Vietnamese, Koreans mark 55th anniversary of massacre

February 14, 2023 - 21:36
The killings occurred on the 24th day of the first lunar month in 1968, in Hà My Village, now Điện Dương Ward, Điện Bàn Town, Quảng Nam Province.


Members of the Korean-Vietnamese Peace Foundation join the commemoration of 135 victims killed in the massacre. VNS Photo Công Thành 

QUẢNG NAM — The Korean-Vietnamese Peace Foundation joined a commemoration for the 135 victims killed in a massacre 55 years ago, in the central province of Quảng Nam, on February 14.

The killings occurred on the 24th day of the first lunar month in 1968, in Hà My Village, now Điện Dương Ward, Điện Bàn Town, the oldest victim being 88 years old, and the youngest just a few months old.

Many wreaths from Korean organisations and individuals were sent to commemorate those that lost their lives.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh, a survivor of the massacre in Phong Nhị Village in Quảng Nam Province, and other survivors attend the ceremony. VNS Photos Công Thành

Kang Min Jung, member of the National Assembly of Korea, said: “Many Korean people did not know the truth of the massacre, but a Seoul court on February 7 raised attention.

“Despite positive and bright relationship between Việt Nam and Korea in terms of investment and economic cooperation, the massacre left a ‘dark’ memory' on the two countries.

"The killings should not have happened.

“I’m not a representative of the Korean Government, but acting as a member of the National Assembly and I sincerely apologise to the Vietnamese people."

Koreans remember the dead from the killings in Hà My Village 55 years ago. 

Jung also said the Seoul Central District Court's ruling marks the first time a South Korean court has acknowledged the State's liability to compensate victims.

She added that the successful lawsuit was a benchmark of wider awareness among Korean people.

Kwon Hyun Woo, office chief of the Korean-Vietnamese Peace Foundation, meets a relative of a victim of the massacre. VNS Photo Công Thành 

The Korean National Assembly member shared that her visit to central Việt Nam also helped seek the truth.

She said discussions on building a special law on solving the killings by Korean soldiers in the Việt Nam War will be continued.

In a written speech at the ceremony, the president of the Korean-Vietnamese Peace Foundation, Kang U-Il, who did not attend the event, expressed: “We will never forget the massacre in Hà My Village. We bow our heads to the 135 killed villagers.

"We are sorry. The souls of 135 people had rested in peace,  but the dead will still live forever in our memories.”


Two elderly people from Hà My Village prepare an offering to remember the dead. VNS Photo Công Thành 

Nguyễn Thị Thanh, 66, who was seriously wounded in the massacre, said the successful lawsuit would help to bring the truth to the people of Korea and Việt Nam.

She said it would help heal the scars of war and bring people closer than ever. VNS