NPR

In Vietnam, There's Hope North Korea Will Follow Its Model For Economic Success

Since U.S. ties improved, Vietnam's growth has surged. "North Korea is now like Vietnam in the past. They are looking for new ways to get out of their isolated situation," says a Vietnamese analyst.
At a war memorial in Bac Giang province, Duong Van Dau views the tombstones of North Korean pilots killed during the Vietnam War. Headstones are etched with the names of the dead in Korean on one side, and Vietnamese on the other. Source: Manan Vatsyayana

Both North Korea and Vietnam are one-party Communist states that have fought bitter wars against the U.S. But unlike North Korea, Vietnam normalized relations with the U.S. and has grown and prospered — something North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will see firsthand this week while he's in Hanoi for his second summit meeting with President Trump. The U.S. and many in Vietnam hope Kim will also see Vietnam's experience as a model for his own country.

During the Vietnam War, North Korea secretly sent pilots to fight alongside North Vietnamese forces. The North Koreans flew combat missions against American bombers over Hanoi. Some paid with their lives.

"They were martyrs," says Duong Van Dau, a caretaker who watches over

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Robert Smith Pledges To Pay Off Student Loans For Morehouse College's Class Of 2019
The billionaire founder of investment firm Vista Equity Partners made the surprise announcement in front of roughly 400 students while delivering the college's commencement address on Sunday.
NPR3 min read
'There's Something About Sweetie' — Something Irrepressibly Joyous
Sandhya Menon's followup to her hit young adult novel When Dimple Met Rishi follows a young woman with a big voice, a big personality — and to her family's dismay (though not her own), a big body.
NPR2 min readPolitics
President Trump's Golf Scores Hacked On U.S. Golf Association Account
The awful scores of 101, 100, 108 and 102 were posted to Trump's USGA-administered handicap system on Friday, according to Golfweek.