Korean War and the Vietnam War

During the Cold War in East Asia, the United States undertook two wars — one in Korea and the other in Vietnam. The alleged purpose of these two wars was to prevent a Communist takeover of South Korea and South Vietnam. Both of these wars were part of a wider American containment policy which had, as its primary aim, the goal of stopping the spread of Communism (especially after the establishment of the People’s Republic of Chaina under Mao Zedong in 1949).

The governments of North Korea and North Vietnam fought to reunify Korean and Vietnam under Communist rule. In this essay, compare and contrast the Korean War and the Vietnam War relative to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the combatants. Includes these articles: Mao Zedong meets Richard Nixon, February 21, 1972/China’s Decision to Enter the Korean War: History Revisited/”Lessons of Vietnam” by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, May 12, 1975 

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