This Year in the DMZ War

Important incidents in the DMZ or affecting it. Send us your stories to add (below). Summaries from the Congressional Research Service. Additional research from the DMZ War.

1981:

6/5/1981

In this incident, well south of the DMZ, American troops were killed not by the North Koreans, but by fellow soldiers. The incident occurred during M-16 live fire training at Ingram Range outside Camp Casey, South Korea. The two accused shooters were black and the four murder victims white and Hispanic, raising concerns that racial tensions had led to the shooting. Racial unrest between white and black soldiers had been a problem in US military bases in Korea during the 1960s and ’70s, but appeared to be getting better in the 1980s. As the account below, a 1991 thesis by an Army officer, details, US commanders were anxious to avoid a story line of racial hatred.

From today’s perspective, it’s interesting to note that the primary shooter, described by the Army as insane, was also reported to shout in English and Arabic shortly after the shooting, praising Islam and describing his victims as “devils.” Teachings of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X were found in his room.

Distraught Villager Restrained Trying to Eat Heart from Dead NK Soldier Seven Members of this Man’s Family Killed by NK Team