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Korean groups slam paper disgracing Vietnamese women
Posted: Apr 28,2006
Minh Lan, who studies at a RoK university, expressed her anger talking to local media.

Six Republic of Korean mass organizations publicly condemned Tuesday a local newspaper for running an article humiliating Vietnamese women, portraying them as merely women dying for a marriage in Korea.

At a press conference, the Nawauri, cross-border, democratic speech, women and peace organizations issued a joint announcement criticizing the Chosun Daily’s article captioned “Vietnamese virgins coming to Korea - a nation of hope” dated April 21.

They asked the newspaper to immediately and officially apologize to 11 Vietnamese women whose faces appear in a picture carried along with the article.

The article described a matchmaking process whereby a Korean suitor called Kim went to see his would-be brides and browsed through “a chorus line of Vietnamese women”.

It displayed an “insensitive and cold attitude” towards the Vietnamese girls, the organizations wrote in the joint announcement.

The paper, “forgetting the obligation of a just media agency”, wrote “he [the suitor] is also shown a catalogue on CD-Rom containing photos of hundreds of would-be brides – just scanning them all would have taken an hour and a half”.

It continued, “some 150 Vietnamese girls, tagged with number tickets on their breasts, appeared on the computer screen which sometimes zoomed in their faces, sometimes their whole bodies”.

Thus, according to the six organizations, the paper just “conveyed details on the commercialization of Vietnamese women’s bodies” and “did not criticize the act”, which has been continuously condemned by Korean social activists.

Moreover, it carried a photo featuring 11 women with their faces unconcealed.

Under the photo are the words “Korean princes please take me home”, which is nothing but a humiliation and “fades out the crux of the issue”, they denounced.

This is a grave and condemnable issue. The Chosun paper seemed to speak for matchmaking companies, the organizations wrote.

“We condemned it as the paper completely ignored its social and media obligations, emboldening an unbiased outlook on Vietnamese woman besides humiliating and violating their human rights”.

Source: Tuoi Tre - Translated by Thanh Nien Daily

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"... From the beginning of the first century A.D., when the two Trung Sisters rose up to fight the enemy and save the nation, until now, whenever our country has faced danger, our women have contributed whatever they could toward the cause of national liberation.

Our people are grateful that our mothers from South and North alike have borne and raised our nation's generation of heroes....

Under the Socialist system, tens of thousands of women have become specialists in different fields and, as cadre, serve as directors and vice-directors of factories, leaders of farming cooperatives, presidents of People’s Committees, and general secretaries of Party Cells....

And so, the women of Vietnam from ancient times until now, from South to North, from young to old, are truly heroes ..."

(Excerpted from President Ho Chi Minh's speech on the 36th Anniversary of Vietnam Women's Union 20 October 1966)

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