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    Court Says South Korea Responsible for Vietnam War Massacre

    Court Says South Korea Responsible for Vietnam War Massacre

    , South — A South Korean court on Tuesday ordered the government to pay 30 million won ($24,000) to a Vietnamese woman who survived a gunshot wound but lost several relatives when South Korean marines rampaged through her village during the War in 1968.

    In awarding the compensation to 62-year-old Nguyen Thi Thanh, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the government's argument that it was unclear whether South Korean troops were responsible for the slaughter in the village of Phong Nhi.

    The court also rejected the government's argument that civilian killings were unavoidable as the Korean troops were dealing with Viet Cong guerrillas who often blended with locals, according to Thanh's lawyer, Lim Jae-sung.

    The ruling marks the first time a South Korean court found the country's government responsible for mass killings of Vietnamese civilians during the war, and could potentially open the way for similar lawsuits. Then ruled by anti-communist leaders, South Korea sent more than 320,000 troops to Vietnam, the largest foreign contingent fighting alongside U.S. troops.

    South Korea's Justice Ministry didn't immediately respond to a query whether the government will appeal.

    According to U.S. military documents and survivors, more than 70 people were killed and around 20 others injured after South Korean marines allegedly fired at unarmed civilians during search operations at Phong Nhi…

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