Lai Đại Hàn
The term Lai Dai Han (or sometimes Lai Daihan/Lai Tai Han) (lai Đại Hàn in Vietnamese : pronounced [laːi ɗâˀi hâːn]; Korean: 라이따이한) is a Vietnamese term for a mixed ancestry person born to a South Korean father and a Vietnamese mother (including the victims of Korean soldiers) during the Vietnam War. Lai Dai Han often live at the margins of Vietnamese society. The South Korean government has yet to formally acknowledge the sexual violence that took place during the war.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Number of Lai Dai Han
- 3 Dynamics
- 4 Claims about sexual assaults
- 5 School textbook inclusion
- 6 Feelings of guilt
- 7 Vietnam Pieta statue
- 8 Request for apology from South Korea
- 9 Lives of Mothers
- 10 Lives of Lai Dai Han
- 11 Comparison with Comfort women
- 12 See also
- 13 References
The noun or adjective lai (chữ nôm: 𤳆) can mean any hybrid, including an animal or tree, but in this context is pejorative, meaning "mixed-blood". "Đại Hàn" (hán tự: 大韓) was the standard Vietnamese term for South Korea (the Sino-Vietnamese equivalent of Hangul: 대한; RR: Daehan), although today "Hàn Quốc" (Korean Hanguk) is more common. Since "lai" is offensive the term "lai Đại Hàn" itself does not appear in official Vietnamese sources, except in relation for example to the name of the South Korean film "Lai Đại Hàn."
Number of Lai Dai Han
The exact number of Lai Daihan is unknown. According to Busan Ilbo, there are at least 5,000 and as many as 30,000. According to Maeil Business, however, there are 1,000 at most. A 1998 paper which was cited in a 2015 paper said that the South Korean government put the number of Lai Dai Han at 1,500.
There is also criticism that the number of Vietnamese-Korean mixed children is inflated because aid organizations supported them before proper accurate research was done.
There were only estimated to be 800 mothers of Lai Dai Han who were still alive in 2015.
Many births of Lai Daihan people are allegedly due to rape and the desertion of the children. Atrocities by the South Korean military are still remembered in Vietnam. The Hankyoreh referred to the incidents as a massacre (Hangul: 대량학살 ).
Rape allegations are supported by a broadcast released by the Viet Cong which reports the assaults on women in Vietnam and massacres by the South Korean military. Testimonies by survivors of such assault and massacre by South Korean troops list rape of Vietnamese women.
In the article, "Did S. Korea operate “comfort stations” in the Vietnam War?"  says, "Distasteful as it may be, the argument is also difficult to refute and it is time for Seoul to find out the truth not only about the civilian massacres that took place during the Vietnam War, but also about the extent of military authorities’ involvement with Vietnamese authorities."
Claims about sexual assaults
|Sexual Assaults Claims Map|
South Korean Defense Ministry claim
An August 16, 2013, news article said that South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman, Kwon Ki-hyeon, said "Such intentional, organized and systemized civilian massacres by the Korean army is impossible. If such an incident did exist, it would have been exposed and made public a long time ago. The [Republic of Korea] fought in Vietnam to stop the communization of a free South Vietnam. Since our army executed our mission under strict rules, there was no sexual exploitation of Vietnamese women."
Vietnamese government claim
A March 16, 2015, news article said that the Vietnamese government claimed that South Korea made women be "comfort women" during the Vietnam War.
Letter to a Korean general claim
An April 25, 2015, news article said that a worker at Tokyo Broadcasting System named Noriyuki Yamaguchi heard "unconfirmed reports" of prostitution centers "all over" South Vietnam that were run by South Korea during the Vietnam War, and the news article said that Yamaguchi believed that if he could find evidence for this claim from the US government that it would show that South Korea had perpetrated a "comfort women" operation during the Vietnam War. The news article said that in July 2014 Yamaguchi found a letter to a Korean general, Chae Myung-shin, from the US military command at what is now Ho Chi Minh City that appeared to have been written sometime from January 1969 to April 1969. The news article said that the letter that Yamaguchi found mentioned a "Turkish bath for South Korean troops", "acts of prostitution taking place", "Vietnamese women working" and the letter said that US troops could also use the facility which was intended to be "exclusively for South Korean troops" if they paid a "fee of US$38 per visit". The news article said that Yamaguchi then asked US Vietnam veterans about the place, and the veterans said that it was a prostitution center that had young Vietnamese prostitutes.
