Vietnamese Demand Compensation from South Korea for the 1968 Massacre
Some South Korean lawmakers and civic groups are pushing for a special law to investigate Vietnamese allegations about the 1968 incident.
On February 12, 1968, a South Korean naval unit killed dozens of people in the villages of Phong Nhi and Phong Nhut in central Vietnam. Now, Vietnamese massacre survivors are seeking compensation from Seoul in the first lawsuit of its kind to be tried in a South Korean court.
The New York Times said rumors have long been saying that South Korean forces fighting alongside US forces committed mass killings against Vietnamese civilians. But under the former military dictatorship in South Korea, discussions on this topic were considered taboo.
Although South Korea maintains that it has not found any evidence of civilian killings in its wartime records, some South Korean lawmakers and civic groups are pushing for a special law to investigate the allegations. They referred to declassified US military records, with US investigators concluding that there might be some possibility of a war crime.
"The South Korean government has never once visited our village and never once asked us what happened,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh, 61, who was injured in the massacre and lost five of her relatives, including her mother, sister, and brother.