Abstract

North Korea pursued a highly confrontational strategy vis-à-vis South Korea and the United States throughout the 1960s. This article places Pyongyang's strategy into the context of the Vietnam War. Recently declassified evidence reveals that certain North Korean actions, including the Blue House raid in January 1968 and a series of belligerent acts committed in 1970, were considerably influenced by the military operations in Vietnam and Cambodia. But in some other incidents, such as the seizure of the USS Pueblo intelligence-gathering vessel, the Vietnam War played a far more marginal role. In any case, North Korean actions seem not to have been motivated by an intention to lessen U.S. and South Korean pressure on Hanoi. In 1969 Pyongyang disapproved of, rather than welcomed, the start of de-escalation in Vietnam. Mainly, the North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, sought to achieve his own aims by taking advantage of America's preoccupation with the Vietnam War.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 122-166
Launched on MUSE
2013-02-22
Open Access
No
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