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Korean diplomat apologizes for paper disgracing Vietnamese women
Posted: May 03,2006

A Republic of Korean diplomat has just apologized to Vietnamese women after protests at home slammed a local newspaper as “cold and insensitive” in portraying the women as merely dying to marry a Korean man.

Ahn Tae Sung, attaché at the Republic of Korean embassy in Vietnam, also apologized on Wednesday to the 11 women whose faces appeared distinctly in the Chosun Daily’s article captioned “Vietnamese virgins coming to Korea - a nation of hope” dated April 21.

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”.

The paper did not blur the 11 faces in line with media ethics. It even carried the words “Korean princes please take me home” under the photo.

Sung said his embassy had asked the newspaper to publicly apologize to the 11 women in particular and Vietnamese women in general.

The embassy had earlier received a letter from the writer of the article, Che Sung Woo, asking it to convey his apology to Vietnamese women.

“The content of the article and the photo [featuring the 11 women] clearly affects Vietnamese women’s human rights and dignity in a negative way”, the attaché said.

The article did not reflect the real situation of marriage between Vietnamese women and Korean men, he continued.

Earlier, six mass organizations in Korea had issued a joint statement complaining “the paper completely ignored its social and media obligations, emboldening an unbiased outlook on Vietnamese woman besides humiliating and violating their human rights”.

In related news, Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre newspaper has just sent a letter to the Chosun, asking the paper to apologize for the infamous article.

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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