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Effects of a North Korean Victory on Asian Politics?

It's been long established that a victorious North Korea in the Korean War (at least with a POD where either the USA doesn't intervene heavily early on or messes up in the war) would go on to unite the peninsula and yet have a different kind of regime that's less like OTL's hellhole yet still authoritarian, but how does that affect the geopolitics of Asia, especially that of Japan, China, and beyond. Sure, Japan might rearm ASAP and China might either play ball with the Soviets or try to get Korea in its orbit or try to get their own share of influence in Vietnam and/or other parts of Southeast Asia, as well as South Korea holding out in Jeju Island for a while, but I'm mighty curious about the details, especially in regards to the politics within the countries. So I ask how does a North Korea that won the war affect politics in Asia?
 
I think a sizable number of Americans opposed intervening in the Korean war. If the the North Koreans won the Vietnam war, in my personal opinion the US would probably pump more money into the French Indochina war, probably sending bombers as the French requested. The French could *possibly* win the Indochina war. Regardless if the French win or not, the US would pour far, far, far more investment into Japan than OTL. The ROC in Taiwan and Japan would be the only democratic first world nations. It is very possible that the Western image of Asia IS Japan (as into Japan = Asia, it was very much like this during the 80s and 90s). Japan would be America’s “national redoubt” in Asia, as ths last democratic stronghold in Asia. Taiwan would likely remain independent as China does not has the amphibious capacity to conquer Taiwan
 
More Aid for US allied states, and more military presence. Japan might fell to Communism, and the Philippines will be the last Bastion of Democracy and Republicanism in Asia. And the proof that American Style Democracy will work and better against communism and socialism, and because commies were seen in PI as criminals after they killed the former president's wife, Aurora Quezon before the korean war
Because the US would place more aid investments in them as if they fell, all of south east asia and Taiwan is now in trouble. The US would sponsor Quirino in PI, a competent leader and will destroy the commie rebellion through prosperity and intensified military actions taken. and US will promote democracy instead of placing unpopular dictators as a lesson in the Korean war

"Asia's America --> PI" ITTL
 
Probably the us would intervene more in asia, they would probably invest more into the vietnam war, support the dutch against Indonesia during trikora, supported the uk during confrontation, invest heavily into their allies ie philippines, thailand, japan, taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, probably the uk going to be the biggest winner since they didn’t need to invest as much during confrontation
 
Contrary to what @Slime_blob said, I sincerely doubt that the American state department and intelligence state is going to “destroy the commie rebellion” through prosperity, democracy, and stability. OTL showed us that this policy is a path with very slow returns (despite proven success), and losing both Korea and China will put an immense paranoia on Asian Policy. I strongly doubt the resulting policies will avoid dictatorship, in fact I think it will double down on dictatorship as the best means of warding off communism. Say what what you will, but strongmen, when given strong American backing and tools, did provide results (Suharto, Syngman Rhee, Pinochet, Armas, the Brazilian junta, Trujillo for a time, the Shah’s Iranian government, and a slew of others). Not to mention, not explicitly autocratic but at least meddling with democratic processes to ensure results like the eternal rule of the Liberal-Democratic Party in Japan. It’s wishful thinking to say that the American foreign policy departments, with the kind of people who staffed them at this time, are going to sit back and realize that they need a slow plan of investment and stability to ensure proper allies. They’re going to favor decisive action and results, which unfortunately means strong anti-communist dictatorships that slaughter their indigenous left wings (because, after all, that strategy mostly worked).

We’ll be left with military cliques ruling the rumps of Taiwan and Jeju Island, a more militarized Japan with stronger funding and co-ordination between American intelligence and the Japanese right, we’d probably still get Marcos for the Philippines, there would probably be continued shenanigans with Operation Paper and the Yunnan Anti-Communist National Salvation Army in Burma and their opium trade to finance operations, and American military investment into Indochina will be pouring in.

I don’t see a future in which the name of the game for American policy in Asia is slowly building functional and truly democratic systems over the course of decades, it will be intense anti-communism resulting in entrusting political systems to the the indigenous right and/or radical right to keep a lid on things while the American military is deployed when it feels it needs to be. The OPC and then CIA will continue to oversee opium production and smuggling in the Golden Triangle to raise money for these regimes, and South-East Asia will be of particular interest to Washington and more resources will be devoted to the area than IOTL. Things look unfortunate for everyone in this alternate timeline...
 
