The USA declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbour and immediately sought the alliance of the Koreans, the Vietnamese and the Chinese. It was obtained with the promise that Korea and Vietnam and China would be free to build their countries after the defeat of the Japanese. The promises were not kept.
Kim, an admirer of the American republican form of government and his hero was George Washington felt that the Americans woulg honour their promise, but that was not to be. Instead, they immediately set up and supported a puppet regime in the South and Kim went to war to unify his country. Years of fighting ( the Americans were able to use their influence to get the newly formed United Nations to declare ), resulted in a stalemate and an Armistice was signed to end the fighting and since then there as been an uneasy situation between the Koreans and Americans. Today it takes the form of the North threatening to wage nuclear war. Its new young leader is Kim Yong Un, a grandson of Kim Il Song, and also has striking resemblance. A lie or a promise not kept, has led to70 years of enmity, insecurity and instability
. Ho Chi Minh, another admirer of the US, was similiarly promised, a free, united Vietnam, and that promise was not kept either. Instead of supporting Vietnamese independence from France (the old colonial power), the Americans supported ther continued occupation by France with money and arms and when the French were defeated by Ho at the Battle of Dein Bien Phu, the Americans stepped in and created a puppet regime in the South. This led to the Third war, this time with the Vietnamese fighting the Americans. It would become America's bloodiest (and until Afghanistan) and longest war costing alimost 60,000 American lives, 2 million Vietnames lives and countless wounded and displaced and tens of billions economically. Today there is peace and trade between Vietnam and the USA, but the lost years, lives and sufferings of the Vietnamese people cannot be regained.
Mao's success in 1948, (China ha Arisen), turned an ally into an enemy, and policymakers in the USA, saw a Red threat and a wave of Communism spreading all over the world. Their perception of a Communist force overrunning the world and as such America's interests, began the Cold War and years of surrogate wars fought from Africa to Asia to Central and South America.
The tension today is a direct result of America's broken promise. The North Koreans do not trust the Americans and feel that the only thing that keep them from being attacked by the United States is its nuclear weapons. They are the North's security and they are the North's bargaining chip and they will continue to use it as such, until some trust can be achieved. Kim Jong Un is young, energetic and untested. In the South Park Geun-hye, is young energetic and untested. He is the grandson of Kim Il Song, whom he strikingly resembles and she is the daughter of ex-president Park, the tyrannic dictator of South Korea's dynamic economy. USA has 30,000 troops sataioned in the South, that guarantees the security of the South while at the same time, maybe, the trigger for renewed conflict as they are directly in harms way, just beyond the DMZ and within easy striking distance of any North attack.
The North is playing a wily game. They maybe paranoid of America and its intentions, but they are not stupid or mad. They will push only so far and then will pull back.....Provoke and Pullback.....to get attention, food and trade. America should send a basketball team instead of threats. Kim Jong Un is a basketball nut.