A South Korean man, whose Vietnamese wife was found dead in a gorge in the south-western province of Chonlanam-do on July 24, has admitted to killing his spouse, news website VnExpress quoted local police as saying on Wednesday.
Lee Geun Sik, 47, was summoned to the police station for questioning after the police found the dead body of his Vietnamese wife Do Thi My Tien. Lee was suspected of pushing Tien and her motorbike off a mountain road to make her death seem accidental.
Lee was immediately arrested by the police. But it is not immediately clear when exactly he made the confession.
Relatives of the couple told police that Lee and Tien went out on their own car at around 8 p.m. on July 22.
Tien's body was found two days later. A subsequent autopsy found that she had died from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m on July 22.
The motive behind his alleged murder was not revealed yet.
Tien’s Vietnamese neighbors was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying that she and her
47-year old spouse had argued before her mysterious disappearance.
Relatives of the couple said Tien had just returned to South Korea for a few days prior to her alleged murder. She had been staying in Vietnam for ten months.
VnExpress quoted a source from the Vietnam embassy in South Korea as saying that Tien, 27, hails from the southern province of Tay Ninh, some 100 kilometers to the northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. She married Lee in 2005 with one 8-year-old son.
Tien’s mother and her aunt flew to South Korea to attend her funeral on Wednesday.
Many poor, rural Vietnamese women have made national headlines after becoming the victims of beatings--some of which have been fatal--meted out by Taiwanese or South Korean husbands who were either too old or too poor to find wives in their own countries.
The Vietnamese women married them hoping for fairy tale lives. Instead, most suffered from steep language and cultural differences.
In March 2012, the South Korean consulate in Vietnam announced that a Vietnamese woman had been killed by her husband in South Korea.
Another Vietnamese woman was stabbed to death by her Korean husband the year before. Similar tragedies were also reported in 2010 and 2007.
Vietnamese women made up 34 percent of South Korean men’s international marriages in 2011, significantly more than brides from other Southeast Asian countries, a report by the Southeast Globe Magazine said, citing the government-run Statistics Korea.
The divorce rate for Vietnamese-Korean couples is more than 30 percent, with mother-in-law conflict, language barriers and mistreatment cited as the main reasons, the report said, citing Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.