Korean staff sergeant's claim
An April 25, 2015, news article said that Kim Nak-yeong who was a staff sergeant at Binh Khe in Bình Định in Vietnam from May 1971 to June 1972 said, "Some of the units didn’t cause any problems because they were strictly instructed not to do harm to civilians. But I heard a lot of talk about brutal sexual assaults taking place throughout the operation zones, and my understanding is there’s a definite possibility it was true."
Ten elderly Vietnamese women's claims
An April 25, 2015, news article reported quotes from the interviews of ten elderly Vietnamese women who were victims of sexual assaults perpetrated the South Korean military during the Vietnam War in Bình Định. One of their quotes was, "Four people took turns doing it to me one at a time", and another one of their quotes was, "They’d put one person at a time in the trench, keep me there all day and night and just rape me again and again".
Claim in The Korea Times
A September 4, 2016, opinion piece in The Korea Times discussed the issue of whether or not there were Vietnamese "comfort women" during the Vietnam War, focusing on the term "comfort women" in its analysis. The news article said that despite reports of sexual assaults done to Vietnamese women by the South Korean military during the Vietnam War there had been no documentation when the article was written on September 4, 2016, that would implicate the South Korean government or military as the creator or controller by way of "recruitment, transportation, housing and supplies, management, payment and the post-war dealings with victims" of a comfort women operation as part of a "formal military policy". Because what South Korea did during the Vietnam War did not meet this criteria, the news article classified South Korea as not having done a "comfort women" operation during the Vietnam War.
Claims by Korean veterans' organizations
An October 30, 2016, news article said that Jang Ui-seong, head of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Korea (VVAK), was representing 831 plaintiffs in a defamation lawsuit against Ku Su-jeong for Ku's 2014 interview in the Japanese newspaper Shukan Bunshun, Ku's 2016 interview in the South Korean newspaper The Hankyoreh and Ku's statements in a video. The news article said that South Korean "veterans’ organizations" of the Vietnam War have said that Ku's claims of the alleged actions of the South Korean military during the Vietnam War have "all" been a bunch of "falsehoods and forgeries". The news article said that South Korean "veterans" of the Vietnam War have said that "all" of the alleged victims have really just been "Viet Cong disguised as civilians" and that "no sexual violence occurred". The news article said that Ku’s claims were backed by interviews of Vietnamese people, "documentation from several investigations by the Vietnamese government", 60 Vietnam War victim memorials in Vietnam and 3 Vietnam War "memorials of hatred to South Korean troops". The news article said that Ku had as evidence "33 different official documents" several of which were from the "US military command in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970".
School textbook inclusion
A 2016 news article said that several Asian American groups have asked California's Instructional Quality Commission to include what South Korea's military did during the Vietnam War into school textbooks, but it said that handling the issue of "sexual violence" would be a "delicate task".
Feelings of guilt
Stephen Epstein, Director of the Asian Studies Programme at the Victoria University of Wellington, said that "Korea’s legacy in Vietnam encompasses feelings of guilt, especially in a very concrete manifestation: thousands of children of mixed Korean-Vietnamese descent, the Lai Dai Han, a significant proportion of whom were abandoned by their fathers."
A 2015 news article said that Yoon Mi-hyang, president of the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, said the following while addressing the elderly Vietnamese women she had interviewed who were sexually assaulted by the South Korean military during the Vietnam War, "I can’t think of anything I can say to all of you. We were innocent victims too, but hearing now that Vietnamese women were victimized by us Koreans, we feel mortified and sorry as Koreans. That is why we intend to combine our strength and raise the Butterfly Fund to provide some small help to the victims" The Butterfly Fund was started on March 8, 2012, to help people who experience sexual violence during times of war.
Vietnam Pieta statue
An April 27, 2016, news article said that artists Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung would show their Vietnam Pieta statue on May 4, 2016, to the Korean-Vietnamese Peace Foundation. This Vietnam Pieta statue would be used as a model for two statues: one statue that would go in Vietnam and one statue that would go in South Korea. The Vietnam Pieta statue depicted a mother holding a child, and the statue was reminiscent of the Pietà statue from the fifteenth century. The two artists said that the Vietnam Pieta statue was intended to convey a "message of apology and repentance of the South Korean people" to the Vietnamese people for the lives of the Vietnamese people that were lost in "massacres" by the South Korean military with particular focus on the children who were massacred by the South Korean military.
