Vietnam asks South Korea to recognize war massacre

By Tam Tien   March 9, 2023 | 06:37 am PT
Vietnam asks South Korea to recognize war massacre
Pham Thu Hang, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs's deputy spokeswoman. Photo by the ministry
Vietnam has asked South Korea to respect historical truths after its government appealed a court ruling to compensate a victim of a massacre perpetrated by U.S.-backed South Korean soldiers.

"Vietnam's stance is to put aside the past and look towards the future, but that does not mean denying historical truths," said Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang at a press conference Thursday.

"We are sorry that the South Korean government decided to appeal the court ruling."

Hang's response came after the South Korean Ministry of National Defense appealed a Seoul court decision ordering the government to compensate a Vietnamese victim of the 1968 massacre.

"In the spirit of our comprehensive strategic partnership, Vietnam asks South Korea to rightly acknowledge and respect history, while promoting practical and effective actions to resolve the consequences of war," Hang said.

In a court ruling announced on Feb. 7, the Seoul Central District Court compelled the South Korean government to pay $24,000 in compensation to Nguyen Thi Thanh, who in 1968 lost family members when South Korean soldiers murdered 74 civilians in the central province of Quang Nam.

It was the first time that a South Korean court acknowledged the state's responsibility to compensate victims of the Vietnam War massacre.

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

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