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This Happened

This Happened — June 28: Bodo League Massacre

The Bodo League massacre refers to a series of mass killings that took place in South Korea on this day in 1950 during the early stages of the Korean War. It involved the execution of suspected communist sympathizers, mostly members of the Bodo League, a mass civilian organization.

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Who was responsible for the Bodo League massacre?

The South Korean government, under the leadership of President Syngman Rhee, was primarily responsible for the Bodo League massacre. The massacre was carried out by the South Korean military and anti-communist groups.

How many people were killed in the Bodo League massacre?

The exact number of victims in the Bodo League massacre remains uncertain, but estimates range up to 60,000. Many were executed without proper trials or due process.

What was the rationale behind the Bodo League massacre?

The South Korean government justified the massacre as an effort to eliminate potential communist sympathizers and strengthen anti-communist forces. The fear of infiltration by communist agents during the early stages of the Korean War contributed to the violent response.

What was the aftermath of the Bodo League Massacre?

The Bodo League massacre had a lasting impact on South Korean society. It created a legacy of division and trauma, with families of the victims suffering from the loss and the long-term consequences of the mass killings. The event remained largely hidden from public knowledge until the 1990s, when South Korea began to address its history of human rights abuses more openly.

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Photograph of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol saluting troopsas part of the country’s first military parade in a decade, which showcased an arsenal of advanced weaponry in the streets of Seoul.​

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol saluting troops as part of the country’s first military parade in a decade.

Michelle Courtois, Valeria Berghinz and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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