Korean public opinion: “Please forgive”

After the Chosun Daily made public the articles about Vietnamese brides on April 21 that led to reactions by Vietnamese readers, many Korean newspapers reported on a demonstration of a group of Korean citizens and Vietnamese people in front of the office of the Chosun Daily, and Vietnamese public opinion about the articles

The Hankyoreh Weekly, the issue dated May 1, published an interview with journalist Vu Duy Hung, a freelance reporter for Tuoi Tre Newspaper in Seoul, with his email below.

Mr Hung then received many apology letters from Korean people, who all support and share his feelings. He has sent Tuoi Tre some letters.


The first letter: “Korean people don’t think so”


I’m a 49-year-old dentist and I’ve visited Vietnam two times, in 2003 and 2005. The first time in your country, I was worried about whether or not the good images of Korean people in the past still remained.


But my worry was groundless. Vietnamese people are very friendly and Vietnam is a nation that loves peace. I wondered how Vietnamese people would feel after the long years of war, but in fact, Vietnamese society seems to be more stable than the Republic of Korea. Your history and culture also have similar aspects to ours.


Observing and talking with Vietnamese young people at night in cafes, I realized that they are capable and vital, like the young in the RoK. The future of Vietnam is very bright.


I’m sorry about the articles in the Chosun Daily, and hope that although we can’t immediately wipe out the blight of the articles, at least please understand that all Korean people don’t think like that. Let’s try our best for the friendship and the future of the RoK and Vietnam.


On May 4 I will visit HCM City again. Though I know you are busy, I hope to have a chance to talk with you over a glass of cold beer in Seoul before I leave.


A Korean who loves Vietnam, xenon…@hanmail.net


The second letter: “Please forgive this mistake”


It was really a mistake by the reporter of the Chosun Daily when he wrote incorrectly and didn’t hide the faces of Vietnamese brides. As a Korean, I offer an apology. I totally agree with you that “We should consider the issue humanely. They (both sides) come to each other because they need a family”.


They all need a family. Please understand more about the RoK and forgive this mistake. I hope that my words can be conveyed to Vietnamese people for an apology.


Jeon Pyeong Gu, frankch…@hanmail.net


The third letter: “I apologize for the unconcerned attitude”


I’m a Korean woman. First of all, I frankly apologise for the articles in the Chosun Daily o­n April 21. I and many other Koreans are ashamed of the impolite and emotionless articles.


Actually there are many Korean people who have protested the Chosun Daily for its reckless, unprincipled and preconceived articles.


Once again I sincerely apologise to Vietnamese people about the shameful impoliteness of the Chosun Daily. Different from the haughtiness of this newspaper, many Korean people are criticising the emotionless information that this newspaper publishes.


In addition, from the bottom of their heart, many people want to share their respect and their love and esteem for Vietnamese people.


A Korean woman in the mountainous region of Chiri


Part of the interview with journalist Vu Duy Hung in the Hankyoreh 21 Weekly


“... Vietnamese public opinion pays attention to the images of Vietnamese women who marry Korean men appearing in the articles (in the Chosun Daily) because the articles don’t reflect the issue comprehensively.


We should consider the issue humanely. They (both sides) come to each other because they need a family. In the RoK, as you know, it is difficult for rural men to marry Korean girls. That’s a social issue in the RoK.


…I hope that the two governments will issue measures to solve irregular problems in marriages with foreigners so that more and more couples have happy lives, contributing to the friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.


This is the goal of all people, including our journalists. I hope that my colleague at the Chosun Daily will realise what he said, and that he hopes to have an opportunity to reflect better upon the country and people of Vietnam.


Though I don’t totally agree with him about his reasons for defending his articles, it is praiseworthy to me that he is ready to have dialogues and apologise”/.

Source: Tuoi Tre – Translated by VietNamNet