The following piece is an extract from a longer article by Phil Hearse that appeared in International Viewpoint, an online Marxist publication, last Thursday (August 10).
For the people of North Korea, warnings from their leadership about the United States seem all too real. During the Korean war (1950-53) the whole of the North was bombed flat and according to some estimates a third of its population died.
Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden explains that although much of the propaganda of today’s North Korean regime is preposterous and idiotic, the hatred of America is often genuine and based on memories of the Korean war:
“The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.
“The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.
“The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984 that ‘Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population’.
Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.
“Although the ferocity of the bombing was criticized as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world, it was never a big story back home. U.S. press coverage of the air war focused, instead, on “MiG alley,” a narrow patch of North Korea near the Chinese border. There, in the world’s first jet-powered aerial war, American fighter pilots competed against each other to shoot down five or more Soviet-made fighters and become “aces.” War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war.” 
Curtis LeMay’s casual estimate of 20% of the population killed by US bombing doesn’t account for all deaths among the North Korean civilian population, as the fighting flowed back and forth along the peninsula. According to Brian Wilson:
“It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerence of another.” 
A Daily Telegraph journalist has exposed the massacre of civilians in South Korea during the war, especially those with left wing sympathies.
“Authorities in the country have discovered mass burial sites containing thousands of bodies, including scores of children. Trawls of records including declassified files in Washington have uncovered evidence of the massacres of at least 100,000 people suspected of having sympathy with the North Koreans.
“In some cases, American forces are alleged to have been present and in at least one case an American officer authorised a massacre of prisoners believed to have left-wing sympathies….
A major massacre of civilians took place on Wolmi Island, adjacent to Inchon where American troops landed in September 1950. According to Choe Sang-hun, “When American troops stormed this island more than half a century ago, it was a hive of Communist trenches and pillboxes. Now it is a park where children play and retirees stroll along a tree-shaded esplanade.
“But inside a ragged tent at the entrance of the park, some aging South Koreans gather daily to draw attention to their side of the conflict, a story of carnage not mentioned in South Korea’s official histories or textbooks.
“When the napalm hit our village, many people were still sleeping in their homes,” said Lee Beom-ki, 76. “Those who survived the flames ran to the tidal flats. We were trying to show the American pilots that we were civilians. But they strafed us, women and children.” 
 Quoted in Brian Willson,Korea and the Axis of Evil, Global Research, October 2006.
The full, original version of this article appears here.