Vietnam criticizes S.Korea President's remarks to honor war veterans

By Nhu Tam   June 12, 2017 | 11:48 pm GMT+7

President Moon Jae-in honored earlier this month South Korean soldiers, including those who fought in the Vietnam War.

Vietnam last Friday lodged a protest with the South Korean Embassy regarding President Moon Jae-in's recent remarks, according to Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

In a speech marking South Korea's Memorial Day last Tuesday, President Moon honored national heroes and veterans, including those who fought in the Vietnam War.

“We request the government of South Korea not to take actions or make statements that could hurt the Vietnamese people or negatively affect the two countries' friendly relations,” Hang said in a statement.

Vietnam wishes to develop friendly relations with all countries, including South Korea. The two countries' leaders have agreed to put the past aside and look to the future, Hang stated.

South Korean troops massacred about 9,000 Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War, according to an investigation by historian Ku Su-jeong.

However, the South Korean government has never acknowledged that any civilian massacre took place at the hands of its troops, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article in May 2015.

South Korea deployed more than 300,000 troops to Vietnam from 1964 to 1973, second only to the U.S. military force.

It is now the largest foreign investor in Vietnam with $50 billion at the end of 2016, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.