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Contrary to what @Slime_blob said, I sincerely doubt that the American state department and intelligence state is going to “destroy the commie rebellion” through prosperity, democracy, and stability. OTL showed us that this policy is a path with very slow returns (despite proven success), and losing both Korea and China will put an immense paranoia on Asian Policy. I strongly doubt the resulting policies will avoid dictatorship, in fact I think it will double down on dictatorship as the best means of warding off communism. Say what what you will, but strongmen, when given strong American backing and tools, did provide results (Suharto, Syngman Rhee, Pinochet, Armas, the Brazilian junta, Trujillo for a time, the Shah’s Iranian government, and a slew of others). Not to mention, not explicitly autocratic but at least meddling with democratic processes to ensure results like the eternal rule of the Liberal-Democratic Party in Japan. It’s wishful thinking to say that the American foreign policy departments, with the kind of people who staffed them at this time, are going to sit back and realize that they need a slow plan of investment and stability to ensure proper allies. They’re going to favor decisive action and results, which unfortunately means strong anti-communist dictatorships that slaughter their indigenous left wings (because, after all, that strategy mostly worked).

We’ll be left with military cliques ruling the rumps of Taiwan and Jeju Island, a more militarized Japan with stronger funding and co-ordination between American intelligence and the Japanese right, we’d probably still get Marcos for the Philippines, there would probably be continued shenanigans with Operation Paper and the Yunnan Anti-Communist National Salvation Army in Burma and their opium trade to finance operations, and American military investment into Indochina will be pouring in.

I don’t see a future in which the name of the game for American policy in Asia is slowly building functional and truly democratic systems over the course of decades, it will be intense anti-communism resulting in entrusting political systems to the the indigenous right and/or radical right to keep a lid on things while the American military is deployed when it feels it needs to be. The OPC and then CIA will continue to oversee opium production and smuggling in the Golden Triangle to raise money for these regimes, and South-East Asia will be of particular interest to Washington and more resources will be devoted to the area than IOTL. Things look unfortunate for everyone in this alternate timeline...
Pardon Me but, the Philippines IOTL in the 1950s did significant progress against the Huk Commie rebellion. Through prosperity, democracy and stability, The fact is, the Philippines needs money, not dictatorships or military equipment, and that is obvious. The fact that I think I will see Quirino win the reelection here because he is a staunch anti communist and competent administrator. The fact that it was in the 1950s that with prosperity the Philippines fought the rebellion it was rapid progress. IOTL assuming that this happened in 1960s. THe fact that this was proven in the PI, during the Huk rebellion, which resulted to relative peace and stability in the long run. And why would they attempt to destroy their political base. That is one of the Problems in SV they launched a coup against Diem, then Problems started going destroyed also the political base IOTL
 
Pardon Me but, the Philippines IOTL in the 1950s did significant progress against the Huk Commie rebellion. Through prosperity, democracy and stability, The fact is, the Philippines needs money, not dictatorships or military equipment, and that is obvious. The fact that I think I will see Quirino win the reelection here because he is a staunch anti communist and competent administrator. The fact that it was in the 1950s that with prosperity the Philippines fought the rebellion it was rapid progress. IOTL assuming that this happened in 1960s. THe fact that this was proven in the PI, during the Huk rebellion, which resulted to relative peace and stability in the long run. And why would they attempt to destroy their political base. That is one of the Problems in SV they launched a coup against Diem, then Problems started going destroyed also the political base IOTL
I'm not proposing an ideal solution, I'm arguing that this was the American foreign policy mindset of the 1950s. The thing you are proposing, with hindsight, is logical and would overall make for a superior strategy. That being said, the favored strategy at the time, and something that yielded immediate results, was working with the right wing and using military autocracies to shut out and/or destroy the left. In a timeline where both China and Korea were "lost" due to American indecisiveness against communism, the people in charge of the American intelligence and foreign departments will absolutely be hawks concerned with the 'spreading communist threat' who will be advocating swift and decisive measures to destroy any chances of a left wing insurgency. While Diệm's regime in South Vietnam was undone by a military coup, the strategy worked well in a number of countries in the region like Thailand and South Korea, especially during the 50's.

American foreign policy measures would probably be directed by paranoia and emphasize decisive action by any means possible to secure anti-communist interests due to the perception that indecisiveness and naiveté lost China and Korea. This doesn't lend itself well to encouraging a slow process of building prosperity and stable democracy, but rather to the series of policing actions and military coups we saw IOTL but ramped up further.
 
It would be a larger hellhole with Kim running it all.
Not necessarily, there's plenty of developments that could, and probably would, make it *less* poor. Without a Korean War, the north of Korea wouldn't be utterly annihilated and that alone is huge. They lost an estimated 10% to 15% of their population in the war and something on par of 90% of all buildings in the nation were left as rubble. I think simply just avoiding the conflict and the subsequent psychological effects it had on the Kim government would already put it on par to be a more standard nation. This isn't even to mention that they would possess the full resources of Korea, rather than just being isolated to the more poor and rural north. Even IOTL, the North Korean economy was at least on par with its southern neighbor until the mid 1970s and was hardly in the state it is today. The tally sheet is looking like way less damage to infrastructure and people, less psychological trauma on the political culture and body politic, more resources and more population, and better relations with its neighbors as a result of this PoD. The North Koreans didn't even truly descend into the state they are today until the collapse of Soviet aid which helped the country develop, and there's no telling how it would go in this timeline but it's not guaranteed.

