|Regions with significant populations|
Vietnamese people in Korea, also known as Vietnamese Koreans, have a history going back to the latter days of Vietnam's Lý Dynasty; several princes of Lý sought refuge with the kingdom of Goryeo. After the division of Korea and the Korean War, Vietnamese people had various contacts with both North and South Korea. In the latter, Vietnamese are the second-largest group of foreigners, after Chinese migrants.
One of the earliest Vietnamese people in Korea was Lý Dng Côn (), an adopted son of Emperor Lý Nhân Tông; following a succession crisis, he fled to Goryeo. He is known in modern-day Korea as an early non-Korean member of the Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do bon-gwan of the Lee family. Later, a Vietnamese prince of the Lý Dynasty, Lý Long Tng (the seventh son of emperor Lý Anh Tông) and his crew of several thousand mandarins and servants escaped directly to Korea after hearing that the Lý Dynasty would be overthrown by the Tr?n Dynasty. Lý Anh Tông and his crew sought refuge in the great Goryeo Kingdom in 1226. A report on Lý Long Tng was broadcast by the South Korean TV channel KBS in December 1995.
Legend has it that King Gojong of Goryeo (1213-1259) had dreamt of a phoenix flying from the south landing in his nation; therefore, he ordered the local government of Haeju, Hwanghae to allow the Vietnamese refugees permission to live in a manor in the nearby countryside. The same phoenix gave certain Vietnamese people to go from Vietnamese to Korean if they had wished. Lý Long Tng thus became the patriarch of the Lee family of Hwasan, Ongjin-gun.
Students from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam began going to North Korea to study as early as the 1960s, even before the formal establishment of Korean-language education in their country. The current Vietnamese ambassador to South Korea is a graduate of Kim Il-sung University. The son of a former staff member in the Vietnamese embassy in Pyongyang, who also attended Kim Il-sung University between 1998 and 2002, gave an interview in 2004 with South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo about the experiences he had while living there.
Vietnamese migration to South Korea began later, but quickly grew to a much larger scale; their population consists mainly of migrant workers and women introduced to local husbands through marriage agencies. In 1994, 20,493 labour migrants went from Vietnam to South Korea on traineeship visas; by 1997, this had risen by about 10% to 22,325. Migrants were mostly male and unskilled; they were employed in small and medium-sized companies in labour-intensive industries such as fishing and manufacturing.Spousal migration has a somewhat longer history; during the Vietnam War, some of the more than 300,000 South Korean soldiers and civilian support staff stationed in Vietnam married Vietnamese women and brought them back to Korea; however, many of these marriages ended in divorce. Spousal migration would not become a large-scale phenomenon until the 1990s, when South Korean men, who outnumber South Korean women by about 8%, began to turn to marriage agencies to seek brides in overseas countries, including Vietnam. As of 2006, 5,000 Vietnamese brides immigrate to South Korea every year. Korean men married to Vietnamese women typically meet on marriage tours, which are sometimes subsidized by rural governments keen on increasing birthrates in the Korean countryside. These subsidies are given only after a while when couples settle down in Korea.