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No Gun Ri incident

The Bridge at No Gun Ri

The Bridge at No Gun Ri: A Hidden Chapter from the Korean War is a book about the No Gun Ri incident, in which dozens or hundreds of Korean civilians died at the hands of US ground troops. Associated Press writers were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the 1999 investigative articles.

Publisher's Description

In the fall of 1999, a team of Associated Press investigative reporters broke the news that U.S. troops had massacred a large group of South Korean civilians early in the Korean War. Their reports brought to light a story that had been suppressed for decades, confirming allegations the U.S. military had sought to dismiss. It made headlines around the world. Now the team tells the larger, human story behind the incident through the eyes of the people who survived it. The American side, the green recruits of the good time U.S. army in Japan, was made up of teenagers who viewed unarmed farmers as enemies and of generals who had never led men into battle. On the Korean side were peasant families forced to flee their ancestral village, caught between the invading North Koreans and the U.S. Army. Based on extensive archival research and more than 500 interviews with U.S. veterans and Korean survivors, The Bridge at No Gun Ri is an extraordinary account of the tragic events of July 1950, which the world should never forget.

About the Authors

Charles J. Hanley, Sang-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza were awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for breaking the story of No Gun Ri. Hanley, special correspondent with the Associated Press International Desk in New York, has covered a half dozen wars over thirty years. He is a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam. Choe was an Associated Press reporter (now with the International Herald Tribune) based in Seoul, South Korea. Also a military veteran, Choe received a special award for his No Gun Ri work from the Korean Journalists Association. Mendoza, the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, is an Associated Press national reporter in San Jose, California, who has won numerous awards for her investigative work. Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft, who was the fourth member of the Pulitzer team and contributed to this book, is an expert in public records and archival and electronic research.

Reviewers

Historian Robert Bateman takes issue with the AP account in his 2002 book No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident.

Publishers Weekly wrote:

  • In the early days of the Korean War, as defeat began sliding into disaster, inexperienced, poorly commanded U.S. troops received higher orders to stop, by force if necessary, civilian movement through their lines. They responded, the journalists found, by massacring a number of South Korean civilians near the village of No Gun Ri over a period of three days.

References

The Bridge at No Gun Ri: A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean War by Charles J. Hanley, Sang-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza (Henry Holt: 2001) ISBN 9780805066586. An excerpt from one chapter of this book is online lower on this page: http://www.henryholt.com/nogunri/

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