Korean War
Bodo League massacre
South Korean soldiers walk among bodies of South Korean political prisoners shot near Daejon, South Korea, July 1950. Photo by U.S. Army Major Abbott.
1950 Jul 1

Bodo League massacre

South Korea

The Bodo League massacre was a massacre and war crime against communists and suspected sympathizers (many of whom were civilians who had no connection with communism or communists) that occurred in the summer of 1950 during the Korean War. Estimates of the death toll vary. Historians and experts on the Korean War estimate that the full total ranges from at least 60,000–110,000 (Kim Dong-choon) to 200,000 (Park Myung-lim).

The massacre was falsely blamed on the communists led by Kim Il-sung by the South Korean government. The South Korean government made efforts to conceal the massacre for four decades. Survivors were forbidden by the government from revealing it, under suspicion of being communist sympathizers; public revelation carried with it the threat of torture and death. During the 1990s and onwards, several corpses were excavated from mass graves, resulting in public awareness of the massacre. Half a century later, the South Korean Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigated what happened in the political violence largely kept hidden from history, unlike the publicized North Korean executions of South Korean right-wingers.