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The Study on the combat of Kae‐song Rail Station by Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit during the Korean War

Byun,Hye-Seok 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The combat of Kae‐song Station by Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit was the first combat conducted by national police in order to defend Kae‐song Station of Gyeon‐gui Line to the point of death and it was also the last combat before Kae‐song was taken by North Korean army, while the 12th Regiment of the Korean armed force was dispersed and evacuated from the area because of the surprise attack at the dawn of June 25, 1950. Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit of national police was one of 13 local railroad police units which were subordinate organizations of the railroad police's main force which directly belonged to the Public Order Bureau in the Ministry of Home Affairs at the time of the Korean War and it was the special police organization in charge of the security mission of the railroad station and its facilities of the Kae‐song district in the Northwestern part of the 38th parallel. It was the first railroad police organization made by the military governor, Lieutenant general John R. Hodge on Jan 25, 1946 during the American military government period in Korea on the purpose of protecting and maintaining railway security and its facilities after the liberation of Korea. It had managed as an independent government office like a local National Police Agency for 7 years until October 15, 1953 when it was disbanded. Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit was an irregular forces and special police organization, but the fifty policemen collected by emergency call in order to defend Kae‐song Station fought with poor weapons such as carbine rifles and 99-type rifles against the 15th regiment of the 6th infantry division of North Korea's regular army which had powerful weapons such as T-34 tanks. They were ready to die and fought desperately according to the plan of their commander without being dispersed and evacuated. The policemen of the Railroad Police Unit were isolated in air‐raid shelter, but they came out of the air‐raid shelter in order to defend the civilians of Kae‐song and carried out attack toward the North Korean army to the last minute. Although they failed to secure the Kae‐song Station which they had planned to defend to the death, the result of their delaying and defensive action over one hour contributed to the assembling Korean troops at the defense line of Im‐jin River for the defense of the capital city of Seoul. It is natural and right thing that their spirit of sacrifice, the will power for defending nation, and the honor of national police be well appreciated. However, we cannot find any empirical studies on the combat of Kae‐song Station fought by Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit now, although it has passed almost 60 years since the combat occurred. And especially the names of the policemen except the commander inspector Gam, Bong‐ryong who were killed at the combat haven't been discovered. Besides, the fact that on the day of the outbreak of war the North Korean army which attacked the Kae‐song Station got inside Song‐ak mountain of Kae‐song and invaded Kae‐song city is well recorded in the police combat manual called as『Teuksujeonryeosaryeojip』(特殊戰例事例輯) written in 1951. Although the fact that the North Korean army didn't invade the Kae‐song Station with riding trains is clearly confirmed through『Hangukgyotongdongrangi』(韓國交通動亂記) published by the Ministry of Transportation in 1953, the unverified fact about the details of the fall of Kae‐song city is being quoted, so the courage and sacrifice of the Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit is being discolored. This study cross-validated the documents and testimonies related with the combat of Kae‐song Station and it also cleared up the fact that ‘the opinion of the North Korean army's take riding of Gyeong‐ui Line' was misinformed due to utilizing conflicting testimonies. Thus, it shedded new light on the recovery of Kae‐song Railroad Police Unit's honor and the historical meaning of the combat of Kae‐seong Station. It confirmed that the elapsed time of the combat in『Teuksujeonryeosary eojip』which had recorded the combat of Kaesong Station for the first time was recorded by using summer time which was implemented in Korea at that time. So, it reconfirmed the time of attack by the North Korean army and the time of fall of Kae‐song city. Besides, it discovered not only the list of the police men but also the list of those killed in combat. It was after 66 years that the list of 45 men killed was discovered.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.