Translated by Kelly Choi
“I will never forget the pain and tragic scenes”
“An American soldier had been shot and was dying. He was crying, “Mom... mom..’ He was clawing at the ground and was in severe pain” said Kyung Shin Kang, a veteran of the Korean War from 60 years ago.
Looking back on his experiences 60 years ago, he described his experience as “HELL”. The sound of gunfire was endless, dead bodies were everywhere, and he had fear of capturing by North Koren sildiers and being killed by bombs.
“I still can not forget the pain and tragic scenes. War should not break out again. Not only soldiers, but also many others, including women and children, die. It is Hell” said Kang, who experience the war in his 20s and is now in his late 80s.
Kang is from Pyongyang, and went to the South in 1948 after graduating from Pyungyang Highschool and working as a teacher. He was working in YangPyung until the war broke out. He hid from the North Korean army, and joined the American army when he came across them.
Shortly afterwards, he heard that the U.N army had taken Seoul. He went to WangSimni. He heard from a neighbor in Wangsimni where his parents used to live, that his dad had been killed by the North Korean army and his mom and siblings had been separated.
With help from his neighbor, Kang found his father’s body from a pumpkin farm, and had it cremated and scattered the ashes around some trees.
“After cremating, I enlisted in the army. “I was hell bent on revenge, and I was not afraid of death,” said Kang, who, even after 60 years, is still moved to tears by his anger.
He left his grandparents in the care of his younger brother in the North, and still misses them.
“The dead bodies of North Korean soldiers littered the ground. I searched those dead bodies hoping one of them might be my little brother. I wish I knew anything about them,” said Kang, talking about how much he misses his family.
Despite the tragedy of brothers fighting brothers, and his near-death experience, Kang never forgets the commemoration of his fallen brothers-in-arms. He participated in the Memorial Parade and in veteran events every June, and he always remembers the war dead.
He regrets that old soldiers, who could testify to the dark side of the war, are gone, and he wishes for the peaceful reunification of Korea.