An Evaluation of Korean vs Vietnam War
Compare and contrast 3 differences and 3 similarities Korean vs Vietnam War. Minimum 800 words
The Korean and Vietnam war are some of the leading wars that continental Asia has had to deal with over historical periods. In both wars, the antagonist parties bore several causalities while also spending huge amounts of money in funding and sustaining the wars (Harrison and Yim, 2017). Like any other wars, the waring camps in both the Korean and Vietnam war suffered great economic impacts and other repercussions such as health deterioration. The Korean war pitted North Korea against South Korea in 1950 when North Korea attacked South Korea because of border wrangles between the two countries (Chung, 2019). The war lasted for three years and finally ended in 1953 when they signed an armistice. On the contrary, the Vietnam war, alternatively known as Indochina war pitting North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Both the United States of America and the Soviet Union were involved in the war though passively. Looking at the causes of the both war, there are several similarities and differences that existed in both conflicts. Accordingly, this essay evaluates the similarities and difference of Vietnam war and the Korea War.
In both wars, the United States and the Soviet Union were passively involved to protect their interests. If anything, history records that the United States and Soviet Union supplied weapons in both wars (Elliot, 2017). Also, the two countries were divided after the second world war. Korea was divided in North and South, just like Vietnam which was divided in North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The number of casualties was big in both wars, considering that history records that millions of people lost their lives in the conflicts. Statistically, more than four million people died in the war, while another one million people lost their lives in the Vietnam conflict. The number of casualties was bigger because of the sophisticated weapons that both America and Soviet Union shared to their allies (Elliot, 2017). Besides, it is arguable that the wars involved traditional warfare under which soldiers met in physical confrontation and therefore increased contact between waring sides led to more casualties compared to if they could have used drones.
Given that America And Soviet Union assisted their allies in the war to protect their interests, America failed in both wars to contain the spread of communism. America`s major intention in both wars was to check the growing influence of communism and replace it with democracy (Chung, 2019). In pursuit of the same, the United States spent millions of dollars to keep the Soviet Union in check. However, the United States failed in both wars to completely contain the spread of communism. By 1975, the whole of whole of Vietnam was communist while Korea also remained under the influence of communism. Until 1940s, the two countries (Vietnam and Korea) had been under the authority of foreign countries (Chung, 2019). Whereas France controlled Vietnam, Korea was under the authority of Japan which ruled it as a colony.
Difference between Korean and Vietnam wars
Despite the similarities, the two wars also had several differences. For example, when the Vietnam war ended, they united and formed one country under same political control called Vietnam (Chung 2019). However, it was a different case in with the Korean war. The two waring camps retained their independence and autonomy, remaining as North Korea and South Korea. After the war, a demilitarization zone was created to separate North Korea from South Korea. There was also a difference in the number of soldiers who died in both wars and the duration both wars took to come to an end (Elliot, 2017). For example, the Korean war only lasted for the three years and had close to fifty-four thousand soldiers who lost their lives. However, in the Vietnam war, America lost fifty-eight thousand soldiers in a span of close to ten years. the Vietnam took more than thrice the duration that Korean war took and thus it is arguable that the number of soldiers America lost was relatively small compared to the Korea war.
The fundamental variance between the two conflicts was in the result. Most democratic states alongside the United States of America supported South Korea against the interest of the Soviet Union (Elliot, 2017). However, the United States and pro-democracy countries lost the pursuit of democratic interest in south Vietnam. The other difference is that unlike in Korea, the Vietnam war was majorly a gorilla warfare. North Korean soldiers were actively involved in the Korea war. The Vietnam war involved National Liberation Front lead the battle, but they were not official soldiers (Harrison and Yim 2019). In the Korean war, the Chinese did not enjoy the support of the people when they launched the war, while in Vietnam, the civilians were actively involved in the war, helping soldiers in one way or the other. It made it difficult for America to distinguish between the real civilians and the Viet Cong sympathizers.
In conclusion, the Vietnam war and Korean war had various similarities and differences as discussed in the above paragraphs. Whereas the Korean war was a conflict pitting North Korea and South Korea, the Vietnam war also had South Vietnam up in arms against North Vietnam. The similarities between Korean war and Vietnam war are that the United States of America and the Soviet Union were actively involved to protect their interests. Other similarities included the fact that America wanted to contain the spread of communism. The difference between the wars is that whereas Vietnam became a unitary country after the war, Korea did not. The two sides still exist as North Korea and South Korea with a demilitarization border separating the two. Other differences were in the number of soldiers who perished among other factors.
Chung, P. (2019). From Korea to Vietnam: Local labor, multinational capital, and the evolution of US military logistics, 1950–97. Radical History Review, 2019(133), 31-55.
Elliott, B. (2017). End-of-life care for WW II, Korea, and Vietnam-era veterans. Home healthcare now, 35(9), 485-493.
Harrison, M., & Yim, S. V. (2017). War on two fronts: the fight against parasites in Korea and Vietnam. Medical history, 61(3), 401-423.