In Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War he reflects on the Vietnam and Korean war and exposes the untold story of Korea’s and America’s military involvement in Vietnam. This allows readers to gain insight on the effects that outside involvement had on the countries. Nguyen separated each countries’ experiences into different chapters. The Korean experience was in the chapter entitled “On Becoming Human.” In this section Nguyen explains how American involvement left their military to ruins and three million Koreans ended up dying from the war. Koreans say that “their war ever officially ended” (129). Korea split into two separate countries making Republic of Korean (the South) and the Democrat’s People Republic of Korea (the North). The North transitioned into a fascist regime blocked off from the rest of the world and the South is described by the capitalist West as “the success story of what capitalism can achieve” (129).
Why did Vietnam choose to hide their dark past whereas South Korea became the success of capitalism?