Virtually 55 years after her village was destroyed by South Korean marines combating alongside the US in Vietnam, a choose in Seoul dominated that Nguyen Thi Thanh was a sufferer of a conflict crime and entitled to compensation.
On Tuesday, Decide Park Jin-soo of the Seoul Central District Courtroom dominated that what members of the Second Marine Brigade did to her household “clearly amounted to an unlawful act.” Ngyuen, 62, was entitled to compensation from the South Korean authorities within the quantity of $23,900, he mentioned.
Legal professionals representing Nguyen, who introduced the case in 2020, hope it’ll create a precedent for prosecuting different atrocities dedicated in Vietnam by South Korean troops. Seoul had despatched 320,000 troops to again the US conflict effort in Vietnam, the most important allied contingent within the battle. Australia, Thailand, New Zealand and the Philippines additionally took half within the combating on the US aspect.
Nguyen was seven when South Korean marines entered the villages of Phong Nhi and Phong Nhut on February 12, 1968. Greater than 70 villagers have been killed, shot or stabbed to demise with bayonets. Nguyen was shot within the abdomen however survived, alongside along with her brother and 18 different villagers. 5 of their members of the family didn’t.
The federal government’s legal professionals argued that there was not sufficient proof to show the bloodbath, and that the operation itself was unlucky however not unlawful, claiming there have been Viet Cong guerrillas within the villages. In addition they tried to invoke the statute of limitations.
Nevertheless, one of many former members of the Second Marines, Ryu Jin-seong – now 76 – testified on the trial and endorsed Nguyen’s account of occasions. So did the declassified US army paperwork. American marines stationed in close by Dien Ban heard the gunshots and noticed the smoke from the torched properties in Phong Nhi and Phong Nhut. They helped among the wounded and took images of the useless in Phong Ni, which wound up as proof throughout the trial.
A month after the occasions of Phong Nhi and Phong Nhut, one other American unit would kill tons of of Vietnamese civilians within the village of My Lai.
Shut to three.5 million individuals in Vietnam – in addition to the neighboring Laos and Cambodia – died throughout the twenty years of battle that started with the partition of 1955. The US went from financially propping up South Vietnam to open army intervention in 1964, solely to withdraw in 1972. The federal government in Saigon surrendered three years later.
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