The Korea Herald


Vietnamese mother allegedly abandons newborn in subzero weather

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Dec. 22, 2022 - 14:01

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A 20-year-old Vietnamese woman is under police investigation for allegedly abandoning her newborn child in subzero weather in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province.

Officials at the Jeonju Deokjin Police Station said Wednesday that they are planning to file for a warrant to detain the suspect for violating the Child Welfare Act. Anyone who abandons a child under his or her protection and supervision can be punished with up to two years in prison or 3 million won ($2,349) in fines.

The suspect is accused of leaving her four-day-old daughter in front of a restaurant in Deokjin-gu, Jeonju city, 200 kilometers south of Seoul, at around 8:10 p.m. on Monday. The child was discovered by the restaurant owner, who reported the case to the police immediately.

(Illustration by Park Ji-young) (Illustration by Park Ji-young)

The temperature in the region was minus 1.8 degrees Celsius at the time, but the baby was found healthy, officials said. The suspect was arrested on Monday, near her home in Jeonju.

The child has been placed in an infant care facility.

The suspect was an exchange student who entered Korea earlier this year, but she declined to comment on the baby’s father, according to the police. Officials said she has refused to respond to questioning, only saying she does not have the “ability to raise a child.”