The Korean War: A Northern victory

WI North Korea had conquered the South, for whatever reason? How does this affect the global fight against communism?
OK, let's say, the N Koreans take all of S Korea before the US can land troops (could be), and fight off the equivalent to D-day (more difficult).

In that case, I guess Truman will start a policy of "double vigilance": Crush every possible North Korea immediately.


If they didn't use the nukes in a timely matter against Japan, and resorted to Operation DOWNFALL, the US might be forced to confirm Communist power over all of the Korean Peninsula, to keep the Soviets outta Japan.
Or if the North Koreans had waited a few years for the US to further draw down forces, and attacked while some other crisis was distracting people (say, the Suez war) they might have got away with it without much resistance.

Somewhat less egg on the face of the US, since the notion that Korea being "outside the US sphere of interest" would have had more time to spread, and there would be less US forces to be overrun: still will be seen as a US loss, and the big military buildup of OTL will probably follow, a few years behind schedule.

Taiwan may be part of Red China in this TL: we seem to have pretty much written of Chiang as a loser by 1950, and with no war in Korea until later it's possible that we don't bail him out when shiploads of People's Liberation Army troops starting showing up.



Naturally, Japan will fall a few weeks after the North Korean victory. Shortly after that Taiwan will be forced into the PRC by 5th columnists. All of south east asia will rise as one to overthrow the hated colonials. Africa will burn red with the fires of revolution. South American dictatorships will fall. Europe will vote Communist on block. In the end the last capitalist hold out the imporverished and moribund USA will fall appart from within.

... Not.
How could the North Koreans manage a victory? Knowing this would be necessary before speculating on the consequences of any victory.
Well, they came pretty close to conquer all the South, except for the pocket around Pusan. If the Americans had come a bit later, reconquest would become more difficult. All the South Korean soldiers becoming POWs alone...
Well, they came pretty close to conquer all the South, except for the pocket around Pusan. If the Americans had come a bit later, reconquest would become more difficult. All the South Korean soldiers becoming POWs alone...

That's aremarkably good point, just assume that the North Koreans complete the conquest prior to the US response. At that point, the UN/US response becomes far more problematical.

Would that make the potential use of nukes ... perhaps to facilitate the *initial* US landings ... more feasible? I suspect not, given Truman's response to MacArthur in OTL
If this victory occurs during the OTL Korean War, the effects it will have on American foreign policy would be interesting, to say the least. During the period in question, a paper known as NSC 68 was being drafted by the State Department to come up with some suitable plan for dealing with the USSR. When it was finally completed in 1950, it argued that the basic foreign policy goal of the Kremlin was world hegemony, and that the ideal counter would be a vigorous application of containment policy, combined with plenty of increases in military spending. The outbreak of the Korean War and the spectre of further Soviet expansionism essentially convinced Truman, who had been trying to focus more on his domestic programs, to implement this plan, and it so became one of the founding documents of American Cold War policy.

If all of Korea goes red, I'd expect this mentality to grow even stronger. There's is a good chance that the cuts Eisenhower made to the military in the 1950s would be erased. He'd face too much opposition from a frightened public and Congress to do otherwise. While this allow some earlier successes in a Vietnam-analogue to occur, it does mean that the American economy will not be doing quite as well as in OTL, what with the incread military spending and all.

It's also rather interesting to consider what would happen to Korea. While things would be unpleasant, there's a real good chance that they won't get as bad as in OTL's North Korea, for the reason that this expanded DPRK would not be spending its time staring through a heavily defended border at an antagonistic neighbor. That's gotta cleave your military spending down a bundle right there. Furthermore, without the isolating effect of a nearby enemy, this DPRK might actually try to participate in foreign affairs as an equal nation, rather than as a mystical hermit kingdom where the rules do not apply.