N. Korea Claims S. Korea Started Korean War, Netizens Laugh

A weary Korean girl, carrying her brother on her back, walks past an M-26 tank in Haengju, Korea. June 9, 1951.

In the early morning hours of June 25, 1950, behind artillery fire, North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel, setting off the Korean War. In South Korea it is usually simply referred to as yu-gi-oh (육이오), which means “6-25”, the date the Korean War started, and in North Korea it is known as the Fatherland Liberation War, or choguk haebang chonjaeng (조국해방전쟁).

While it is near-universally accepted that North Korea invaded South Korea, North Korea’s state-run media often uses the term “bukchim” (북침) when referring to the war, meaning “an invasion of North Korea”, as that is how it is written in official North Korean history (and until recently, Chinese history).

Netizens reacted with predictable disbelief and mockery.

From Nate:

North Korea: “The Korean War was provoked by the U.S. Imperialists and South Korea”…And Still Claims North Korea Was Invaded

Taking advantage of a Korean War that has been 62 years long, North Korea continues to claim that the Korean War was “provoked by the U.S. imperialists and their South Korean puppets” and that North Korea was invaded.

Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP), penned an article titled ‘The Road to Peace and Reunification Through Our Military First Policy’ on the 25th which read: “On this day 62 years ago, the U.S. imperialists and their South Korean dogs provoked a war of aggression [against North Korea].

“With our army and our people, and the steel invincibility of our Great Leader Kim Il-sung, we bravely fought as one against the world’s mightiest army, the American imperialists, to defend the freedom and independence of our country.

“It has been 60 years since the last gun was fired, but our people are still living under the threat of continuous war. Even now, in order to implement a strategy to attack us, the U.S. builds up their military strength and frantically stages large-scale military drills.

“Our military-first politics is a hard-bitten weapon in a sharp fight with imperialist reactionaries, in order to strengthen the dignity of our people and the sovereignty of our nation.

“Judging the Lee Myung-bak regime and keeping the Saenuri Party from returning to power is a necessary task in order to keep the peace on the Korean peninsula, improve the relationship between North and South Korea, and open a venue of reunification of our fatherland.”

Comments from Nate:

김형준:

Let’s keep in mind the Korean War was an invasion from North Korea…

김도석:

So it’s been 62 years since the Korean War…let’s remember the men who died to keep a strong democracy. [Netizen lists stats and figures on US and UN casualties during the Korean War.] Kim Dae-jung…are you reading this from Hell? Have those bastards committed acts of brutality?

조안나:

Shut the fuck up.

이정은:

It reminds me of a kid who has a habit off shooting off at the mouth whenever I see a “National Liberation” [pro-North Korean] Progressive Party member open his or her mouth, especially Lee Jung-hee [a left-leaning politician in South Korea]…a journalist asked her, “Who do you think started the Korean War?” Lee responded, “It is unclear if it was an invasion from North Korea or invasion from South Korea. I cannot speak about the conditions now, they will become clear later.”

강준수:

Look at the United States. They knew nothing about our country yet they came and helped preserve democracy in our young, small country. They sent 572,000 soldiers, 54,246 who were killed and 104,284 who were wounded. So sad…yoo yoo…Thank you, USA! Also, Koreans ignore that Thailand sent 12,845 soldiers during the Korean War, 129 of whom were killed and 1139 wounded…South Korean soldiers were basically good-for-nothing and could hardly call themselves soldiers.

이재영:

Even on Christmas the site labels [ad banners] change, yet the outbreak of the Korean War is not important enough [to merit a banner]? This country is getting weirder and weirder…

전국관:

People and groups who praise, protect and encourage North Korea like the Democratic United Party, the Unified Progressive Party, the National Liberation Progressive Party, Democratic Labor Union, Handaeryon (Korean University Students Association), the Korean Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union, and entertainers like Myung Kye-nam, Moon Sung-geun, Yoon Do-hyun, Kim Mi-hwa, Kim Yeo-jin, and Kim Jae-dong need to educate themselves in deportation politics or be deported themselves. [Several of the above celebrities were supposedly put on the controversial “KBS blacklist” for paying tribute to the late progressive president Roh Moo-hyun, or having otherwise liberal political views. KBS is a government-run channel in South Korea.]

강준원:

South Korea says it was a North Korean invasion. The US says it was a North Korean invasion. Turkey says it was a North Korean invasion. The rest of the world knows that the Korean War was a North Korean invasion of South Korea but only two parties say it was a South Korean invasion from South Korea…North Korea and South Korean liberals. Is anyone seeing what I’m getting at here? Lee Jung-hee?

이민영:

Because they [North Korea] oppose the Saenuri Party the Saenuri Party must stay the ruling party.

김용우:

It’s like a dog yapping.

이재영:

Of course North Koreans are like that ke ke ke, South Korea also has a lot of these kinds of people

이창식:

Hey you bastards…during war you think you’re sending the soldiers out on a vacation? You pathetic commies…if you guys live like [the soldiers], you would not avoid looking shabby your whole life.