A January 16, 2016, news article said that the Kim Seo-gyeong and Kim Woon-seong, the two artists who made the Vietnam Pieta statue, did an interview on January 12, 2016. In that interview, the two artists said that "The South Korean government must demand and it must receive an exact apology from the Japanese government about the issue of the comfort women. Likewise, it must make an exact apology for the massacre of civilians during the Vietnam War. The government isn’t fulfilling its role on either of these things right now".
An October 12, 2016, news article said that the "Danang Museum" received the "Pieta Vietnam" statue on October 11, 2016, along with 51 other things. The other things included thirty photographs about a South Korean movement called "An apology to Vietnam", books about the Vietnam War, documentary videos about the Vietnam War and six pictures that memorialized people who were massacred by South Korean military during the Vietnam War.
Request for apology from South Korea
Kim Dae-jung's apology
On August 23, 2001, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung expressed his condolences for violence that South Korea unintentionally committed against the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War, and pledged to continue support of Vietnam's national development by giving $19,600,000 of South Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to the "solid waste treatment business".
A June 4, 2016, news article said that back in 2001 president Kim Dae-jung's had said, "I am sorry about the fact that we took part in an unfortunate war and unintentionally created pain for the people of Vietnam". The news article described this statement as an "indirect apology".
Tran Van Ty's Plea
In a video published on October 12, 2015, by Voices of Vietnam, Tran Van Ty said, "Since 1991, I have written to the South Korean consulate and to many Korean people. I have only requested that they please let us mixed South Korean children go and work in South Korea so that we can earn money to take care of our mothers and families. But the South Korean government, the consulate and the South Korean people have not cared a lot about us. I only wish that somehow President Park Geun-Hye could look back into history when Japanese soldiers raped South Korean women [during World War II]. Why is it that your voice has been heard and that the Japanese government has apologized to the South Korean government? Why is it that our mothers who were raped by South Korean soldiers should be forgotten?"
Letter to the United Nations
On October 14, 2015, a letter signed by ten Vietnamese women who were raped by the South Korean military during the Vietnam War signed a letter to be delivered to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, asking for a "formal apology".
National Press Club speech
In a video published to YouTube on October 17, 2015, a speaker for Voices of Vietnam delivered a speech at the National Press Club. During the speech, the speaker said, "Congressman Joseph Cao and I have serve as co-chairs for Voices of Vietnam, an organization committed to highlighting the fight of Vietnamese woman who were victims of violent sexual assault, and who is the sponsor of today's event... Time and time again, these rape victims have come to believe that no one cares about what happened to them... The Vietnamese community in the United State cares, and the global community should be compelled to care deeply about what happened, and we are here to make sure they do... I am proud to have signed the Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet Change.org petition, calling on South Korea's president Park to issue an apologies for the crimes committed by her father's troop against woman like here. Today I am proud to be joined by four woman who have the courage to share their stories of survival."
Petition to South Korea
On October 19, 2015, a petition with close to 29,000 signatures asked South Korean president Park Geun-hye for a formal apology from the South Korean government for the systematic rape and sexual assault done by South Korean soldiers to Vietnamese women during the Vietnam War.
Norm Coleman requests South Korea
An October 27, 2015, news article said that United States politician Norm Coleman requested on October 13, 2015, for South Korean president Park Geun-hye to make a public apology for the Vietnamese women who were raped by the South Korean military during the Vietnam War. Coleman said, "What happened to these women, so many of whom lost their innocence at the hands of South Korean soldiers, is one of the great untold tragedies of the Vietnam War".
No response from South Korea
Lives of Mothers
Shame of being a single mother
In a 2015 interview video, Cu Thi Hong Lien who had a child after being raped by a South Korean lieutenant colonel said that she was ashamed about being a single mother.
No longer shown respect
In a 2015 interview video, Ngo Thi Coi who had a child after being raped by a Korean soldier said that Vietnamese people did not show any respect to her anymore because they said that she "was raped and married a South Korean" even though she never married the Korean man who raped her.
Being labeled a whore
In a 2015 interview video, Nguyen Thi Xiet who had a child after being raped by a Korean soldier said that Vietnamese people told her that she was not really raped and that she was a whore for getting pregnant by a Korean man.
Anger towards Koreans
In a 2015 interview video, Ngo Thi Coi who had a child after being raped by a Korean soldier said, "I am angry with the South Koreans. I want to say that: a soldier raped me and then left my child and me behind. We have had a very hard life. We are very angry... Of course I have hatred for them."
