Trên trang nước ngoài:
Hình ảnh trên BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17022823
Trên báo Việt nam:
Giáo dục Việt Nam, Thứ ba 14/02/2012
January 17 2003 at 02:19pm
By Kay Johnson
Hanoi - From the moment he glimpsed at the beautiful lab assistant in a factory outside Pyongyang three decades ago, Pham Ngoc Canh knew he was in love. He also knew his love was forbidden.
But the 23-year-old Vietnamese exchange student and 24-year-old North Korean girl defied the laws of their communist countries. They exchanged notes, met in secret, and were happy for 18 months. Both wept bitterly when Canh was sent home to Hanoi.
Now, after 30 years of smuggled love letters and dozens of appeals to Pyongyang, Canh has been reunited with his old sweetheart, Ri Yong-hui. The regime-crossed lovers were married last month in Hanoi after North Korea granted Ri a rare exit visa.
"She's still as beautiful today," says Canh, now 54, holding his new bride's hand in their living room in central Hanoi.
"I loved him so much, I could never forget," says Ri, 55. "We only had a few letters, but I couldn't think of anyone else all this time."
A tale of official deception, coded letters and dogged persistence, their love story has a happy ending - one of the few positive signs coming from Pyongyang as a nuclear-weapons crisis heats up on the Korean peninsula.
At one point, the North Korean embassy told Canh that Ri was married to another man. Another time, he was told she was dead. Still, he never gave up.
The couple fell in love in 1971 when Canh caught a glimpse of Ri at the factory he was temporarily assigned to in Hamhung, outside Pyongyang. He arranged to bump into her in the hallway and they chatted. On his last day there, he presented her with his photograph. She gave him her family's address.
But they had to meet furtively - Ri's family welcomed Canh, but their governments wouldn't have approved. Despite being staunch Cold War allies, both North Korea - and what was then North Vietnam - had strict taboos against relationships with foreigners.
When Canh's scholarship ended in 1973, they didn't dare to ask permission to marry. "I saw no chance at all," Canh says. "We cried and cried just thinking about leaving each other."
Ri would later attempt suicide in despair, and her mother was so shaken she agreed to help the couple correspond, finding another Vietnamese student to mail letters from Hanoi when he went home.
That started three decades of secret correspondence. Canh founded a Vietnamese-North Korean Friendship Association to find couriers for his letters. He volunteered to translate for sports delegations to North Korea to see Ri in 1978 and 1982.
But in 1992, when Canh visited with a tae kwan do delegation, he could not find her. And he decided then to begin an open campaign for reunification with his lost love.
First, he went to the North Korean embassy with 20 years' worth of yellowing letters to appeal for sympathy. But he had no luck - while Vietnam was opening up to the outside world, Kim Jong Il's xenophobic regime still forbade its citizens from fraternising with foreigners.
Ri's letters kept coming, but only once or twice a year. "We grow older, but our hearts and our love are still strong," she wrote in 1992.
Thanks to countless letters to his foreign ministry - and his ex-diplomat father's contacts - Canh finally persuaded Vietnam's President Tran Duc Luong to bring up the case in a state visit to Pyongyang in 2002.
The official appeal from one of Kim Jong Il's few allies apparently carried weight. Late last year, Canh finally got the news he'd been waiting for: Ri would get special permission to marry a foreigner and leave North Korea.
He flew to Pyongyang, held a hasty civil ceremony and they returned to Hanoi, where he is the coach of the city cycling team. A second ceremony was held December 13, with 700 family and friends in attendance.
Ri is now busy learning Vietnamese and adjusting to life outside the hermit regime, contending with the swarms of motorcycles, mobile phones and billboards that come from Vietnam's market reforms.
"Everyone has electricity here," she marvels. "When we met, Vietnam was much poorer than my country. Now it's the reverse."
Does Pyongyang's relenting - however tardy - point to the kind of flexibility that might resolve the latest political crisis? Canh thinks so, saying North Korea is gradually opening up.
Ri isn't so sure. "I'm grateful my government allowed me to marry my love," she says cautiously, then looks shyly at her husband. "But I think it was all due to his great efforts." - Sapa-DPA