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Battered Vietnamese wife wants to stay

July 11,2019
The Vietnamese woman who was allegedly beaten by her Korean husband last week has asked for help from the Vietnamese Embassy in Korea and relevant agencies of the Korean government to get divorced and bring up the couple’s child in Korea.

The Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday that the 30-year-old victim of domestic abuse captured on video that went viral was visited by representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in a hospital in Mokpo, South Jeolla. The embassy has asked relevant Korean agencies to help with a legal settlement of the case, the report continued, and vowed to cooperate with the South Jeolla police and a human rights center for married female immigrants to offer consular assistance to the victim.

The embassy did not respond to calls from the Korea JoongAng Daily on Wednesday for confirmation.

The 36-year-old Korean husband was arrested last Saturday after a video of him beating his Vietnamese wife in front of their 2-year-old child went viral.

According to South Jeolla police, the abuse allegedly occurred at the couple’s home in Yeongam County, South Jeolla, about 310 kilometers (192 miles) south of Seoul, at 9 p.m. on July 7. The victim claimed she was punched and kicked by her husband for over three hours for not listening to him and speaking poor Korean.

It wasn’t the first time the suspect beat her, she told police. That day, she decided to record the beating on her cellphone. She later showed the video to a friend, who decided to call the police on Friday morning and give it to them. The clip spread online after the victim’s friend uploaded it on Facebook Saturday.

After the husband was arrested Saturday, a local court issued a pre-trial detention warrant for him on Monday.

Police said the two met in 2014 at a factory in Yeongam. At the time, the suspect had divorced one Korean woman and was married to a second. The suspect and victim started dating nonetheless.

In early 2016, the victim told the suspect she was pregnant with his child. The suspect, who already had two children - one from each marriage - told her to get an abortion if it was a boy, though it remains unclear why he specifically wanted a girl.

The victim, who didn’t want an abortion, left for Vietnam in April 2016 to raise the child on her own. Last April, the suspect, who had divorced his second wife, traveled to Vietnam to convince the victim to return to Korea to raise the child.

The couple came to Korea last month and registered their marriage.

The suspect began allegedly punching the victim for spending too much money and not listening to him, said police. The wife never called the cops because she didn’t want to tear the family apart by putting her husband in jail.

BY CHOI KYEONG-HO, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]