Memorial Speaks to North Korea's Ties to Summit Host Vietnam
In a rice field in northern Vietnam, 14 headstones are an enduring symbol of the wartime friendship of Vietnam and North Korea. They mark the original burial ground of North Korean pilots who died while secretly fighting alongside Vietnamese comrades against U.S. Air Force and Navy planes during the Vietnam War. The role of North Korea is a footnote in the sweeping history of that conflict, one that speaks mostly of the fraternal relations of two nations that separately fought bruising armed conflicts against the United States in the context of the Cold War. Decades later, the communist nations’ friendship is apparent as Vietnam gets ready to host the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week. “When they died, Vietnamese people treated them the same as Vietnamese martyrs who sacrificed for the country,” Duong Van Dau, the caretaker of the memorial, said last week. On the high ground where the fallen pilots were interred, their tombs all face northeast, toward their homeland. South Korea’s role in the war is much better known. From 1964 to 1973, Seoul deployed more than 300,000 military personnel to help the U.S. effort in South Vietnam against the communists. By contrast, the North Korean air force contingent deployed near Hanoi in what was then called North Vietnam — the communist half of the war-torn Southeast Asian nation — had 200-400 personnel, including about 90 pilots over more than two years, according to postwar Vietnamese accounts. In September 1966, according to Vietnamese historical documents obtained and translated by CIA analyst turned scholar Merle Pribbenow, Hanoi accepted an offer by Pyongyang to send three companies of pilots who would form a regiment equipped with 30 aircraft in total. They were to wear North Vietnamese uniforms and Vietnam would provide... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Memorial Speaks to North Korea's Ties to Summit Host Vietnam, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 19 February
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