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본 논문은 한국전쟁 중 동원된 노무인력의 형태와 운용 실태를 전반적으로 파악하면서, 특히 미 제8군 예하의 한국노무단(KSC, Korean Service Corps)의 구성과 운영을 중점적으로 분석한 연구이다. 이것은 예비병력이 KSC로 전화되어 가는 과정을 규명하는 것에서 출발해, 민족상잔 비극의 중심에 존재했던 진중 노무자에 대한 당대의 다양한 인식을 살펴 KSC의 군사사적 성격을 밝히는 것이다. 개전 초, 미군의 참전에도 고전을 면치 못한 전쟁 국면은 낙동강까지 전선을 후퇴시켰고 폭발적인 소요에도 불구하고 각종 인력 동원은 법제의 공백으로 체계적으로 실시되지 못했다. 설상가상으로 인천상륙작전으로 군이 북진하자 노무인력 동원 범위는 전국으로 확대되었다. 그러나 기 동원한 노무자는 빈번히 부대를 이탈했고, 언어장벽과 업무 효율 등 문제가 계속 제기되어 노무인력의 조직화 필요성이 대두되었다. 중공군의 참전으로 다시 전선이 남하하여 현재의 휴전선 일대에서 고착되자 미군은 노무인력 조직화에 박차를 가하게 되고 한국노무단이 창설되기에 이른다. 그러나 KSC의 창설은 단지 미 제8군의 필요에 따른 일방적 정책 구현은 아니었다. 당시 한국 정부는 예비병력과 비전투병력의 총 결집을 통한 총력전 체제로의 전환을 기도하였고, 1950년 12월 ‘국민방위군’을 창설하였으나 이른바 ‘국민방위군 사태’로 국민방위군은 반년 만에 해체된다. 그리고 미 제8군과 마찬가지로 노무인력의 체계적인 동원의 필요성을 전쟁 기간 내내 몸소 겪은 국군은 예비인 제5군단을 창설한다. 이것은 국민방위군 소속이었던 인원들을 다시 흡수하여 5개의 사단 규모의 병력을 확보하기 위한 것이었다. 이러한 한·미 양국의 필요가 합치되어 제5군단을 모체로 KSC가 창설되었고 그것은 작전지속지원을 위한 ‘근무 부대’로서 운영된다.


This paper takes an overall look at the form and operation of the labor force mobilized during the Korean War, with a particular focus on the Korean Service Corps(KSC) under the Eighth U.S. Army. Despite the UN Forces’ participation at the beginning of the war, the front line ended up being pushed down to the Nakdong River. Attempting to overcome this crisis, South Korean President Syngman Rhee appealed to the whole nation for voluntary assistance in the war effort. However, due to the lack of legal basis for the mobilization of reserve forces and laborers and the declaration of emergency martial law leading to men being conscripted on the streets, systematic mobilization was unable to be implemented. About one month after the war broke out, the "Special Measures Ordinance on Punishment" was enforced, laying down the legal basis for conscription and mobilization. However, due to the increase in the number of refugees and floating population, systematic mobilization could still not be carried out as administrative procedures were difficult to implement. The range of the Eighth U.S. Army’s labor mobilization expanded across the country as the Incheon landing cleared the frontline and the military advanced northward. However, some of the refugees who were mobilized during the Nakdong River battle went missing while following the U.S. military northward. Moreover, problems such as the language barrier and the work efficiency of the Korean labor force were continuously made apparent, raising the need to organize the workforce. As the front lines again moved southward with the entry of the Chinese military and the conflict turning into a war of attrition along the present-day demarcation line, the organization of the workforce was stepped up, resulting in the establishment of the KSC. The creation of the KSC was not just in accordance with the needs of the Eighth U.S. Army. The Korean government attempted to create a national all-out war system by combining the reserve and non-combat forces. It established the "National Defense Corps" in December 1950, but due to the so-called "National Defense Corps issue," the National Defense Corps was disbanded after half a year. The Korean Army, feeling the need for the systematic mobilization of the labor force throughout the war just like the Eighth U.S. Army, established the Fifth Corps, a reserve unit. It aimed to reabsorb personnel from the National Defense Corps to secure troops enough for five divisions. Meeting both the needs of Korea and the United States, the KSC was established with the Fifth Corps as its parent institution. Since the armistice agreement, all labor organizations have been gradually dismantled, with some remaining as the current KSC. Despite its distinctiveness, the KSC was termed the 'vacuum of Korean War research' because it had not received attention in either history or military studies at home or abroad. Therefore, this research’s significance lies in finding historical significance by following in the footsteps of those who existed at the center of Korea’s national tragedy.