What if Korea Was Unified?

What if Korea Was Unified?

Korea was never meant to be split. Unification was always the main goal. But as time went along, the idea that the two could reunite seems to have come and went. When you look at it, the division of Korea is now the last remnant of the Cold War. Germany and Vietnam were just like Korea: Divided, but while those eventually came together,
Korea didn’t. Now things are so far different decades later
Korea is so culturally split; reunification is a laughable joke. But what if it wasn’t like this? What if today, Korea was unified? This whole decades-long split between the two
never happened. Back in the 1950s, one side was
victorious in the civil war and united the country under its own government. There were times in the war
that both sides could have won. So that’s why I’m dividing this video
into two alternate scenarios. One: if South Korea won the war, and the other, if North Korea won the war. So what possibly might have occurred? If you don’t really know that much about the Korean War, then I recommend watching this video to catch you up. Okay? Good. First, what if South Korea had won the war? In this alternate timeline, it’s the 1950s. The United States and the UN easily push back the North Koreans, beating the communists back to the 38th parallel. Wanting to stop any future conflict from occuring, the decision is made
to eliminate North Korea as a threat. The coalition invades the North,
obliterates what little defences they have left, captures Pyongyang, and chases the communist forces all the way up to the Chinese border. Now, the only reason why North Korea exists today is because of China. In our timeline, they were threatened with so many American troops on their border that they decided to attack. The Chinese sent thousands of troops into Korea, pushing the coalition south, and keeping the North alive. In this alternate timeline, for some reason, China simply doesn’t fight in the war. This is, of course, extremely unlikely. But that’s the only way for the Americans
to fully defeat North Korea, if China simply doesn’t become involved. By 1951 the remainder of communist forces surrender to the UN coalition. North Korea is officially dissolved. There is no more north or south,
it’s all under the former southern government, now the united Korean government. Glorious leader Kim Il-sung is either captured, executed or goes into hiding. This goes for all Communists and sympathizers; many either flee into China or go underground. The united government begins a nation-wide purge against suspected Communists all across the country. Hundreds of thousands, even millions, of suspected Communists are executed. Secret mass graves covered up by the government. If this seems a bit excessive, well, that’s exactly what happened in our timeline as well. At least 100,000 suspected Communist citizens were killed in the summer of 1950, alone, by the South Korean regime. So in this scenario, it’s not shocking that
once the North surrenders a large violent purge begins to remove
all of Kim Il-sung’s influence. For most, reunification isn’t hard at all. It’s only been five years of separation; the division was bloody,
but it would only be seen as a civil war. The war was short, but it devastated the country’s infrastructure. This new united Korea is too weak
to deal with this themselves. So, for a while, they’re reliant on aid from the Americans to fuel the weak nation’s economy. For a while it’s not sunshine and rainbows, it’s not a place where democracy reigns. It would be similar to what the South was
for much of its history: authoritarian and unstable. In our timeline the South suffered
regime change after regime change and this wouldn’t be different
simply because the country united. This leaves Korea’s fate very unpredictable and down two very different paths. One: Korea remains a pretty impoverished state
due to lacking leadership, its economy just never prospers. Two: Korea is basically the same as today, but instead, it’s all over Korea and not just the South. This alternate Korean War changes the perception that the Americans have on the fight against Communism. On the Global Stage this was
a slap to the face to the Soviets, a show of force that
the Americans would contain Communism; almost a text-book example of what could go right like a 1950s Persian Gulf War. Korea is less of a major, brutal war and simply a military action, but it is used as an example of
Western Power over the Soviet bloc. Korea isn’t the ‘Forgotten War’ it’s a “nice little war.” So most people pretty much forget
about the region as a whole and foreign aid is simply to help the Koreans rebuild. For China, Korea is now an enemy at its doorstep. The decision to not attack was a horrible one and it hurt their already weakening
relationship with the Soviets. They’d be pretty bitter. The U.S. military understands this and keeps troops in Korea to ward off any Chinese threat. Switching things around now,
to the other alternate timeline. What if North Korea, instead, had won the war? The initial invasion plays out just like our own. The North Koreans invade the South, not expecting the United States to retaliate
or even care about Korea in general. Kim Il-sung believes that
the Americans have other matters and Korea would mean very little. Of course, though, he was dead wrong. But in this alternate timeline, he’s actually right. The United States cares very little about the invasion and doesn’t attack. This is practically impossible to happen
considering the Cold War and all, but this is really the only possible way
North Korea could have won. It’s not like they’d win from superior firepower
against the Americans. See a pattern here? Without American and U.N. commitment
the South Koreans are overrun, the Southern government and military
is soon entirely defeated. The whole country falls to Kim Il-sung. So, what now? The international community can’t put sanctions on it considering China and Russia are both allies
who would just ignore the U.N. and give Korea any supplies it needs. So, does Kim Il-sung make a glorious Korean regime
to take over all of east Asia then eventually the world? Well, no. Most of the consequences occur outside Korea, more specifically, the United States. Since the United States does nothing to stop the Communists from taking over another country, this a major embarrassment
for President Truman and the U.S. Keep in mind, at the time,
China had just fallen to Communism, which was also blamed on Truman as well. So another incident like that
leaves the United States even more shaken. America was meant to at least contain
the spread of Communism, and even if South Korea wasn’t extremely important, it was still under American control and its loss is a symbolic threat
to the global fight against Communists. The fall of Korea would not be forgotten. Oh no, It’d be a fire which would kick start
a whole new Red Scare. Americans and democracy as a whole
is seen as on the defensive. Communist forces literally
invading and conquering nations. The thing about fear is it turns into policy. Korea’s loss changes the way the United States conducts itself in the 1950s. It would not want to loose the next conflict; it would be less likely to give any Communist state a single inch. I think you know where I’m going with this: Vietnam. We think of Vietnam as a 1960s war, but the U.S. was deeply involved in it ever since the ’50s. The U.S. helped aid the French, to a limited degree. But they soon lost to the Viêt Minh
and the country was divided into North and South. In our time line,
America didn’t fully commit to the French because of the stalemate that was the Korean War. Eisenhower had very conflicted feelings. He wanted to help the French win the war and the U.S. could have. He didn’t want another Communist state in Asia, but he worried it’d devolve into another Korea. With the loss of Korea, however, there is no stalemate, but there is an urge for revenge. In this alternate time line
the U.S. can’t afford to be embarrassed again. There is high public support for a conflict against the Communist Vietnamese far before there is ever a North Vietnam. By the early 1950s the Americans come to the French aid sending in ground troops and bombers. Imagine the Vietnam War of our time line but far sooner. This conflict is not limited. One major reason the United States
couldn’t conclude the Vietnam War was because it couldn’t simply
invade the North with ground forces– that’d start World War Three. But since this conflict takes place while
Vietnam is a French colony the Americans can simply roll in. The United States doesn’t need to worry about
invading a sovereign Communist north. That means, in this alternate time line, the United States and French crush the
nationalist / Communist rebellion. Hô Chí Minh is captured or killed as the United States invades the North. By the 1960s the Counter Culture Movement
is certainly not as prevalent without Vietnam, and, in fact, the entire decade
is much more like the ’50s. The loss of a tiny country changes the course of America. I’ll let you imagine the ramifications of that. Meanwhile, Korea is a
Communist state under Kim Il-sung. They have an extensive
cult of personality much like Stalin, and mass purges occur against Capitalist Koreans. But for the most part, Korea remains relatively quiet
as its under Chinese and Soviet control. Its history is much of the same up until the 1990s when the Soviet Union collapses. Without a war with the Americans
Korea doesn’t have an enemy to latch onto, and since South Korea had already fallen by the 1950s, the United States just considered it a lost cause. Perhaps by the fall of the Soviet Union Korea is moderate enough
to begin a relationship with the Americans. There isn’t as much of a cult of personality and, instead, the country becomes less Communist just like China and Vietnam in our time line. Comparing both scenarios
there is one thing that stands out: whoever wins, North or South, allows their dominant country, either the Soviets or Americans, to have a significant advantage in the Cold War. A decisive victory would have been a
fantastic political moment for either side. But since it was just a stale mate it became an awkward pause that, to this day, still hasn’t been resolved. This, however, is simply a couple of scenarios. We’ll never truly know what would have happened, but it’s always fun to theorize. What do you think would have happened? This is Cody of the AlternateHistoryHub. This video was brought to you by Squarespace. I’m sure you’ve heard that name before, but for good reason. Squarespace is a fantastic service that
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100 thoughts on “What if Korea Was Unified?

