic in the field of international relations. However, it is often viewed in terms of the strategic triangle between the United States, China, and the Soviet Union, instead of their allies. While the atrocities committed by the United States in the Vietnam War are often condemned and scrutinized in English literature, those of South Korea, their closest ally, remain less so. This essay outlines the South Korean government's political, economic, and ideological reasons for supporting the United States in Vietnam, the positive and negative consequences of this support, and the atrocities Korean troops committed against Vietnamese civilians. It argues that the legacy of the Vietnam War in South Korea is characterized by denial and neglect to this day. This essay finds that denial and neglect were experienced not only in Vietnam, but also in South Korea by veterans and the Korean government.
Book
Cambridge Core - Constitutional and Administrative Law - Constitutional Transition and the Travail of Judges - by Marie Seong-Hak Kim
Article
The resurgence of the East Asian development model has seen alarming trends of populist-authoritarianism as well as democratic reversals. Yet, the core argument—strong, unconstrained governments successfully motivate or compel compliance—is rarely assessed. This paper makes that systematic assessment with historical data and survey findings from South Korea, the prototypical East Asian model. Two findings are consequential: first, strong, unconstrained governments led to higher-than-normal disinvestments; this occurs notwithstanding in- or out-of-favour sectors. This means that government could not strong-arm or exploit out-of-favour producers to abide by policies that favour other sectors. Second, surveys analysed show that almost 40% have or would engage in political actions that challenged the government, despite the latter’s strength or autocracy. This means that citizens, of which labour is a large component, were also willing to disobey the government’s policies or directives. Together, the results challenge the model that strong government may successfully override preferences to push or even compel the compliance that underpins economic success.
Article
As the largest contingent of Americans in postwar South Korea, the G.I. best represented the United States’ Cold War objectives. Their deployment was an emblem of hard power containment, but the G.I. also embodied soft power integration, and through both, G.I.s helped to promote Pax Americana. This article focuses on the militarized masculinity of these ambassadors of America and their people-to-people diplomacy in South Korea between 1954 and 1966. These American G.I.s constructed their militarized masculinity vis-à-vis the Korean male Other, their “lesser” counterparts – the hapless houseboy, the inferior partner soldier, and the menacing slicky boy. At the same time, this liberal imperialism did not go uncontested. Violent imaginaries of the American G.I. from the borderlands were used by Koreans to demand a new bilateral framework – the Status of Forces Agreement in 1966 – to replace the outmoded wartime extraterritorial jurisdiction wielded by the American military after cessation of hostilities on the Korean peninsula in 1953. The militarized masculinity practiced in everyday encounters, thus, became the basis of a critique of American liberal imperialism in one of the United States closest Cold War “brother” nations.
Article
Full-text available
The Vietnam War has long been regarded as pivotal in the history of the Republic of Korea, although its involvement in this conflict remains controversial. While most scholarship has focused on the political and economic ramifications of the war – and allegations of brutality by Korean troops – few scholars have considered the impact of the conflict upon medicine and public health. This article argues that the war had a transformative impact on medical careers and public health in Korea, and that this can be most clearly seen in efforts to control parasitic diseases. These diseases were a major drain on military manpower and a matter of growing concern domestically. The deployment to Vietnam boosted research into parasitic diseases of all kinds and accelerated the domestic campaign to control malaria and intestinal parasites. It also had a formative impact upon the development of overseas aid.
Article
Much scholarship on East Asian development has sidelined the crucial role of geopolitics by insisting that wars such as the Vietnam War had limited effects on industrial development and economic growth patterns. We find such arguments unpersuasive, and also unduly reductionist. The Vietnam War, in particular, had unambiguously powerful effects on industrial development in South Korea; but even in cases where the direct effects of war were somewhat less spectacular, such as Taiwan, the reasons for the differences were themselves deeply geopolitical and expressive of decision-making processes centered on the Vietnam War. In this paper, we explore the differential effects of such geopolitical decision-making by contrasting the development trajectories of the Ulsan and Kaohsiung industrial zones during the war period. We show, in addition, that the subsequent development of industrial projects in South Korea and Taiwan has continued to bear some of the marks of Vietnam War-era geopolitical economy.
Article
BLDSC reference no.: DX216305. Thesis (doctoral)--University of London, 1995.
A Double Exposure of the War, " in America's Wars in Asia: A Cultural Approach to History and Memory
  • Cited In Ahn
  • Junghyo
Cited in Ahn Junghyo, " A Double Exposure of the War, " in America's Wars in Asia: A Cultural Approach to History and Memory, ed. Philip West, Stephen I.
The UN Occupation of North Korea The Origins of the Korean War The Roaring of the Cataract
  • Callum Macdonald
Callum MacDonald, " 'So Terrible a Liberation': The UN Occupation of North Korea, " Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 23, no. 2 (April-June 1991): 5-10; Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, vol. 2, The Roaring of the Cataract (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), 673-80.
Massacre Breeds Massacre
  • Han Hong-Koo
Han Hong-koo, "Massacre Breeds Massacre," Hankyoreh 21, 4 May 2000, 26.
Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War
  • Harry G Quoted In
  • Summers Jr
Quoted in Harry G. Summers Jr., Historical Atlas of the Vietnam War (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995), 154.
published by the Korean House for International Solidarity, produced a collection of articles on Korean massacres of Vietnamese civilians, comparing them to Nog5n-ri and
  • For Example
  • Early
For example, in early 2001 the journal Korea Report 21, published by the Korean House for International Solidarity, produced a collection of articles on Korean massacres of Vietnamese civilians, comparing them to Nog5n-ri and to Japanese atrocities in World War II.
The Origins of the Korean War The Roaring of the Cataract
  • Bruce Cumings
Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, vol. 2, The Roaring of the Cataract (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), 673-80.
These victims, as well as Koreans exposed to Agent Orange sprayed by the U.S. military in Korea along the DMZ in the late 1960s, continue to press the U.S. government, along with Agent Orange manufacturers Dow Chemical and Monsanto, for compensation
These victims, as well as Koreans exposed to Agent Orange sprayed by the U.S. military in Korea along the DMZ in the late 1960s, continue to press the U.S. government, along with Agent Orange manufacturers Dow Chemical and Monsanto, for compensation. See Newsreview, 29 May 1999, 34.