Thursday, January 11, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001

Vintage bullets found at site of slayings

U.S. to express regret for Korea deaths

Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean investigators found American bullets still imbedded in walls of a railroad trestle at No Gun Ri, 50 years after U.S. troops killed an undetermined number of Korean refugees there in the early days of the Korean War.

The search last July turned up 59 bullets visually identified as American — and none of any other type — in the concrete walls and a nearby culvert at No Gun Ri, according to two South Korean government documents obtained by The Associated Press.

While the papers did not mention caliber, U.S. and South Korean sources said the Koreans’ analysis of 20 sample bullets identified them as .30 caliber rounds of the type used by American forces at that time.

In Washington, Army spokesman Maj. Tom Collins confirmed the bullet findings as described by the Koreans, but would not comment on what they meant for the Army’s overall investigation.

Four sources close to the South Korean probe, speaking on condition of anonymity, said investigators also recovered 121 cartridges, 108 bullets and 234 pieces of shrapnel in hills around the trestle. These also were primarily of U.S. origin, except for a few Soviet-type bullets and casings — types used by the North Korean army.

Pentagon and South Korean experts agreed it could not be determined who fired the bullets and when. There was fighting in the area in September 1950, two months after the killings at No Gun Ri, when the northern invaders were in retreat.

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