Vietnamese woman hangs herself in Korea after conflict with mother-in-law

TN News

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Nguyen Thi Diem Trinh, 23, her husband and their son, now 3

The Vietnamese community in South Korea has called for the government's intervention after a Vietnamese woman allegedly committed suicide because of conflicts with her Korean mother-in-law.

Nguyen Thi Diem Trinh, 23, hanged herself on January 16 in a rented residence in Gumi in eastern Korea, to where she had moved a month earlier to live away from her mother-in-law, Vietnam's honorary consul Gyeongnam Park Soo-kwan was quoted by news website VnExpress as saying.

Her Korean husband killed himself two days later by consuming sleeping pills, and their three-year-old son is now with Trinh's family in Can Tho in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

Trinh's sister Nguyen Thi Thien, who is taking care of the boy, said Trinh had left for Ho Chi Minh City in 2008 and married a Korean construction worker more than 20 years older than her through a marriage broker. She had hoped to save money and send home to her family.

Thien said the couple moved in with the man's mother a year later when Trinh gave birth. But due to a mental condition the boy does not speak yet, and her mother-in-law wanted Trinh to have another baby, which she refused due to financial reasons.

"Trinh's husband noticed she was depressed and asked her to take the baby home in Vietnam for some time, but she did not and instead rented a house in Gumi, where another sister of ours lives," she said.

Thien said she and her mother had tried to persuade Trinh by phone to go back to her husband.

"Maybe she thought there was no way out."

In the last two decades poverty has driven thousands of women, especially from the Mekong Delta, to marry older men from South Korea who are unable to find wives at home.

Statistics from the Korean Institute of Social and Health Affairs show that 7,636 Vietnamese women married Korean men in 2011, the most of any foreign nationals.

Most of the marriages were brokered by illegal firms that tell couples very little about each other.

Many women end up in a poor financial situation instead of with the dream lives they envision, not to mention language, cultural and other problems.

Besides falling victim to physical abuse, some fatal, some of them also kill themselves.

Last November a woman from Hau Giang Province neighboring Can Tho threw herself and her two children off the 18th floor of a building in Busan.

The husband had lost all his money in business and they argued often. He had sought a divorce.

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