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The former dictator Kim Jong Il chose to keep pursuing a costly nuclear program even as Cold War-era Soviet subsidies collapsed, plunging his country into a famine that killed some one million people. While Vietnam was restoring ties with the U.


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He has cracked down on black marketeers similar to the ones who first pressured Vietnam to open up to capitalism. Consolidating power and purging rivals, he executed his uncle by marriage and ordered the assassination of his half-brother at an airport in Malaysia. Nuclear weapons are his ultimate guarantor of the throne. Communist Vietnam chose not to embrace the dynasty model. Instead, its wartime leadership was marked by a star system of national heroes who came and went: the nationalists Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap, later giving way to the hardline communist Le Duan and the peace negotiator and Nobel winner Le Duc Tho.

The eldest sons of these men did not expect to inherit the top post. Many of them, in fact, were suspicious of the North Korean personality cult.

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More people had input, and more urged for change unlike North Korea, where the word of the de facto monarchy is like a page out of the Bible. The very aversion to war and the military that was so much a part of American tradition implied that when the nation went to war, it must be under the most extraordinary circumstances, and that so immoral an instrument must be employed only against such moral enormities as demanded absolute destruction.

Korean War On The Vietnam War Essay

The American Civil War reinforced these preconceptions as the North fought for and achieved complete victory over the Confederacy. The argument concludes that after such a history, Americans could well sustain their unity against the Axis Powers during World War II, but they could not readily accept a limited war such as the Korean War, in which negotiations with the enemy to bargain for objectives far short of his destruction accompanied the very fighting of the war.

Allowing for some oversimplification—not every American war had been fought for the enemy's destruction, as witness the conflicts of — and —such an explanation captures much of the American attitude toward war and goes far to account for the frustrations of the Korean War.

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Dissent against the Korean War also was much encouraged by a peculiarly uneasy political atmosphere troubling the United States in even before the war began. World War II had produced not a satisfactory peace but a Cold War with communism and the Soviet Union, in which the United States government held out the prospect of no more triumphant an outcome than containment. So low an expectation was itself a drastic departure from popular expectations of what America might accomplish in the world.

Moreover, from to the containment policy did not even produce a satisfactory restriction of communism. China, with all its historic attractions to the American imagination, fell to the communists.

No U.S. Soldier Should Have Died in Korea (or Vietnam)

Then there broke out the prolonged, costly, and militarily stalemated war in remote Korea, a war which itself could be perceived as springing from the mistakes of Harry S. Truman, whose Democratic administration had allowed China to be "lost" and had then supposedly invited communist attack on South Korea by excluding that country from America's publicly proclaimed Pacific defense perimeter.

During the Korean War the opposition party, the Republicans, did not revert to the risks of outright partisan opposition, although they came close to that in such statements as Senator Taft's denunciation of the war as "an unnecessary war … begun by President Truman without the slightest authority from Congress or the people.

In such puzzling circumstances of undeclared war for limited but not clearly defined objects, it was not surprising that Republican objections came to focus on the theme that the war should either be fought to win or be terminated. This theme linked the Republicans with General Douglas MacArthur, the Far East commander whom President Truman felt obliged to relieve because of his insubordinate public calls for extension of the war in pursuit of "War's very object … victory.

The upshot of MacArthur's activities was the dramatic Truman-MacArthur crisis; but given the anomalies of the Korean War in terms of the American tradition of war, Korea would have provoked much the same partisan and popular discontent even if there had been nothing like that particular eruption. The concept of limited war was difficult for the sponsoring administration itself to master. The theorizing that was to make limited war a familiar conception at least to foreign policy and strategy intellectuals during the next decade still lay in the future.

The Truman administration kept the Korean War limited not out of a sophisticated understanding of the conception but largely because of a misapprehension, namely that the war was a communist feint to divert American attention in preparation for a major Soviet offensive in Europe, and that, accordingly, American military resources must remain as much as possible concentrated in Europe and the United States.

After China entered the war and destroyed the possibility of using the war to reunite all of Korea, the Truman administration lost its own enthusiasm for prosecuting the war, such as it had been able to summon up, and the administration became so eager for peace that it spared the enemy most military pressure as soon as it announced a disposition to negotiate.