Fear of Koreans
An April 25, 2015, news article said that Yoon Mi-hyang interviewed ten elderly Vietnamese woman in Bình Định who were sexually assaulted by the South Korean military during the Vietnam War. One of the ten women Yoon interviewed said, "It was terrifying. It was so brutal. I'm still scared of you Koreans today".
Husband leaves wife
In a 2015 interview video, Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet said that after her Vietnamese mother was raped and impregnated by a Korean soldier her Vietnamese father fought with her Vietnamese mother, and then her Vietnamese father left her Vietnamese mother.
Lives of Lai Dai Han
In a 2015 interview video, Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet said that her Vietnamese husband did not consider her son that she had as a result of rape by a Korean soldier to be his son, and she said that her Vietnamese husband would beat the Lai Dai Han child whenever her Vietnamese husband was unhappy.
In a 2015 interview video, Tran Van Ty, a Lai Dai Han man who was born from a Vietnamese mother who was raped by a Korean soldier, said that "...when I went to school, my schoolmates used to beat me up." Tran said that his schoolmates told him, "You are a South Korean mixed child. South Korean mixed children are bloodthirsty."
Being poor farmers
In a 2015 interview video, Tran Van Ty, a Lai Dai Han man, said "Us? We are poor farmers, poor people in the most remote areas; the areas where the South Korean soldiers fought, the places where the South Korean soldiers raped women, and where there are the mixed children they left behind."
Comparison with Comfort women
Lai Dai Han is often compared with Comfort women in term of the attitude by South Korea and Japan.
Japanese accuse South Korea of hypocrisy
An August 16, 2013, news articled said that far-right Japanese nationalists were accusing South Korea of hypocrisy, because Japan had paid and apologized for the sexual slavery it perpetrated during World War II yet South Korea had not done the same in regards to the sexual slavery it perpetrated during the Vietnam War. The news article said that Japanese nationalists said that South Korea had a systematic rape operation during the Vietnam War which was similar to Japan's systematic rape operation during World War II.
An October 13, 2015, opinion piece in Fox News said that South Korean president Park Geun-hye who was trying to make Japan apologize for the Korean comfort women issue would only have her "moral authority" undermined with regards to that issue if she continued to not make an "unequivocal apology" to the Vietnamese women who were victimized by the Koreans during the Vietnam War.
Japan apologizes again
A June 9, 2016, news article said that South Korea got "another apology" from Japan in December 2015 for the Korean comfort women issue, and South Korea got $8,300,000 from Japan for the Korean comfort women victims. Relating the topic back to the Lai Dai Han issue, the news article said that president Park Geun-hye still had not apologized for the Lai Dai Han issue, and the news article said that it would be surprising if president Park Geun-hye ever apologized for the Lai Dai Han issue. The news article noted that back in 2001 Park Geun-hye criticized then South Korean president Kim Dae-jung for his apology to Vietnam for the acts of Koreans during the Vietnam War, because Park felt that Kim's apology shamed South Korea. The news article said that Park Geun-hye's father was South Korean president during the Vietnam War, and the news article said that Park was intent on defending the reputation of her father.
A June 16, 2016, news article said that South Korea has been "very vocal" about the agony Koreans endured from Japan during World War II, pressing for apology and compensation from Japanese prime ministers at different points in time for what Japan did to South Korea during World War II, and the news article described this as being done "ironically" in light of what the South Korean military did to other countries' civilians. The news article said that "brutal killings, rapes and heinous acts" done by the South Korean military during the Vietnam War have now been unearthed. Referring to South Korea's actions during the Vietnam War, the news article said that South Korean president Park Geun-hye should admit to the "historical truths of her country's detestable behavior ", and the news article said that president Park should be "like Japan" and give an apology and compensation to the victims of what the South Korean military did during the Vietnam War.
- Immigration to South Korea
- Wartime sexual violence
- Demographics of Vietnam
- Demographics of South Korea
- Koreans in Vietnam
- List of massacres in Vietnam
- Field of Honor (1986 film)
- Golden Bride
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- Trọng Dật Dương 300 câu hỏi, 300 năm Sài Gòn TP. Hò̂ Chí Minh 1998 "Nhũng bộ Phim như "Người tình" (Pháp), “Lai Đại Hàn" (Hàn Quốc), "Miền Nam Xa Xưa" (Pháp), “Ba mùa" (Mỹ)... từng được thực hiện ở đây. 211. llạll chiêu hong llill nllãt Trước 1975, cả thành phố có 51 rạp chiếu bóng. Trong số này, có rạp ..."
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