US to Say "Regret" for Killing Koreans

President Bill Clinton plans to state US regret that South Korean civilians were killed at the hands of American forces during the Korean War, senior administration and defense officials said.

Having decided against a formal apology, Clinton intends to issue a written statement Thursday regretting the loss of innocent lives in the 1950-53 Korean War, said the officials, who discussed the matter Wednesday on condition they not be identified.

Clinton's statement will be timed with the planned release of the Pentagon's final report on an Army inspector general investigation of a July 1950 incident in which American soldiers reportedly killed a significant number of South Korean civilian refugees near the hamlet of No Gun Ri. The South Korean government conducted its own investigation and will release its report simultaneously.

It could not be learned with certainty Wednesday whether Clinton's statement would say specifically that he regretted the No Gun Ri incident or whether the statement would be cast in a broader context of civilian casualties throughout the war.

"The president will issue a statement of regret," a senior administration official said without elaborating.

Clinton earlier decided that the United States would not provide financial compensation to the survivors and families of the victims.

People's Daily Online ---