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Hangang Bridge, Seoul

Han River, Seoul

The Hangang Bridge bombing (Korean language: 한강 인도교 폭파 ,[1] Hanja: 漢江人道橋爆破) was a bombing conducted by the South Korean Army to destroy the Hangang Bridge in Seoul, South Korea on 28 June 1950.

On 25 June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, sparking the Korean war. South Korean President Rhee Syngman called for the defense of Seoul to the death.[2]

On 27 June, early morning, Rhee Syngman evacuated himself from Seoul by special train with the other government officials.[2] At 11:00 am, the South Korean Army headquarters decided to bomb the Hangang Bridge to stop the North Korean invasion and gave up defending Seoul.[3] From noon to 3:30 pm, the Korean Army planted 3,600 pounds of TNT at the Hangang bridge.[2][3] At 11:30 pm, the bombing warning order was issued.[3] However, the South Korean Army didn't announce the bombing to Seoul citizens.[4]

On 28 June, at 1:45 am, the bombing order was issued.[3] At 2:30 am, the Hangang Bridge was bombed without warning.[2] The bridge was filled with 4,000 refugees when it was bombed, and between 500 and 1,000 refugees were killed.[1][2][2][5] The South Korean government said 800 people died in the blast.[1] The South Korean Fifth Division was also cut off from its retreat path.[3][5] At 11:00 am, the North Korean Army reached the bridge.[3]

On 21 September 1950, Colonel Choi Changsik was executed as the responsible person for the bombing.[1] In 1964, Choi's wife pleaded his innocence to the appeal tribunal, and the court found Choi not guilty because the bombing order was issued by his superior officers.[1]

On 28 June 2007, the first memorial service was held by local veterans' peace association.[1]

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