A South Korean official from the ruling Democratic Party of Korea recently made some remarks many have found to be demeaning against Vietnamese women.
Rep. Lee Hae-chan was meeting with a high-level Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on Monday when he uttered the allegedly inappropriate comments.
“A lot of Korean men marry Vietnamese women because they prefer them over women of other countries,” Lee was quoted as saying when he met the Vietnamese officials at his office.
Lee, chairman of the DPK, was said to be referring to the Vietnamese women who are wed to Korean men often by via international brokers.
Many saw the remarks as condescending, objectifying women in general and ranking migrant brides by Korean men’s preference, Korea Times reports.
While the Vietnamese delegates have yet to publicly react, local politicians from other parties have expressed their outrage over the statement.
“Lee tried to divide some 300,000 biracial households in Korea by race and nation of origin,” a representative from the Party for Democracy and Peace said in a statement. “We deplore the ruling party’s leader for having such a narrow and distorted view about our diverse families.”
Meanwhile, the conservative Bareunmirae Party has demanded an official apology from Lee.
“Many Vietnamese brides come to Korea in their early 20s, not even knowing how to speak Korean, and get pregnant, being separated from their families,” the progressive Justice Party noted.
“Despite their effort to sustain themselves with a sense of duty to their children, much of Korean society looks down on them. Lee exposed that insensitivity when he said what he thought were pleasantries during his meeting with the Vietnamese delegation.”
Featured image via YouTube/Arirang News