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(LEAD) Police chief vows thorough probe into assault on Vietnamese woman

Politics 16:53 July 08, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with issuance of arrest warrant and more details in paras 6-10; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's police chief on Monday expressed regrets over a recent assault on a Vietnamese woman by her Korean husband and vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into the case.

Min Gap-ryong, commissioner general of the Korean National Police Agency, made the remarks during his talks with To Lam, Vietnamese minister of public security, in Seoul.

The high-profile case made headlines in both countries over the weekend, after a video went viral of a 36-year-old Korean man punching and kicking his Vietnamese wife in the presence of their two-year-old son. The man, a resident of Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, about 390km south of Seoul, reportedly beat his wife for three hours last Thursday for not speaking Korean well before being put under emergency detention.

Min Gap-ryong (R), commissioner general of the Korean National Police Agency, walks with To Lam, Vietnamese minister of public security, before holding talks at the agency headquarters in Seoul on July 8, 2019. (Yonhap)

Min mentioned the assault case during his meeting with Lam, the first Vietnamese public security minister to visit South Korea in seven years.

"It is very regrettable that a Vietnamese marriage migrant woman has recently been victimized by domestic violence. I promise a thorough investigation and rehabilitation for the victim," Min said.

A South Korean man accused of severely beating his Vietnamese wife arrives at the Mokpo branch of the Gwangju District Court on July 8, 2019, to attend his arrest warrant hearing. (Yonhap)

In response, the Vietnamese minister expressed gratitude to Min for paying particular attention to the Yeongam assault case and asked that the case not exert a negative effect on the relationship between the two countries, according to police officials.

Hours later, the Yeongam man was formally placed under detention, after the Mokpo branch of the Gwangju District Court approved an arrest warrant for him, citing concerns he may try to flee.

The assault suspect argued during his arrest warrant hearing at the court that he has long harbored ill feelings towards his wife due to their different languages and ways of thinking.

Police added child abuse to the husband's criminal charges, as the assault occurred in front of the child.

According to the Yeongam Police Station, investigators plan to file additional charges against the man, as he confessed to beating his Vietnamese wife on two other occasions -- at their home in Yeongam on June 25 and in Vietnam in April this year.

Meanwhile, Min and Lam also discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in public security.

Min expressed hope that both countries strengthen cooperative investigations and expand cooperation for the arrest and repatriation of criminal fugitives through Interpol.

"South Korea looks forward to cooperating more closely with Vietnam in the fight against international crimes, such as illicit drugs, cybercrimes and terrorism," Min said.


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