PANO – In 1971, Mr. Cho Eui Kwon was a South Korean marine fighting in Hoi An town, in the Quang Nam province of Vietnam as a mercenary for the American imperialists during the war in Vietnam.
Exposed to Agent Orange during the American war, Mr. Cho Eui Kwon now is the head of the Representative Office of the Republic of Korea’s Agent Orange Veterans Association in Ho Chi Minh City.
Sharing the same fate, Mr. Cho Eui Kwon has deep sympathy with the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin.
The Korean veteran said that Vietnam and the Republic of Korea have a common goal of alleviating the pain for victims of Agent Orange and calling upon the world community to demand justice for them.
According to the Korean friend, about 120,000 out of over 320,000 Korean mercenaries in Vietnam were exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin but received no compensation from the American chemical companies.
Though the war ended decades ago, the painful past has haunted Mr. Cho Eui Kwon and will continue to do so for the rest of his life.
For this South Korean war veteran and his family, Vietnam has become their second homeland as his wife, his eldest son and he himself have been working in Ho Chi Minh City for 15 years. His youngest son, 30, studied in the Hanoi Fine Arts University after graduating from a Fine Arts University in the Republic of Korea.
Relating to the activities of the Korean Association of Injured-Agent Orange Veterans in Vietnam, Veteran Cho Eui Kwon unveiled that its president, Mr. Seo Cheol-Jae, and the president of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, Lieutenant-General Tran Ngoc Tho, have visited and offered some monetary support for the family of Mr. Thanh Sang as their daughter was killed by her Korean husband in the Republic of Korea.
Furthermore, the Association has organized two photo exhibitions on Agent Orange victims and taken several international delegations to Centers caring for Agent Orange/Dioxin victims.
The Association was pleased to see positive signs from the third hearing of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange held in the USA with the testimony of Vietnamese victim, Tran Thi Hoan, along with evidence and explanation by Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong on July 15th of this year.
The Korean veteran believes that the Vietnamese’s fight for justice will be successful.
Translated by Mai Huong