A Seoul court on Tuesday ruled that the South Korean government must compensate ₩30 million (US$23,800) to a Vietnamese woman whose family was murdered by South Korean marines during the Vietnam War.
Nguyen Thi Thanh, who said that she was a survivor of the mass killing of about 70 people in Phong Nhi Village in the central province of Quang Nam in 1968 by South Korean marines, filed a damages suit against the South Korean government in 2020, seeking ₩30 million as compensation. Thanh said she lost her family members and received gunshot injuries during the incident, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Thanh, ordering the state to compensate her the aforementioned amount of money, plus interests.
While the South Korean government argued that it was immune to the damages suit filed by a Vietnamese due to an agreement signed between Vietnam, South Korea and the U.S., the court rejected the argument.
It also rejected another claim that the South Korean marines’ involvement in the murder has not been clearly proven, or that it was justifiable in the context of the war.
Thanh said she was “tremendously delighted” to hear the ruling, adding that it would be a consolation to the victims.
Thanh’s lawyers said her case was the first acknowledgment by an official South Korean body of the mass killings of civilians during the Vietnam War.
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