- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 25 Hour
- Reading permission
Over 100,000 Cases of Crimes, Over 100,000 Victims |
Crimes committed by US soldiers were found as early as when US troops were first stationed in south Korea. According to the south Korean government's official statistics, 50,082 crimes were committed by US soldiers from 1967 to 1998 (including those by soldiers' families), and 56,904 US soldiers were involved (including soldiers' families) in these crimes. The statistics imply that the actual figure may be higher if take into account those cases not handled by the south Korean police. Based on the statistics, the total number of crimes committed by US soldiers since September 8, 1945 (when they were first stationed in Korea) is estimated to be around 100,000. Unfortunately the south Korean government does not have statistics on US soldiers' crimes committed before 1967, because SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) went into effect in 1967, allowing the south Korean court jurisdiction over crimes committed by US soldiers with narrow and limited application.
So, from 1945 to 1967, the US had full authority in court. south Koreans were even subjected to American rulings (of course, in English language). And during 1945-1948, when the US military government took control over the south Korean government, a judge was an active US soldier, with no jury system although the court followed American court system. Many problems aroused including language barrier, lack of cultural understanding and even prejudice on the part of the judge, unfair practices on the part of interpreters.
Study by Ministry of Justice of south Korea shows that among the 39,452 cases (45,183 US soldiers involved) of crimes committed by US soldiers from 1967 to 1987, south Korea was able to exercise its jurisdiction only in 234 cases, punishing only 351 US soldiers. Among them, 84 US soldiers were convicted of rape and 89 US soldiers were convicted of murder and robbery. Taking into account the fact that rape cases were more common before 1967, and that many rape cases were intentionally hidden and forgotten, the actual number of rape cases committed by US soldiers will be much higher than what official figures suggest.
1980, the year of civilian uprising in Kwangju alone, over 1,679 crimes committed by US soldiers were reported.
Due to the military dictator, Chun Doo Hwan’s martial law at the time, south Korea lost its jurisdiction that year. Not even a single case was handled in south Korean court.
Countless cases of rape were committed by US soldiers, including a woman gang raped by 4 soldiers' in March 1946, a 14-year-old schoolgirl raped in 1956, a daughter and a mother both raped in 1967, a woman raped by 8 soldiers in the mountains in 1971, a month pregnant teacher raped in 1986 by 5 soldiers in the middle of Team Spirit military exercise, a handicapped schoolgirl sexually harassed in 1996, and a 6-year-old girl sexually harassed in May 1997.