It's silly to say nothing substantial would change. This is on par with trying to argue the Soviet Union would be exactly the same without the Soviet-German War...
 
It's silly to say nothing substantial would change. This is on par with trying to argue the Soviet Union would be exactly the same without the Soviet-German War...
It would be the same that Kim would be considered to be all but a living God, to the entire peninsula, rather than the Northern half, that was still more developed than the southern half

And that's even after the USAF had destroyed everything larger than a village above the 38th parallel
 
Not necessarily, there's plenty of developments that could, and probably would, make it *less* poor. .
Agreed, people who think North Korea's fate is sealed with Kim il-Sung's rise should look at Vietnam as an example of a country that has done remarkably well despite having a similar outcome AND falling out with its much larger northern neighbor. North Korea's diplomatic and political positioning has largely evolved from the presence of the DMZ and the US Army close behind. Without it, communist Korea would be much more outwardly focused and could eventually reach an accord with the US just as Vietnam has (something which would have been unthinkable a few decades ago).
 
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It would be the same that Kim would be considered to be all but a living God, to the entire peninsula, rather than the Northern half, that was still more developed than the southern half
You can't hardly claim this definitively given the Kim cult was established in the way we see it today following the Korean War and the experiences of the leadership during and after that period. Without it, I'm sure a personality cult would develop but likely in the same way we saw a Mao or a Stalin cult (if even, it depends on the many myriad of ways the political system goes), but I don't think it's something you can outright conclude at least without giving proper justification.
 
Agreed, people who think North Korea's fate is sealed with Kim il-Sung's rise should look at Vietnam as an example of a country that has done remarkably well despite having a similar outcome AND falling out with its much larger northern neighbor. North Korea's diplomatic and political positioning has largely evolved from the presence of the DMZ and the US Army close behind. Without it, communist Korea would be much more outwardly focused and could eventually reach an accord with the US just as Vietnam has (something which would have been unthinkable a few decades ago).
Yeah, especially should be noted that North Korea IOTL did try and reach out to the US during Clinton's Presidency and was making fairly groundbreaking progress with detente with South Korea until the accords were tossed out the window by the Bush administration. In an alternate timeline, assuming the same relative trajectory in Asia and the fall of the Soviet Union, a Vietnam-esque position is pretty likely.
 
North Korea IOTL did try and reach out to the US during Clinton's Presidency and was making fairly groundbreaking progress with detente with South Korea until the accords were tossed out the window by the Bush administration.
from wiki

  • 18 March 1996: Hans Blix tells the IAEA's Board of Governors North Korea has still not made its initial declaration of the amount of plutonium they possess, as required under the Agreed Framework, and warned that without the declaration IAEA would lose the ability to verify North Korea was not using its plutonium to develop weapons.
  • June 1997: Three North Korean vessels cross the Northern Limit Line and attack South Korean vessels two miles (3 km) south of the line. On land, fourteen North Korean soldiers cross 70 m south of the center of the DMZ, leading to a 23-minute exchange of fire.[31]
  • June 1998: A North Korean Yugo-class submarine became entangled in a fishing driftnet. It was salvaged on 25 June and the bodies of nine crewmen were recovered all dead by gunshot wounds.
  • July 1998: A dead North Korean frogman was found with paraphernalia on a beach south of the DMZ.[32]
  • 31 August 1998: North Korea launched a Paektusan-1 space launch vehicle in a launch attempt of its Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1 satellite. U.S. military analysts suspect satellite launch is a ruse for the testing of an ICBM.[20] This missile flew over Japan causing the Japanese government to retract 1 billion in aid for two civilian light-water reactors.[21][22]
  • June 1999: The First Battle of Yeonpyeong, a series of clashes between North and South Korean vessels, takes place in the Yellow Sea near the Northern Limit Line.
  • October 26, 2000: Two US aircraft observing a ROK army military exercise accidentally cross over the DMZ.[27]
  • 2001: On twelve separate occasions, North Korean vessels cross the Northern Limit Line and then withdraw.[citation needed]
  • November 27, 2001: North and South Korean forces exchange fire without injuries.[citation needed]
  • June 29, 2002: The second battle of Yeonpyeong leads to the deaths of six South Korean sailors and the sinking of a South Korean vessel. The number of North Koreans killed is unknown.
  • 2002 IAEA Inspectors ordered out of North Korea, after the US showed that the DPRK was secretly enriching Uranium
Yeah, it was all Dubya's fault, not the poor North Koreans
 
