Over 40 people from South Korea have arrived in a hamlet in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam to commemorate the victims of a massacre carried out by Korean troops during the war 50 years ago.
Forty-one members of the Korea-Vietnam Peace Foundation expressed their apologies and formally bowed in front of family members of the deceased in Ha My Hamlet, Dien Duong Commune, Dien Ban District during a ceremony on Sunday morning.
The Korean members came from all walks of life, but they gathered at the commemoration for just one purpose, which was to extend their sincere apologies to the late victims, their families, as well as the Vietnamese people, Kang U-il, chair of the foundation, remarked.
|Dang Thi Kha, one of the survivors in the massacre which took place in 1968. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The massacre took place in early 1968, when South Korean troops lined up the unsuspecting locals in a field before shooting straight at them.
Their mission was to eliminate every single communist in the hamlet.
Many families were completely wiped out following the incident.
“I was angry. I lost five family members including my mother and older brother. The massacre happened when I was just three years old,” Dang Thi Kha, a survivor, said.
|Kim Mae Hwa (R), whose cousin was among the Korean troops, apologizes to Nguyen Thi Thanh, a survivor of the massacre. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
“Now as the Korean people are saying sorry, I understand that my anger would not be able to change the past,” Kha continued.
On Saturday, members of the Korea-Vietnam Peace Foundation visited the memorial boards of massacre victims in Phong Nhat and Phong Nhi Villages, both located in Dien Ban District, and Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province.
They also extended their apologies to the victims’ family members and other survivors.
|Members of the Korea-Vietnam Peace Foundation pay tribute at the memorial board in Quang Nam Province on March 10, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
According to The Hankyoreh, a total of 320,000 South Korean troops were sent to Vietnam during the war years of 1965 to 1973.
About 1,004 civilians in Tay Vinh Village in the south-central province of Binh Dinh were killed by the Korean Tiger division in 1966, and another 357 were murdered by the Blue Dragon division in Quang Nam Province in 1968.
The Korea-Vietnam Peace Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established in September 2016 to raise awareness of and redress Korean wrongdoing during the war in Vietnam.
|A Korean man cleans up the memorial board of the Vietnamese victims. Photo: Tuoi Tre|