The South Korean man who allegedly strangled his Vietnamese wife to death on Tuesday told police that a language barrier had inspired his savage crime.
Vietnam's Foreign Ministry has demanded a thorough investigation of Lee Cheong Su, 42, who reportedly has a history of mental illness.
“The ministry has also asked the South Korean authorities to take steps to prevent such regrettable incidents in the future,” said spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang, after mentioning the death of Nguyen Thi Phuong, the 27-year old victim who had married a man in the east-southern province of Gyeongsangbuk-do, 300 kilometers from Seoul.
According to police, family conflicts triggered a row between Phuong and Su, leading him to strangle her to death at 9PM on Tuesday. He further blamed a language barrier for sending him into a violent rage.
The couple married in 2006. It was Phuong's first marriage and Su's second.
They lived with Su's relatives and his children from the previous marriage.
The Vietnamese bride had two elder sisters living in South Korea--in the provinces of Chungnam and Gyeongnam, respectively.
Her mother had also emigrated to the country.
Her father, Nguyen Duoc Khoa, who lives in Vietnam's northern port city, Hai Phong, has flown to South Korea to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy.
Phuong's family say they want to return her ashes to her home town.
She was the second Vietnamese woman to have been killed in South Korea in three weeks.
On December 1, the Embassy of Vietnam in South Korea announced that a local man had murdered a Vietnamese woman in the island province of Jeju.
Kim Hee Cheol, 41 was detained for the alleged murder of Nguyen Thi Thanh Ngan, 22, at around 3AM on November 30 at a local hostel, just hours after the two met up for drinks.
Kim reportedly turned himself in to a police station. The motive for his crime remains unclear.