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N. Korea Accuses U.S. of Cover-Up

January 13, 2000

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ North Korea accused the United States on Thursday of trying to cover up alleged mass killings of refugees by American soldiers during the Korean War.

The North was commenting on statements by U.S. Army Secretary Louis Caldera in Seoul this week that Washington will not investigate ``every firefight, every battle″ of the 1950-53 war.

The United States is currently investigating allegations that U.S. troops killed hundreds of refugees in the village of No Gun Ri in July 1950. Since the No Gun Ri allegations arose, South Koreans have come forward with other cases of alleged killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers.

Caldera has not ruled out investigations of other incidents, but he has emphasized the need to establish whether civilians were killed intentionally.

``Uncle Sam’s jargon is the height of impudence,″ the North’s official ruling Workers’ Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said in a commentary carried by the country’s foreign news outlet, KCNA.

``The U.S. imperialists should clearly know that the more they try to conceal the crimes fully exposed to the world, the more they reveal their true colors as wicked aggressors and murderers,″ it said.

The No Gun Ri investigation started after The Associated Press, citing survivors and U.S. war veterans, reported in September that retreating U.S. soldiers machine-gunned refugees at a railroad bridge in the early days of the war.

According to declassified U.S. military documents, American ground commanders feared that North Korean soldiers, dressed in civilian clothes, were infiltrating refugee columns.

In the Korean War, the United States led a 16-nation U.N. force in defense of South Korea against North Korea, which was backed by China and the Soviet Union.

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