[KS] North Korean Pilots had flown in Combat against the U.S. during the Vietnam War

don kirk kirkdon at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 17 14:08:37 EDT 2012

Soviet role in Korean War, notably pilots but also some advisers, was far far higher than that of NKorean pilots in Vietnam. Role of the latter was indeed minor -- not so the  Soviets in Korean War. They did a lot. Yes, SKorean contingent was the largest, about a tenth that of the U.S., but Thailand sent a division and Aussies also had a rather large force -- albeit much smaller than the SKoreans. (Philippines had a civic action group in which Fidel Ramos served as a lieutenant fresh out of West Point.)

--- On Tue, 4/17/12, Charles K. Armstrong <cra10 at columbia.edu> wrote:

From: Charles K. Armstrong <cra10 at columbia.edu>
Subject: Re: [KS] North Korean Pilots had flown in Combat against the U.S. during the Vietnam War
To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 11:11 AM

Dear Kwang-On,

This is interesting but I would hardly say North Korea was "deeply involved" compared to South Korea. North Korean pilots engaging American air power is reminiscent of Soviet pilots in the Korean War. Both the Soviets in the Korean War and the North Koreans in Vietnam kept their involvement quiet. In the North Korean case the call for restraint may have come from the North Vietnamese and Chinese, and perhaps the Soviets as well, who did not want to risk a wider war with the US. I came across a source that suggested Kim Il Sung offered to send more aid to North Vietnam, including combat troops, but Ho Chi Minh refused (exactly why is unclear). Chiang Kai-shek offered to send ROC troops but the Americans did not want to provoke the PRC. The fact remains that the ROK was the only non-Vietnamese, non-US ally on either side to send large numbers of front-line combat troops into the war.
--Charles K. Armstrong
Professor of History
Director, Center for Korean Research
Columbia University
930 International Affairs Building
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027

Tel: 212-854-1721
Fax: 212-749-1497

Quoting Kwang On Yoo <lovehankook at gmail.com>:

> Not only South Koreans but North Koreans were also deeply involved in the
> Vietnam War.
> According to documents published on December 5, 2011 by The Woodrow Wilson
> International Center in Washington, D.C., not only did North Korea send
> pilots to Vietnam to fight against the U.S. but North Koreans spied on the
> South Korean troops' fighting tactics, techniques, combat readiness and
> morale at the same time.
> The Woodrow Wilson International Center's Documentation follows:
> *North Korean Pilots in the Skies over Vietnam:*
> http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/nkidp-e-dossier-no-2-north-korean-pilots-the-skies-over-vietnam
> *North Koreans Spied on the South Korean Military in Vietnam:*
> http://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/romanian-document-confirms-north-korea-sent-troops-to-vietnam
> Kwang-On Yoo

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