Park persisted nonetheless, sending a mission to examine ways to assist South Vietnam militarily in He decided it was his obligation to accommodate any U. The mission also occurred after South Korea directly contacted Vietnam, a rarity given they generally communicated with the U. When President Johnson finally made a formal request in , Park was ready and quickly dispatched the non-combat recruits.

Park was generally cooperative towards the first American requests. The relatively easy Korean commitment did not offer him much negotiation leverage, and he had to be careful as the U.

Korean And Vietnam Wars Essay

Sending the Dove Unit also helped him get a foot in the door. Despite his aforementioned general cooperativity, Park refused to budge on the overseas allowances he desired for his Dove Unit, having already promised troops payment greatly in excess of what the Americans were willing to fund.

State Department negotiators tried to convince ROK officials to back down, but to no avail. After attempting for years to escalate the stakes of the alliance, Park finally got his wish in May, , when the two sides began combat unit negotiations. It was no secret that Park wanted to provide combat help, and he never pretended otherwise. Perhaps it is no wonder given the gains made in May that the ROK leadership moved immediately to strike another agreement. The U. Although these were the only two combat deployments to ultimately come to fruition, Park continued using similar tactics to similar effect in later years.

In discussing a third combat agreement in December , Park again controlled the agenda, requesting equipment for use in South Korea, rather than Vietnam. However, yet again, Park issued a polite refusal to any informal agreement, and Johnson acquiesced to his demands.

Moreover, despite never going through with the deal, Park still received aid from it: by April, , the U. These agreements were a boon for Park and South Korea, but it is also important to understand why his strategy succeeded.

In regards to the negotiations themselves, U. This begins prior to the first agreement, and, more specifically, the circumstances surrounding it. The potential alliance could cause the U. Furthermore, a new agreement would scuttle plans to reduce U. American misperceptions were most pronounced in the negotiations for the first combat deployment, as there was never any concern that the ROK would refuse to send troops if its conditions were not met.

Contrary to his belief that Japanese normalization made the combat agreement unlikely to go through, normalization may have actually made it more likely. This meant keeping American troops on the peninsula by reaching an agreement on cooperation in Vietnam. Secretary of State Dean Rusk noted that he had been careful not to let negotiations leak publically because of its potential effect on ratification of the Japan treaty.

Fortunately for Park, Brown did not believe him, and ultimately acceded to his demands, figuring that a poor deal would have jeopardized both agreements. The problems Brown feared never materialized, at least in regards to the combat deployment, as the National Assembly approved the agreement quickly. The Americans continued to make more mistakes in negotiating the second deployment.

Despite this, the U. Judging from his wish list from the first deployment, it should have been obvious to the U. Had Humphrey set some terms, he might have been able to limit the concessions. However, by deferring to Park, he effectively offered him the blank check that he claimed would not exist. The error was further exacerbated because negotiations appeared to be rushed on the American side.

Two events show that the American misperceptions and mistakes continued into the negotiations for the third deployment — even though that deployment never occurred. Although it may not have made much tangible difference in this particular situation, this and similar misperceptions were why Park extracted so much out of the negotiations.

Park wanted to continue receiving benefits throughout the war, and, in hindsight, any assumptions otherwise were a mistake. It also offers credence to the idea that Park would have settled for less than he received in the earlier agreements if needed.

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Korean War - Causes, Timeline & Veterans - HISTORY

Park was now offering to send troops against the wishes of the National Assembly, suggesting his earlier position — that his wishes were circumscribed by his political realities — was just a bargaining tactic. Meanwhile, the National Assembly had been a constant cause for concern for the U. While misperceptions were the most prominent factor in allowing Park to reap such extensive rewards, the political climate at the time is also relevant to understanding the events that transpired. There was nothing inevitable about the extent of U. International allies did not compel American leaders to escalate the war; in fact, key countries such as Britain and France were opposed to escalation.

Despite his private doubts, Johnson willingly escalated the war and thus felt he needed allies, leading to his future concessions to Park.