German news agency apologizes to Vietnam defense minister for false death report

(Records) A German news agency has apologized to Vietnam’s defense minister for mistakenly reporting on his death earlier this month.

General Phung Quang Thanh (grey suit) at airport

Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday that the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, or DPA, had sent a letter of apology to him on Saturday evening, after General Phung Quang Thanh, the Vietnamese defense minister, arrived in Hanoi from France in the morning.

DPA asked Lt. Gen. Tuan to hand the letter to Gen. Thanh, the deputy chief confirmed to Tuoi Tre.

The official added that he and the Ministry of Defense appreciate this move of the news agency.

“It was a pity that DPA falsely reported on Minister Phung Quang Thanh’s health condition. However, we appreciate the news outlet’s correction and apology letter to General Phung Quang Thanh,” Lt. Gen. Tuan said. “These responses were opportune.”

He noted that the defense ministry will not demand anything else from DPA regarding this wrong reportage of Gen. Thanh’s health.

The letter was sent after Tuoi Tre carried a report on Saturday on Minister Thanh’s return to Hanoi on a commercial flight operated by flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.

The article included a picture of the defense minister in good health, citing clear sources as saying that Minister Thanh got back to work the same day.

DPA published a report on this return yesterday and admitted its article about the minister’s death was erroneous.

“Vietnamese Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh returned to Hanoi on Saturday after receiving medical treatment in France, an army official said,” DPA said in its story.

“An earlier dpa report mistakenly reported that the general had died after receiving treatment at a Paris hospital, citing a source at the hospital,” it added. “A photograph by local media showed Thanh walking to a car at the airport.”

Source: tuoitrenews.vn

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