Republic of Korea
Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
According to the Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996), it is only permissible to kill combatants.
The Republic of Korea’s Military Regulation 187 (1991) provides that “killing non-combatants” is a war crime.
The Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996) states that direct attacks against civilians are contrary to international law.
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[d]irecting attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities” in both international and non-international armed conflicts.
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the Republic of Korea called upon both parties to respect immediately the non-combatant status of civilians.
The Report on the Practice of the Republic of Korea states that it is the Republic of Korea’s opinio juris
that the prohibition of direct attacks against civilians is part of customary international law.