Updated March. 10, 2010 04:43
A document released yesterday vividly described atrocities committed by Soviet troops stationed in North Korea for five months from August 1945.
The 13-page report was written by a Soviet lieutenant colonel through visits to the North Korean provinces of Hwanghae and North and South Pyongan on Dec. 29, 1945.
At the time, the report was submitted to a lieutenant general in charge of politics at a military district in Primorsky Krai of Russia and sent to the chief commander of the district on Jan. 11 the following year.
The handwritten document in Russian was discovered by the Woodrow Wilson International Center, a U.S. think tank devoted to national security, and translated into English.
The immoral behavior of our servicemen is horrible. Regardless of rank, they indulge in looting, violence and misconduct every day here and there. They continue to do so since few have been punished, the document said.
The lieutenant colonel described the atrocities of the Red Army, which described itself as liberators at the time. The sound of gunfire never stops at night in areas where our troops are stationed, he said.
Drunk and disorderly soldiers commit immoral behavior and rape is prevalent.
It added, Drunk soldiers are often spotted on the streets in broad daylight and drinking parties in more than 70 inns and public buildings take place every night.
The report also described accounts of individual abuse. An engineering officer and his seven subordinates staying at an inn called prostitutes for a drinking session on Dec. 6, 1945. They did not pay and left the inn the next day.
Eight of them dropped by the inn five days later and paid for the lodging in Manchurian currency, which was not in use in North Korea.
A North Korean who tried to bring a drunk Soviet lieutenant to justice said, I cannot forgive the Soviet soldier who raped my wife.
Many such perpetrators went unpunished. Though another lieutenant colonel urged the Soviet military police to punish the perpetrators to maintain military discipline several times, his words went unheeded, the report said.
○ Misconduct by liberators
The 25th Primorsky Krai unit commander of the Soviet Far East Army arrived at Pyongyang Airport on Aug. 26, 1945, and described the Soviet army as liberators. Remember fellow Koreans! Your happiness is up to you. You have achieved freedom and independence. Everything is up to you now, he said.
The report, however, quoted the commander as threatening to hang half of the Koreans if they rise up against the Soviet army in protest of their abuses.
The commander held a party with his subordinates for 22 hours in a row in downtown Haeju on Nov. 16, 1945. A fire broke out and burned houses, but he said the fire was an act of arson committed by dissidents and received 300,000 yen as compensation.
The report quoted another Soviet colonel as saying privately, The Korean people were enslaved for the past 35 years. Its okay for them be enslaved a little longer.