김민성:

Shall we fight [another] war? North Korea, you fucking sons of bitches!

하중근:

Are these people going completely crazy?

송수영:

List of jongpuk: Lee Jung-hee, Kang Ki-kab, Park Won-soon, Han Myeong-sook, Moon Seung-gun, No Hoe-chan, Shim Sang-jung, Lee Hui-ho, Kim Dae-jung, Roh Moo-hyun, Gong Ji-young, Kim Jae-dong, Moon Jae-in, Kim Mi-hwa, Kim Yeo-jin, Jeong Dong-young, Han Sang-ryeol, Oh Jong-ryeol, Park Ji-won, Park Young-sun, Myung Kae-nam, Kim Ji-yoon, Lee Sang-kyu, Lee Seok-gi, Kim Jae-yeon, Jo Ki-sook, Lim Soo-kyeong, Lee Hae-chan (added).

김정옥:

The lies and instigations by the liberals and the Teachers’ Unions make me really wish they would just die. When I was a high school student some teachers taught that the South was invaded by the North, but that the US incited it. The biggest instigators [of the war] are said to be Syngman Rhee and the USA…I found that they taught like that although it was already found from [Dean] Acheson’s speech that North Korea and China prepared for war [with help from] the Soviet Union. After I graduated, I too was a liberal zombie, until I converted. I wish the liberal zombies in our country along with the Teachers’ Unions would just drop dead. They are liars and North Korean spies.

김효일:

Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun are traitors in South Korean history because they distorted the Korean War and prettied up the Kim Il-sung dynasty in an attempt to get rid of differences so the Sunshine Policy would work.

정택수:

Lee Jung-hee…that bitch…

박군환:

Brainwashed little bugs. Let’s look at it this way…Lee Jung-hee will not answer [when asked] if the Korean War was started by a North Korean or South Korean invasion. If some crazy politician said he or she would not answer when asked if the invasion of our country by Japan was not an invasion, but part of Japan’s claim that they invaded to keep the imperialist European powers out of East Asia, do you think that politician would be able to live in Korea? Yet people keep electing these liberal insects to the National Assembly. After doing these kinds of ridiculous things, these liberal insects are so brainwashed they do not even know what went wrong [after they said it].

김효중:

Keep the Saenuri Party in as the ruling party…don’t ever let the progressives take control…

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  • US Imperialists do s**ck and are now called capitalists. I can’t blame them for their paranoia. As much as I admire SK, I am fearful that they are over-emulating US capitalism. On the other hand, it is apparent to me that S. Koreans are more united than the far-flung denizens of the US.

    • Alexander

      I’d be pissed at the United States if I lived in a shithole socialist country too! Let me guess? You’ve never been here. What you know of our nation is based on the lies the main stream media tells you. The United States has been through much, but we will prevail. Obama is Romney is Bush, and the young people here know that.

      It’s funny that I went to South Korea as an idealistic 16 year old with extremely liberal views. I probably would have nodded along with your garbage at that time. But after living in Seoul for 13 months, I cam to realize that its the same in every country. Those who are entirelly too emotional to think about and comment on politics are foaming at the mouth idiots who would rather side with an ideology than they would think about each issue from their own experience.

      You are no different.

      • Bruce Tutty

        If you don’t want people to be pissed off with your country, then stop invading theirs.

        • Alexei

          I’m assuming that comment was directed toward the North Korean government?

    • Chris

      you say imperialist as if it should be a perjorative… the closer we are to one world vision, the closer we get to getting our collective shit together and finding a way to get to alpha centarui.

    • Jang

      “…it is apparent to me that S. Koreans are more united than the far-flung denizens of the US.”

      It’s also apparent you don’t know that until the south can stop its own modern history war with one another then “united” is a far, far, reaching term.

      But I agree, the U.S. shouldn’t have ever helped S. Korea or went along with Syngman Rhee inciting the north so that you could easily go and bow down to Kim, Jong-un living among the cannibals. Heck, you could even head up the N. Korean government philippon(meth) labs further spreading paranoia.

    • Elizabeth

      So says the capitalist from New Jersey.

  • lamster

    All they have to do is look at the British replica of South Korea’s institutions.
    British Government system
    Economic system (Capitalism)
    Banking system owned by Rothschilds, Rockefeller

    It’s not hard folks.
    Those comments are an embarrassment to Koreans.

    • lamster

      Isn’t it a wonder how globally similar each systems are (government, banking, economic) where capitalist power structures are instituted.
      Are South Koreans STILL going to argue they are not an invaded country?

