Post by WolfBear
No, North Vietnam didn't have a nuclear weapons program; however,
neither did North Korea until the 1990s.
Basically, I have the impression that the Korean War created a siege
mentality in North Korea which became more severe after the end of the
Cold War; thus, to compensate for the loss of its Soviet patron as well
as the increasing power of South Korea, North Korea decided to build
So the scenario would be an end to the Vietnam War with a settlement and
acceptance of partition (at least for practical purposes) on the basis of
the _status quo_, some time in the late 60s. Which would put North
Vietnam in a similar position to North Korea, and South Vietnam in a
similar position to South Korea. The question is, then, how much of North
Korea's behaviour is down to their situation, and how much to their
I think I would argue that it's almost all down to their leadership, and
in particular to the need for the leader to prove himself when he takes
over. The point being that the way power is handed on is in some ways
more similar to the early Ottomans (before the succession got mixed up in
palace intrigues) than either a hereditary monarchy (where the next
monarch is frequently quite incompetent, or follows a quite different
policy to their predecessor) or the collective leadership of China or
North Vietnam (which ensures that the leader has enough support when they
take over, and doesn't need to play those sorts of games). The early
Ottoman system ensured that a Sultan had similar ideas to his predecessor
_and_ would be aggressive.
If I'm more or less right there, then North Vietnam would behave quite
differently, even to the extent of taking advantage of the 'Asian Tiger'
prosperity of the 90s and 2000s. You might get peaceful co-existence, or
even a peaceful reunification as China starts to be a threat to both.
(You might get co-operation earlier. The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia
was removed by action by Vietnam OTL, and would be equally obnoxious to
both Vietnams in the ATL.)