Yeah, it was all Dubya's fault, not the poor North Koreans
A list of incidents doesn’t explain away years of diplomatic wrangling and agreements going on during this time period. This was the time of the Sunshine Policy in South Korea and, despite naval and border incidents, there was a significant breakthrough in relations and a never-before-seen level of cooperation between the two. This was right after the Long March of the 1990s for North Korea, and perhaps some sort of agreement could have been worked out. The Clinton administration had a somewhat working relationship with North Korea despite it being fraught with unfulfilled bargains. Still though, lifting of sanctions and fully opening diplomatic ties was on the table. This, with the Sunshine Policy, presented a significant period of openness with the North Koreans despite this list of incidents.

The neoconservative turn and the Axis of Evil foreign policy of the new administration made any further agreements impossible, and put the North Koreans into a box in terms of its foreign policy prospects and a future with the West. I’m not saying “the poor North Koreans”, but this was undeniably a period of possibility.. unless you’re saying they just willfully stomped on the treaties of their own accord for fun
 
Without the siege mentality of the Korean War stalemate, Kim the First doesn't have the political capital to consolidate power to OTL's extent.
The Cult of Personality started before the War, when he was Party Premier, a few years after he was installed by Beria and setup the the People's Army, that solidified his control in the North

Once it starts, the 'Great Leader' just has to live a long time, which he did

Even with All of Korea, would still act as he did, as there are enemies everywhere.
Japan, even China and USSR. Koreans, North or South, did not like being under anyone's thumb, as had been the case for a very long time.
 
Without the siege mentality of the Korean War stalemate, Kim the First doesn't have the political capital to consolidate power to OTL's extent.
I don't know about that entirely. I would imagine Kim winning the Korean War would actually expand his political power, at least in the short run. Whether Kim can establish a dynasty or not, I do not know, but if Kim won the Korean War, he himself would likely hold onto power for a good while. The dynasty relies on the siege mentality, no doubt, but I don't know if Kim the Elder himself would have to depend on that.

As noted, a unified Korea under the DPRK would be a totalitarian hellhole, even if a wealthier one. Standards of living being high (well, higher than OTL) can keep a population docile but it doesn't generate genuine affection for the leadership. I'd imagine Kim would be even more ruthless in a unified Korea because half the country had lived under the western backed South. He'd have to integrate a population into his dominion that viewed him as an oppressive aggressor. It'd take decades of brainwashing and oppression to undo that.
 
He'd have to integrate a population into his dominion that viewed him as an oppressive aggressor. It'd take decades of brainwashing and oppression to undo that.
I mean, this is surely true nowadays, but don’t make the mistake of projecting the political climate we are familiar with back into 1950. Various communist and socialist groups were actually better established in the South than they ever were in the North until Soviet occupation, and there were a considerable number of people who, at least during and after the war, would buy into the new government. We can see this with the Jeju Island Uprising, the Autumn Uprising, and the General Strike of 1946, where communist elements in the South were relatively successful at mobilizing the population against the American authorities. The picture is much more complicated politically than “North Korean Communist Boot stamping on the oppressed peoples of the South” It was perhaps more similar to Vietnam in that regard (with a separate southern extraction of the communist parties) than the Korea of today.

I would imagine Kim winning the Korean War would actually expand his political power, at least in the short run. Whether Kim can establish a dynasty or not, I do not know, but if Kim won the Korean War, he himself would likely hold onto power for a good while. The dynasty relies on the siege mentality, no doubt, but I don't know if Kim the Elder himself would have to depend on that.
Ironically, the victory would solidify his position and prestige but also incorporate thousands of respected and experienced party cadres and leaders into the KWP. These southerners, with differing ideas and experiences than Kim Il-Sung, might contest the leadership or at least compose a faction that would make things difficult. Of course, they could be neutralized or eliminated in this ATL, but OTL the Korean War eliminated all challengers essentially and the political situation here will be much more delicate and consist of multiple solid party structures merging into the WPK. I’d say where things can go from here depend on events, but I also disagree with your thesis that this timeline will just be “identical North Korea but larger and slightly wealthier” considering how the political situation we see today is a direct result of both the Korean War and the 1990s.

Only somewhat related to the topic, but I feel there’s a prevalence in alternate history to be very deterministic when it comes to communist regimes IOTL. There’s thousands of threads like discussing like the myriad of butterflies if Franklin Roosevelt tied his shoes on the left foot first instead of the right on December 7, 1941, but when it comes to the history of the Soviet Union or North Korea for example, many just conclude that barely anything would be different despite massive timeline changes.
 
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