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  2. American victory in Korea probably does not play out the way you said. It was inevitable that China would get involved when the South was approaching their border, but what could have gone very differently was whether President Truman followed General Douglas MacArthur advise of nuking China into submission. One bomb over a Chinese city and the Korean war ends in a matter of weeks.

  3. Actually, it is not unlikely that China does not fight in Korea. Most Chinese generals hated the idea, they wanted to liberate Taiwan and focus on rebuilding. But you know, Kim Il-Sung was besties with Mao Zedong and of course they had to fight for them.

  4. If the Americans and South Korean would've won, do you think that the Chinese and Soviets would've made the Vietnam War even bloodier? After taking that huge slap to the face with their defeat maybe they would've gone even harder then in the Vietnam War. I'm talking about more troops, more supplies, more armored vehicles, more attack helicopters, more spys, more propaganda, you know🤔

  5. they shouldve just kept fighting until we defeated China. when they attacked us they lost most of there army. politics left our troops in handcuffs. and no matter how you look at it Truman by far was the worse president ever just about. he reniged on all most everything roosevelt wanted for after the war. and over all roosevelt never intended stalin as an enemy. most of when down after the war stalin kept his word. Truman was a true cocksucker that didnt know how to be president

  6. All these nations sell "cold wars" and "small conflicts" to further other, larger nation's dominance and use of armed force, so they can possibly dominate andor have larger nation's commit to "bad conflict", and aren't annexed into other Nations.

