How come South Korea was able to survive while South Vietnam wasn't?

Aug 2016
873
USA
#11
I certainly don't think that either the Soviet Union or China would have actually been willing to start WWIII over Vietnam. A conventional Chinese military intervention to support the North Vietnamese in the event of U.S. invasion would have been much more realistic, though.
Agreed, but it was seen as a possibility, and domestic politics had never been in favor of the war either.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,874
SoCal
#12
Don;t know much about the Korean situation but the South Vitenam goivernment lacked any sort legitmacy from the start, and was woefully corrupt. The Veitnam situation was also produced by the french Indo china war , where the war of indpeendence gave the communists a lot of credibilty and foreign supported goivernments a lack of credibility.

"Diệm held a referendum on 23 October 1955 to determine the future of the country. He asked voters to approve a republic, thus removing Bảo Đại as head of state. The poll was supervised by his younger brother, Ngô Đình Nhu. Diệm was credited with 98 percent of the votes. In many districts, there were more votes to remove Bảo Đại than there were registered voters (e.g., in Saigon, 133% of the registered population reportedly voted to remove Bảo Đại). His American advisors had recommended a more modest winning margin of "60 to 70 percent". Diệm, however, viewed the election as a test of authority.[11] On 26 October 1955, Diệm declared himself the president of the newly proclaimed Republic of Vietnam"

"The Diệm government lost support among the populace, and from the Kennedy administration, due to its repression of Buddhists and military defeats by the Viet Cong. Notably, the Huế Phật Đản shootings of 8 May 1963 led to the Buddhist crisis, provoking widespread protests and civil resistance. Diệm was overthrown in a coup on 1 November 1963 with the tacit approval of the US"

South Vietnam - Wikipedia
Why couldn't Diem's successors successfully deal with the corruption problem?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,676
#13
So, the Communists had a lot of support in South Vietnam but not in South Korea?

Also, was there any way of securing the South Vietnamese borders?
I pretty sure the Communists would have won fair and open elections in Vietnam, teh creation of the South Veitanm as a nation was always only supported by a small minority mostly by the rewards of a corrupt government. South Veitnam was nbot a viable nation, it lack legimacy and enough support to survive, even with massive US assistance, (which tended to heighten corruption).

The Key turning was post ww2 not recognising an independent Vietnam, the US should have stared down the French immeditaley after the war. The nationalists were not nesscarily always goingto become communists, they ha d good relations with the US during the war. The French Indo-China suppression of an indepednat veitname drove the Nationalists into communism. Nationalism and communist became pretty intertwined.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2018
164
EU-Germany
#15
well in vietnam the communists simply invaded and conquered it all -fall of saigon 75
the USA withdrew all combat troops from vietnam in 73 (paris peace accords) it remained however in korea til this day
nixon already started the 'vietnamization' process and withdrew a good number of troops by end 69
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,113
Sydney
#16
the Vietnamese people are some of the worst hard arsed stubborn people in Asia
while by far few were in love with the Vietcong ,
all ...ALL ...despised the US puppets for what they were
the failure by the US to maintain a credible government was the very root of their pathetic end

for memory , now the US is trying to negotiate a withdrawing from Afghanistan
this is a defeat , looking for a way out
same thing , only the location change and hopefully the final scene
1552026069581.png
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,981
Lisbon, Portugal
#17
South Korea's president Syngman Rhee was far more successful as a ruthless anti-communist leader than any leader South Vietnam had in all its brief history.
Rhee mass executed hundreds of thousands of communists, left-wing supporters and activists in the years prior the North Korean invasion. He completely liquidated any possible "third column" and communist subversion or insurgency that could appear inside South Korea.
South Korea's government also was more capable of controlling political activity, implement laws and had a more competent security forces and less corrupt politicians - most of it stems from the previous Japanese colonial legacy.

Other reason was Syngman's Rhee social policies - he successfully implemented agrarian reforms. This is a crucial factor. In a society were most of its economy came from agriculture and most of its population are agrarian labourers, land reform was a major successful socio-economic policy. It redistributed wealth, improved the lives of the peasantry and established a more pluralistic kind of society. The land reform undermined the popularity of communism in South Korea, in conjunction with the physical liquidation of most communists in the country.
Land reform in South Vietnam was badly implemented, badly-managed and it was made too late.

Communists in Vietnam enjoyed more legitimacy among the masses mainly because they were the main force for the resistance against the Japanese occupiers during WW2 and were the victorious faction against the French colonialists during the Indochina war. Korean Communists didn't enjoy that grassroots support and that kind of reputation based on past performance.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,113
Sydney
#18
Certainly in many "communist" insurrection the issue of land was a major factor in swinging peasants
the Bolsheviks got a lot of support for their "land and bread" slogan

in South America and through the third world land ownership is not some theoretical concept
it is the very breath of life , poor peasants will put their live in the line for a plot to call their own
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,676
#19
Undeveloped agrarian economy with large amount of substance or simpler farmers to develop, a excess must be extracted from the ecnomy, whjch is generally at the expense of the farmers being the vast bulk of the population, and to create investment it's one sided. To create income, foreign exchange to import stuff they are often directed to cash crops which makes them extremely vulnerable form they starting position where they grew their own food. Now the are at the mercy of large scale economic forces of the world economy, for which they are very small fish and can be easily the victims of forces well beyond their control. Monetization of economy often leads to winner and losers in local communities exaggerating differences, often given rise to either a landless or land poor rural population that is now totally dependent of a monetary economy which is at the mercy of world markets. Capitalism in the rural development tends to create big winners and losers,

Meanwhile the educated wealthy classes are in a position to monopolize opportunities by change sin the economy, of lot of this can be place holders or gate keepers in the economy , positions that relay on connections or corruption.

vast rural poor moving into cities with extreme poverty, corrupt upper elites. It''s a recurring theme.
 
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robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,981
Lisbon, Portugal
#20
Undeveloped agrarian economy with large amount of substance or simpler farmers to develop, a excess must be extracted from the ecnomy, whjch is generally at the expense of the farmers being the vast bulk of the population, and to create investment it's one sided. To create income, foreign exchange to import stuff they are often directed to cash crops which makes them extremely vulnerable form they starting position where they grew their own food. Now the are at the mercy of large scale economic forces of the world economy, for which they are very small fish and can be easily the victims of forces well beyond their control. Monetization of economy often leads to winner and losers in local communities exaggerating differences, often given rise to either a landless or land poor rural population that is now totally dependent of a monetary economy which is at the mercy of world markets. Capitalism in the rural development tends to create big winners and losers,

Meanwhile the educated wealthy classes are in a position to monopolize opportunities by change sin the economy, of lot of this can be place holders or gate keepers in the economy , positions that relay on connections or corruption.

vast rural poor moving into cities with extreme poverty, corrupt upper elites. It''s a recurring theme.
There is a famous - by that I mean widely cited in political science journals and dissertations - academic paper by a Korean academic proposing that the so-called "Economic Miracle" in East Asian countries in the second half of the 20th century was always preceded by land reform. The economic development begun in the agricultural sector.