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Some Koreans online criticize Vietnam‘s request for cooperation in virus fight

President Moon Jae-in talks by phone with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in talks by phone with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)


Critical comments online are accumulating after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed bilateral cooperation to tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic with President Moon Jae-in on Friday.

In phone talks with Moon, Phuc proposed coordination in efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Vietnamese leader told Moon that South Korea’s diagnostic testing on the coronavirus is drawing global attention as a model, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.

Phuc also said his nation participates in many “cooperative partnerships” with South Korea and agreed that bilateral economic cooperation needs to go on constantly.

However, some Koreans online have criticized Phuc’s proposal, pointing to Vietnam’s harsh measures against South Korea early on concerning the coronavirus.

“I will not vote for Moon’s party (in the upcoming general elections) if he helps Vietnam,” one person commented.

“The situation reminds me of a saying that the people who help you at difficult times are real friends. If we are in a difficult situation again, they will not help us for sure. Korean workers in my company’s unit in Ho Chi Minh (City) and Hanoi have been through difficult times,” another commented.

Vietnam initially banned the entry of travelers who had visited Daegu, a city considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Korea, in the prior two weeks. In February, Vietnamese authorities also barred a flight from Asiana Airlines from landing in Hanoi. The plane had to return to Korea and the Foreign Ministry strongly protested the Vietnamese action at the time.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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