Did the US wage germ warfare in Korea?
America denies using biological weapons in the Korean War. But North Koreans still claim the US dropped bombs containing disease-carrying insects and food.
By Julian Ryall
6:30AM BST 10 Jun 2010
In the winter of 1952, Yun Chang Bin recalls, the American bombers flying overhead had become a fact of life. The small detachment of Chinese ‘volunteers’ stationed in his village, Hwanjin, 40 miles north-east of Pyongyang, was not a worthwhile target for the US forces supporting the South Korean regime, so rural life went on much as it had done for generations. Oxen ploughed the fields and the local people – those who had not been conscripted into the North Korean military – worked together tending to the rice crops.
But then, one afternoon in early March, Yun was walking home from school when he saw Chinese troops on their hands and knees in the fields. Standing close to the same spot today, he indicates with a sweep of his hand where they were collecting small objects from the frozen ground.
‘There were about 30 or 40 of the Chinese volunteer troops spread out across the field,’ Yun, now 72, says. ‘They were wearing masks and gloves and some of them had brooms. They were sweeping up something from the ground and others were picking it up and putting it on a fire.’
Curious, Yun approached the soldiers and asked some of the adults who had gathered what was going on. He recalls being told, ‘They are catching flies. They came out of the bombs dropped by the American bastards.’