Battle between the Two Koreas in Vietnam: An Analysis of Participation in the Vietnam War by the North Korean Psychological Warfare Unit and Propaganda Leaflets

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S/N Korean Humanities Vol.4 No.1 pp.75-97 ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)

Lee Sin Jae
Institute for Military History

Received June 26, 2017; Revised version received December 30, 2017; Accepted March 1, 2018


The purpose of this study is to illuminate the veracity of deployment of the North Korean psychological warfare unit to the Vietnam War and its activities. With the South Korean troops as its target, North Korea deployed over a hundred psychological warfare troops every year, beginning with the first unit of four dispatched in June of 1966. The North Korean psychological warfare unit produced and distributed propaganda leaflets and materials; taught the Vietcong the Korean language and means to abduct South Korean troops; operated Korean-language broadcasts; and conducted data investigation and radio monitoring. The most noteworthy of said activities was the distribution of propaganda bills. An analysis of fifty-eight propaganda bills collected at the time demonstrates forms as diverse as writing, photographs, drawings, and a combination of writing and photographs (or at times writing and drawings). The contents involved propaganda regarding the characteristics of the war, instigation of anti-American and anti-government struggles, stimulation of nostalgia and decline of morale, and inducement of defection to North Korea. The illumination of North Korean participation in the Vietnam War is a crucial facet of better understanding the significance of the Vietnam War in contemporary Korean history as well as the security conditions of the Korean peninsula in the 1960s and the 1970s. Essential will be ongoing research on the North Korean involvement in the Vietnam War, a subject that has remained relegated to the sidelines thus far.

Key Words : Vietnam War, North Korea, Psychological Warfare, Participation in War

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