Clamping down on illegal marriage brokers who send Vietnamese brides overseas would be difficult, a government spokeswoman said Thursday after a mentally-ill South Korean killed his new bride.
The issue "has been considered very seriously by the authorities in Vietnam but I think that it is not easy to identify which marriage is unlawfully brokered", Nguyen Phuong Nga, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, told reporters.
A 20-year-old Vietnamese woman was killed by her 47-year-old South Korean husband earlier this month eight days after she arrived in South Korea.
The man turned himself in and told police he had heard a "ghost's voice" urging him to kill the bride when they quarreled. He had been treated 57 times for schizophrenia since July 2005, police said.
The couple met through a marriage agency, the VietnamNet online news service reported.
More than 40,000 Vietnamese women have married South Korean men and immigrated to South Korea, Pham Tien Van, Hanoi's ambassador to Seoul, said last October in an interview with South Korea's Yonhap news agency.
The report did not say how many years the 40,000 figure covers, but a rising number of Vietnamese-South Korean marriages have occurred in the last few years.
About 90 percent of the weddings between South Koreans and Vietnamese are arranged by marriage brokers who are illegal in Vietnam.
Local media periodically carry reports about police raids on the illegal operators.
South Korea's justice ministry announced a raft of measures to curb abuse of foreign brides after the murder.