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The Critical Analysis of Assertion, ROKA Participation in the Vietnam War as 'Mercenary Soldiers'

  • military history
  • 2003, (48), pp.239-278
  • Publisher : Military History Institute, MND
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Choi Yong Ho 1

1사단법인 전쟁과평화연구소

ABSTRACT

In Korea, Some scholars call that ROK soldiers in Vietnam are American mercenary soldiers. In this case, the terminology, mercenary, indicates the soldier who is not forced, and work on own will for own profit. Regardless, some scholars who call ROK soldier in Vietnam as a mercenary claim that ROK soldiers were paid by American and got into the war so they were mercenaries. Also, they claim that ROK soldier committed atrocities because they were mercenaries. We need the analysis as follows to prove whether ROK soldiers in Vietnam were mercenaries or not. The first, we need to look at the relation carefully about ROK-US government negotiation, the US government support and the mercenary's claim. Also, we have to analyze Korean government's economic effects from combat wage through detachment and the mercenary's claim. At last, because who has operational control is very important factor to decide the presence of a mercenary, ROK army operational control related matter has to be considered at the same time. In the same view, Korean government pushed ahead the detachment as national profit, and decided to detach through autonomous decision. Also, we analyze that Korea gained 50 billion dollar worth of economic effects through the negotiation with the US in the preassumption of detachment to Vietnam. In the conclusion, Korean government established the foundation of national rise using support of the US related Vietnam detachment. Also, soldiers were paid relatively high price of combat wage. However, it is verified that the US support was just support as a security ally, and the combat wage was paid to raise the spirit of soldiers on the field. Therefore, we can not conclude that ROK army was mercenary only because of the US economic support and combat wage. Especially, ROK army had independent operational control with independent tactic.

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