Episode 2489 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about the South Korean Vietnam War alleged massacre at the village of Phong Nhi in Quang Nam Province. The featured story comes from the NPR Illinois website and is titled: A Vietnam War massacre case from 1968 forces a new reckoning in South Korea. The story was submitted by Anthony Kuhn
Kuhn is NPR’s correspondent based in Seoul, South Korea, reporting on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the great diversity of Asia’s countries and cultures. Before moving to Seoul in 2018, he traveled to the region to cover major stories including the North Korean nuclear crisis and the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster.
The U.S. military carries the burden of the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by American troops at My Lai in 1968. The South Koreans also carry a similar burden. In 1968, it is alleged that South Korean troops killed 70 Vietnamese civilians. South Korea sent some 320,000 troops to fight alongside the U.S. in Vietnam, the largest contingent of any U.S. ally.
Nguyen Thi Thanh lived in Phong Nhi when the killing took place. She was eight years old at the time and she saw her whole family killed by the South Koreans.
She was obsessed with the event and finally decided to sue the South Korean government three years ago. Her case was championed by South Korean civic groups, lawyers and journalists who broke the story of the village massacre in 1999.
On Feb. 8, 2023, a Seoul court ordered the South Korean government to compensate Nguyen Thi Thanh $24,000. But the government will appeal the court’s ruling.
As unprecedented as the court decision was in Nguyen Thi Thanh’s case, it is unclear what, if any, effect the decision will have on government policy.
Listen to episode 2489 and discover more about the South Korean Vietnam War alleged massacre at the village of Phong Nhi in Quang Nam Province