  7. Koreans need to watch this.

    [일본방송] 반일정책 뒤에는 북한의 공작활동이 있다..?

  8. America:we are the land of the brave!
    Vietnamese farmer: welcome to the rice fields motherfuckers
    America:*goes full France mode*

  9. I think a more plausible way the North could have won the war was through the retaliation of China. The Chinese forces almost kicked out the Americans and it would not be too far feched if they went the extra mile.

    Sorry for bad English

  10. Wouldn't a possible way that the North would win also be that the people of the United States are tired of the war? This happened in Vietnam. Its why Vietnam became communist. Because the war was going on for a long time, and we were just losing troops for some other countries land. Families were losing their sons and father's and sometimes even daughters and mothers. Just for some small Asian country. That was kinda what people thought during Vietnam. I am sure there are many things that could have happened that would increase the time of the war. It's equally possible that Americans would get sick of the war and vote for a President that would call it quits

  11. The main reason China entered the war was because Gen MacArthur chased North Korean forces into China. If he hadnt done that, China might not have entered the war.

  12. There are two major points which I think need to be included in this analysis:

    First, in contrast to what South and North Korea have become since the Korean War, the North was actually the more prosperous and industrialized part of Korea before the war while the South was poorer and largely agrarian. A reunited Korea under South Korean rule would probably have had an easier time reaching full modern industrialization.

    Second, much of the damage to the infrastructure of North Korea took place after the Chinese intervention. This was because of the protracted air war, which was so dominated by the US/UN forces that, by the war's end, the Chinese/NK forces essentially abandoned all attempts to move during the daytime and US/UN planes actually had difficulty finding targets to hit. If the Chinese had not entered the war or had not succeeded in pushing the US/UN forces back to the South, then much more infrastructure would have survived the conflict.

  13. North Korea does not exist it war criminals and devil history why did the Chinese Communist party help the North Korea

  14. The Soviet Union, China, and Communist Korea must have invaded Japan, Europe and World War III. BTS, BLACKPINK and KPOP will not exist.

  15. What about a scenario where with 2:20 of your Korean video, a independent Peoples republic of Korea is acknowledged as legitimate by the US. Democratically elected with a certain agreements with the US to allow it's existence. Since Russia accepted it, maybe China would too. It could be a unification without war. I wonder how things might have gone.

  16. Have you considered that Russia might be aggressive and more countries will be communist and America might have some revolutions and Russia comes and and spanks america and the communist regime might be the strongest regime

  17. I'd love to see a modern North Korea in the timeline you described where they win, I'd guess it'd be similar to Vietnam today.

  18. So all we had to do was be like hey china don’t bother us and we won’t bother y’all then we could of had a unified South Korea

  19. I found out that just like Germany and Vietnam Yemen 🇾🇪 also split in two South Yemen and North Yemen later they would unite into the republic of Yemen also there was no war needed to unify the two

  20. I don't think China would let Korea to be reunited under the South Korean government, because that would mean having an allie of the USA on their doorstep. The Chinese would most likely want a puppet government on its doorstep or take over like North Korea like what's going on in Taiwan

  21. What if Korea was unified?

    Haha jokes on you, world powers wouldn't allow that to happen. It is more beneficial for them when we are split

  22. The UN can’t put sanctions on North Korea anyways. China and Soviet Union would not ignore the UN, they would just vote against, stopping the UN from being able to put sanctions

  23. The Chinese helping the North Koreans is what drove the Americans out of North Korean and created the stalemate since they did it want to fight the Chinese directly. From my understanding though general MacArther who ran the war and successfully invaded North Korea is not want to back down to the Chinese and wanted to keep going and fight the Chinese if necessary. That tells me that even with Chinese involvement, the Americans still could have won if not for the politics! The American government should have allowed general MacArther to do his job and the Korean War would have been won.

    I am surprised you didn’t pot talk about the ramifications of the Vietnam war if the south and won. I think with a Korean victory over communist China, maybe America would not have been so timid in Vietnam and would have done was was needed to win that war as well….. I. The end both wars should have been won regardless of the cost, American trust in the government might be different if th vietnam war was a success.

  24. If it was unified you can take it to the Bank and bet your bottom dollar that The Central Bank owned by Rothschild would run its currency

  25. The theory on if the Kim family took over all of Korea actually seems pretty good in the long run, plus I bet things in Japan would have been faster too. The only consequence would have been Koreans suffering until the 90's.

  26. Cop out alert! Cop out alert. Discussing what would have happened in the event of a different outcome in the 1950's Korean conflict allows the issue of reunification in this era to be avoided. Yeah it's complicated. When. Under what political conditions. What are the economic consequences. How are North Koreans integrated into modern, westernized Korea?

    Darn, you have to actualyl know something to speak to those issues.

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