      • Alexei

        South korea’s economic development succeeded *not* through a laissez-faire ‘free market’ system, but through state-directed ‘capitalism’ that, during the Park Chung Hee era, included a “five year plan” and extensive government control of industry. Figures. At any rate, South Korea has the world’s 13th largest economy and has a standard of living parallel to that of western Europe- despite the fact that, 60 years ago, it was one of the poorest countries in the world. Meanwhile in the north, which is blissfully free of “capitalist power structures”, an entire generation has stunted growth from severe malnutrition. There are countries where capitalism has failed disastrously and perpetuated misery, but with even preliminary research you’ll realize Korea is not one of them.

        • lamster

          The economic system of Capitalism is owned and designed by people who flag shipped the United States to invade and globalize Capitalism. WW2 was not about fighting Communism and Nazism, It was about globalizing Capitalism.
          There is no rational justification of US invading Korea and then telling them they will end up like North Korea if they don’t like the foreign mega banks operating in South Korea. You got this combined free market and a world economy while North Korea is under sanctions and threats. I think your comparisons are ridiculous.
          Let me tell you the people who designed the world economy (capitalism) have total control over your country. They have the power to financially ruin you and then come back with a solution to put you down even greater.

          • Alexei

            1)The 8 million Soviet soldiers who died stopping Hitler were not fighting to “globalize capitalism”.

            2)The US did not “invade” Korea, Japan invaded and colonized Korea for 4 decades and the two postwar superpowers divided the country against its will, then the KPA invaded the south. The UN Forces, who intervened at the request of the ROK government, included Americans, but also Turkish, Ethiopian, French and Thai soldiers. Whenever the US has considered withdrawing troops, the ROK government has protested.

            3)You have a unique and increasingly rare understanding of the outdated theories of Vladimir Lenin. However you clearly have little to no understanding of the Republic of Korea or its history. I ask you focus on your area of expertise- discredited economic theories.

    • Alexei

      The British government system is itself borrowed extensively from the ancient Roman republic, which was itself influenced, though less democratic than, that of ancient Athens. Therefore, according to your logic, Britain is nothing but a shoddy replica of “the glory that was Rome.”

  • Yu Bumsuk

    Cummings and a few other western scholars didn’t do much to help matters. At least now that the Soviet archives are in the public even the reddest westerners can’t claim anything other than that the North invaded the south.

    • Bruce Tutty

      Who is Cummings?

      • Ryan

        Bruce Cumings, a Korea historian.

      • Yu Bumsuk

        He probably holds the distinction as the chair of a history department at a major university to have been proven the most wrong.

        • Alexei

          Not only has Cummings been proven decisively wrong, largely thanks to scholars like Andrei Lankov, he has also compromised himself morally. Its perfectly understandable that he got the facts wrong several decades ago, when he only had access to US archives and virtually no Soviet sources. Whats really offensive, is how he’s used his prestige and respectability as a historian to defend one of the worst dictatorships in the world. I respected him, with some reservations, until I read his book “North Korea: another country”. He basically argues Americans have no right to criticize North Korea’s prison camps- because the US has its own “gulag” of maximum security prisons. It is nauseating that he can be so indifferent to the worst atrocities of our time.

  • glenn

    Is it just me or is this a strategy of the North KoreaM Regime to justify their military-first policy to their people? Setting the mind of the north Koreans for possibility of war anytime soon would help them keep the north koreans at bay.

  • kim jong sun

    Since Korea was partitioned against its will, saying that north korea invaded the south is like saying korean invaded itself, it’s like US saying that Taliban is invading Afghanistan, and US and its puppet Karzai government is defending Afghanistan against invading Taliban armies.

    • Yu Bumsuk

      Does Africa invade itself when wars occur between countries becuase European powers partioned it? Does the Middle East? Did Indonesia invade itself when it took over East Timor?

    • Spartacus in Chongjin

      Franco did not strictly speaking “invade” Spain, he did however start a war that killed over a million people in an attempt to subject the whole country to dictatorship. The same is true of Kim Il Sung, except thankfully, unlike Franco, he failed in his endeavor.

      • AnthonyLudovici

        Are you talking about the Spanish Civil War?

        The “Republicans” killed many hundreds of thousands too. Torturing clergy, small landowners etc.

        Just what do communists/leftists have against small landowners (see: Kulaks in Russia)? It’s not like such people are necessarily really rich, they just have a bit of land and maybe a couple of animals.

  • Intruder

    There is a long history of imperialist “anti-imperialism

    United States was invaded by Native Americans, Iraqis and Libyans. Facts are facts!

    • Alexei

      When did Libya invade the US?

    • henryezra

      hum ..
      Japanese troll?

  • legrande

    [ South Korean troops attacked the North a year before the Korean war broke out, researchers have claimed in the latest disturbing revelation about the conflict which almost led to global war.

    More than 250 guerrillas from the South are said to have launched an attack on North Korean villages along the east coast in June 1949. Some reached the town of Wonsan, although all but 50 were killed in two weeks. The incident has been confirmed by a South Korean army official. ]

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/jan/18/johngittings.martinkettle

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