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Korean and Vietnam Wars. Korean Since the early 1900s, Korea was a Japanese colony After WWII, Korea was divided at the 38 th parallel Japanese troops.

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Presentation on theme: "Korean and Vietnam Wars. Korean Since the early 1900s, Korea was a Japanese colony After WWII, Korea was divided at the 38 th parallel Japanese troops."— Presentation transcript:

1 Korean and Vietnam Wars

2 Korean Since the early 1900s, Korea was a Japanese colony After WWII, Korea was divided at the 38 th parallel Japanese troops surrendered to Soviets in the north and to the U.S. in the south

3 On June 25, 1950, the North Koreans launched a surprise attack on South Korea They managed to conquer much of the Korean peninsula within weeks

4 President Truman wanted to help South Korea resist Communist influence (containment) South Korea asked the United Nations to intervene, which they did under the command of General Douglass MacArthur Meanwhile, the North Koreans continued to advance

5 September, 1950: MacArthur launched a surprise attack and the North Koreans retreated UN troops pushed the North Koreans almost to the Chinese border in the north (Yalu River) October, 1950: China sent 300,000 troops to aid North Korea Now, the fight in Korea is between U.S. and China


7 Chinese outnumbered UN forces and drove them southward General MacArthur calls for nuclear attack on Chinese cities Truman refuses out of fear of starting WWIII Over the next 2yrs, UN forces clashed with the North Koreans Cease fire agreement signed in July, 1953 5 million soldiers and civilians had died in 3yrs


9 After the War, Korea remained divided into two countries North Korea led by Communist dictator Kim Il Sung. - established collective farms - developed heavy industry - built up countries military power His son, Kim Jong Il, was the leader of North Korea until 2011. Under him, North Korea developed nuclear weapons

10 Today, although North Korea is well-armed, it struggles economically and often faces shortages of energy and food South Korea prospered due to massive aid from the U.S. and other countries. South Korea was ruled by dictatorships until 1987, when they adopted a democratic constitution and free elections

11 Vietnam

12 War in Vietnam After WWII, Americans had one foreign policy goal: halting the spread of communism Vietnam was a former French colony Ho Chi Minh, a young Vietnamese nationalist, turned to the Communists for help With their aid, he attacked the French


14 The U.S. sent aid, advisors, and soldiers there to keep Vietnam from embracing communism The French were defeated President Eisenhower described this threat in terms of the domino theory: Southeast Asian nations were like a row of dominos: The fall of one to communism would lead to the fall of its neighbors.

15 Geneva Conference (1954) After France was defeated, Vietnam was divided into North and South In the North, Ho Chi Minh’s Communist forces governed In the South, the U.S. and France set up an anti-Communist govt. under Ngo Dinh Diem Vietnam would be reunited and have a democratic election in 2 years

16 Ngo Dinh Diem was unpopular and ruled the south as a corrupt dictator Ho Chi Minh began a popular program of land redistribution in the north The U.S. believed that free elections in the south might lead to victory for the Communists, so they supported their cancellation

17 Communist guerillas, called Vietcong, gained strength in the south Most were South Vietnamese who hated Diem They gradually won control of large areas of countryside 1963, South Vietnamese generals assassinate Diem

18 August, 1964, Lyndon Johnson told Congress that North Vietnamese had attacked two American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin Congress authorized the president to send American troops to Vietnam War was not officially declared

19 U.S. had advanced, well-equipped army, but faced two disadvantages - guerilla warfare in unfamiliar territory - South Vietnamese govt. they were defending was becoming increasingly unpopular Plus, Vietcong was aided by Soviet Union and China

20 During the 1960s, the war became increasingly unpopular in the U.S. President Nixon exercised a plan called Vietnamization: U.S. troops would gradually pull out while the South Vietnamese increased their combat role U.S. out in 1973, 2 yrs later North Vietnamese overran South Vietnam

21 Neighboring Cambodia had suffered U.S. bombing during the war and remained unstable for years In 1975, Communist rebels known as the Khmer Rouge set up a brutal Communist govt. under the leadership of Pol Pot He slaughtered 2 million people in an attempt to turn Cambodia into a rural society, ¼ of nation’s population

22 Pol Pot

23 After 1975, North Vietnamese imposed strict controls on the South Tens of thousands sent to “reeducation camps” for training in Communist thought 1.5 million fled Communist oppression. About 70,000 settle in United States and Canada

24 Vietnam War Casualties 3-4 Million Vietnamese on both sides 1-2 Million Laotians and Cambodians Over 57,000 American Soldiers killed






30 My Lai Massacre


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