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UNEXPLORED CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS DURING THE KOREAN WAR

  • Woo Chang Kang and Ji Yeon Hong
Abstract

In this paper, we examine the extent to which wartime violence against civilians during the Korean War affects people's current attitudes toward South Korea and other involved countries. Using a difference-in-differences (DID) approach that compares the cohorts born before and after the war, we find that direct exposure to wartime violence induces negative perceptions regarding perpetrator countries. As many of the civilian massacres were committed by the South Korean armed forces, prewar cohorts living in violence-ridden areas during the war demonstrate significantly less pride in South Korea today. In contrast, postwar cohorts from those violent areas, who were exposed to intensive anti-communist campaigns and were incentivized to differentiate themselves from the victims, show significantly greater pride in South Korea, and greater hospitality toward the United States than toward North Korea, compared to prewar cohorts in the same areas and to the same cohorts born in non-violent areas.

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