In this episode number 936 of the podcast Vietnam Veteran News, an aspect of the modern day relationship between Vietnam and South Korea will be featured. A story in The VN Express International titled: South Korea seeks to calm Vietnam after controversial remarks by president highlights a situation that has led to friction between the two east Asian nations. It was engendered by remarks made by the new South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. In a June 6, 2017 speech, Moon honored his country’s soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War, saying their contributions helped their country.
The remarks by the South Korean president deeply hurt the Vietnamese psyche, in other words they got their feelings hurt. Emotions ran so high Vietnam’s foreign ministry criticized this and requested the South Korean government not to make such hurtful statements.
Here is a little background on the situation. During the Vietnam War, South Korea sent more than 320,000 troops to serve in the War from 1964 to 1973. Only the U.S. sent more than South Korea. The South Koreans proved to be tough adversaries for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces.
Apparently they were a little too tough. Historian Ku Su-jeong, a Korean himself, intimates South Korean troops massacred 9,000 Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War. That claim has never been acknowledged by the South Korean government.
Since the war, the two countries have kissed and made up. In 1992 they established diplomatic ties and began a trade relationship that has blossomed. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency reported that at the end of 2016 South Korea has invested $50 billion into the growing Vietnamese economy.
It is a sure bet the two countries will patch up their differences over innocent remarks made by the South Korean president during a speech honoring his military.
Listen to the whole story at episode 936 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast.