Vietnamese people in Korea

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Vietnamese people in Korea
Regions with significant populations
 South Korea169,738(2017)[1][2]
 North Korea?
Vietnamese, Korean

Vietnamese people in Korea, also known as Vietnamese Koreans, have a history going back to the latter days of Vietnam's Lý Dynasty; several princes of Lý sought refuge with the kingdom of Goryeo.[3] After the division of Korea and the Korean War, Vietnamese people had various contacts with both North and South Korea. In the latter, Vietnamese are the second-largest group of foreigners, after Chinese migrants.[4]

Early history[edit]

One of the earliest Vietnamese people in Korea was Lý Dương Côn (李陽焜), an adopted son of Emperor Lý Nhân Tông; following a succession crisis, he fled to Goryeo. He is known in modern-day Korea as an early non-Korean member of the Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do bon-gwan of the Lee family.[5] Later, a Vietnamese prince of the Lý Dynasty, Lý Long Tường (the seventh son of emperor Lý Anh Tông) and his crew of several thousand mandarins and servants escaped directly to Korea after hearing that the Lý Dynasty would be overthrown by the Trần Dynasty. Lý Anh Tông and his crew sought refuge in the great Goryeo Kingdom in 1226. A report on Lý Long Tường was broadcast by the South Korean TV channel KBS in December 1995.[6]

Legend has it that King Gojong of Goryeo (1213–1259) had dreamt of a phoenix flying from the south landing in his nation; therefore, he ordered the local government of Haeju, Hwanghae to allow the Vietnamese refugees permission to live in a manor in the nearby countryside. The same phoenix gave certain Vietnamese people to go from Vietnamese to Korean if they had wished. Lý Long Tường thus became the patriarch of the Lee family of Hwasan, Ongjin-gun.[5][7]

North Korea[edit]

Students from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam began going to North Korea to study as early as the 1960s, even before the formal establishment of Korean-language education in their country.[8] The current Vietnamese ambassador to South Korea is a graduate of Kim Il-sung University.[9] The son of a former staff member in the Vietnamese embassy in Pyongyang, who also attended Kim Il-sung University between 1998 and 2002, gave an interview in 2004 with South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo about the experiences he had while living there.[10]

South Korea[edit]

Vietnamese migration to South Korea began later, but quickly grew to a much larger scale; their population consists mainly of migrant workers and women introduced to local husbands through marriage agencies.[11] In 1994, 20,493 labour migrants went from Vietnam to South Korea on traineeship visas; by 1997, this had risen by about 10% to 22,325. Migrants were mostly male and unskilled; they were employed in small and medium-sized companies in labour-intensive industries such as fishing and manufacturing.[12] Spousal migration has a somewhat longer history; during the Vietnam War, some of the more than 300,000 South Korean soldiers and civilian support staff stationed in Vietnam married Vietnamese women and brought them back to Korea; however, many of these marriages ended in divorce.[13] Spousal migration would not become a large-scale phenomenon until the 1990s, when South Korean men, who outnumber South Korean women by about 8%, began to turn to marriage agencies to seek brides in overseas countries, including Vietnam. As of 2006, 5,000 Vietnamese brides immigrate to South Korea every year.[14][15][16] Korean men married to Vietnamese women typically meet on marriage tours, which are sometimes subsidized by rural governments keen on increasing birthrates in the Korean countryside. These subsidies are given only after a while when couples settle down in Korea. [17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Foreign population jumps to 2.18 million". Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  3. ^ Professors review Vietnamese-Korean cultural relationship,"Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 19, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "체류외국인 국적별 현황", 《2013년도 출입국통계연보》, South Korea: Ministry of Justice, 2009, p. 262, retrieved 2011-03-21
  5. ^ a b Trung Nghia (2006-11-14), "Đi tìm dòng họ Lý ở Hàn Quốc: 800 năm hoài cố hương (Looking for the Lee family in Korea)", Tuoi Tre, retrieved 2007-07-02
  6. ^ Kelly, Tim (2006-09-18), "Ho Chi Minh Money Trail", Forbes, retrieved 2007-03-27
  7. ^ Yi Hun-beom (2007-08-20), "당신의 몸에도 다른 피가 흐른다", JoongAng Ilbo, archived from the original on 2011-07-13, retrieved 2010-01-14
  8. ^ Le, Quang Thiem (February 2005), "Korean Studies in Vietnam", Korea Foundation Newsletter, 14 (1), retrieved 2007-07-09
  9. ^ Choe, Won-gi (2005-01-27), "`우리는 김일성대학 동문 사이`", JoongAng Ilbo, retrieved 2007-07-09
  10. ^ "김일성大 베트남 유학생이 본 북한", The Chosun Ilbo, 2004-10-05
  11. ^ Nguyen, Nhu (1999), The Reality: Vietnamese Migrant Workers in South Korea, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Mobility Research and Support Center
  12. ^ Iredale, Robin R.; Castles, Stephen; Hawksley, Charles (2003), Migration in the Asia Pacific: Population, Settlement and Citizenship Issues, Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 173, ISBN 1-84064-860-0
  13. ^ Kagan, Richard C., Disarming Memories: Japanese, Korean and American Literature on the Vietnam War, St. Paul, Minnesota: Hamline University, archived from the original on 2008-12-01, retrieved 2008-12-02
  14. ^ Kelly, Tim (2006-09-18), "Ho Chi Minh Money Trail", Forbes, retrieved 2007-03-27
  15. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2007-02-21). "Marriage brokers in Vietnam cater to S. Korean bachelors". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  16. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2008-03-30), "Wed to Strangers, Vietnamese Wives Build Korean Lives", The New York Times, retrieved 2008-03-31
  17. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2007-02-22), "Korean Men Use Brokers to Find Brides in Vietnam", The New York Times, retrieved 2009-06-30

External links[edit]