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

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,660
#21
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.
overwhelmingly peasant societies, it's pretty fundamental what happens. Though Reform is in the eye of the beholder.

Yeah my little fable of deveploping countries is somewhat sketchy an crude but it's to get the ideas and problems of changing economic of developing nations. Another things is peopel so often view things through their own background experience. The fable of the Western European agricultural revolution sees the breakdown of vilage society, the concentration of land in fewer hands, leading to better seized more ecnomically efficient/productive farm units, creatiing a more urbaniszed working class as "Nesscary" for development and sort of applied by western interfence in developing nations that this is the required stages of development.
 
#24
I think that it was a combination of the border nations, and the native Viet Cong guerrilla insurgency in South Vietnam.

The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong were able to set up bases and obtain aid in the neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia, and so were able to maintain a guerrilla war in South Vietnam. In contrast, the war in Korea was fought mostly in major battles, rather than by guerrilla warfare. And so the war in Korea ended fairly quickly, with a truce-line set up. While in Vietnam, the guerrilla warfare, carried out by the native South Vietnamese VietCong, dragged on interminably. Eventually, America just became tired of the war, and withdrew it's support. And at that point, the North Vietnamese, accompanied by the VietCong, were able to roll right down through the country, defeat the South Vietnamese Army, and conquer and reunite the country.

It's actually quite similar to what's going on now in Afghanistan. The Taliban government in Afghanistan was quickly overthrown, but they've been able to carry on a guerrilla war ever since, and they've created supply bases in neighbouring Pakistan. The U.S. has so far remained in Afghanistan much longer than in Vietnam, probably because it has greater technological ability to carry on the war, but they haven't been able to crush the Taliban guerrilla fighters. Who knows how it'll end up.
 
Dec 2018
74
Cheyenne
#25
Military speaking. Korea is a peninsula with easily defended borders. Once the North Korean army was destroyed there was nowhere to run.

The NVA every time they took a licking could just cross over into Cambodia and Laos


Also China and Russia poured far more resources into Vietnam than they did in Korea.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,980
Lisbon, Portugal
#26
Also China and Russia poured far more resources into Vietnam than they did in Korea.
I disagree with this. China went directly to war to save North Korea. They actually put entire armies in the Korean Peninsula and suffered heavy losses while doing so. The Soviet Union sent entire squadrons of the latest fighting jets to help North Korea as well.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,980
Lisbon, Portugal
#27
I think that it was a combination of the border nations, and the native Viet Cong guerrilla insurgency in South Vietnam.

The North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong were able to set up bases and obtain aid in the neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia, and so were able to maintain a guerrilla war in South Vietnam. In contrast, the war in Korea was fought mostly in major battles, rather than by guerrilla warfare. And so the war in Korea ended fairly quickly, with a truce-line set up. While in Vietnam, the guerrilla warfare, carried out by the native South Vietnamese VietCong, dragged on interminably. Eventually, America just became tired of the war, and withdrew it's support. And at that point, the North Vietnamese, accompanied by the VietCong, were able to roll right down through the country, defeat the South Vietnamese Army, and conquer and reunite the country.

It's actually quite similar to what's going on now in Afghanistan. The Taliban government in Afghanistan was quickly overthrown, but they've been able to carry on a guerrilla war ever since, and they've created supply bases in neighbouring Pakistan. The U.S. has so far remained in Afghanistan much longer than in Vietnam, probably because it has greater technological ability to carry on the war, but they haven't been able to crush the Taliban guerrilla fighters. Who knows how it'll end up.
You have to ask yourself of why there was no communist guerrilla movement in South Korea in the first place.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,641
Dispargum
#28
When talking about land reform in South Korea circa 1948, there was not enough time for those reforms to exert any positive effects before the Korean War, but the land reforms did create the perception that South Korea's government was working on behalf of the people to make progress on their national problems. In South Vietnam there was no perception among the people that their government was interested in helping to solve that country's problems. Instead, in South Vietnam the popular perception was that the government was corrupt.
 
Likes: robto
Feb 2018
164
EU-Germany
#29
the land reforms in north vietnam under the viet minh 53-56 were more devestating than the later 'strategic hamlet' program of diem and yet if the 56 elections 'to unify the country-geneva 54' were held as according to the geneva accords then still ho and the viet-minh would have won that election by a sweeping majority; the pro-catholic policies of diem and the later buddhist-crisis 63 (quang duc) even further disenfranchised the general populus from the USA backed regime and the seperate south vietnamese state;

vietnam 60-63 (FNL/viet-cong held territories dark orange / ho chi minh trail supplying the viet cong in dotted lines) vietnam1.PNG
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,641
Dispargum
#30
the land reforms in north vietnam under the viet minh 53-56 were more devestating than the later 'strategic hamlet' program of diem
Yes, perception is more important than reality. The devastation was still in the future. In 1956 the land reforms were probably seen as proof that the Viet Minh were doing something positive while the government of the South was not. The Strategic Hamlet Program was perceived as a government program that separated people from their land. Far from reform, the Strategic Hamlet Program was a perceived as oppression or incompetence (a governmental failure in its first duty - to protect its citizens).
 
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