Why has the Korean War become so forgotten?

From a technology perspective its basically an extension of WW2, with some swept wing jet fighters on top. In contrast Vietnam was an entirely different generation of technology which generates interest.
It's a matter of mindset. WW2 was seen as an event that threatened the country. Vietnam was seen as unnecessary. Korea happens at the peak of US military might, so the people aren't threatened. Many of the soldiers were just a little too young for WW2 and still had a sense of duty. Besides, it was a shorter war. It was so close to WW2 that the veterans were often classified together.
 
That’s a consequence of the late 1980s. Prior to the 1980s and as a result of the Korean War Korea was split between a modernised people’s democracy in the north and a backward, authoritarian South.
The South surpassed the North per capita in the mid 70s, not the late 80s.
 

Paradoxer

Banned
The Korean War seems to have become a footnote in modern history, overshadowed by its large-scale predecessor World War II and its more infamous dark successor Vietnam. Well, up to 3 million people died in this "footnote", so you have to wonder how it got swept under the rug of modern culture. Granted, this obviously isn't the case in the Koreas themselves, but outside of that it's rather obscure.

My guesses for why are the following:
  1. As mentioned, the fact that it was so soon after the global scale World War II meant it would play second fiddle in relevance. And that its successor was Vietnam, a dark hour in American history, put memories of Korea on the backburner.
  2. The war as we know it lasted just over three years, but much of action within it was just over one year. After the initial push by North Korea to the edge and almost taking the South, the American-led counterattack pushed the North Koreans back up to China, where the Chinese then sent their entire army to overwhelm the UN forces back to the original border. Essentially, the remaining 2/3's of the war had been border conflicts and sporadic attacks. Tellingly, the vast majority of casualties were in the first year, rather than the next two. With that, there's no grand conclusion. On that note...
  3. It ended in what was basically a stalemate. No epic final battle of any kind, just ending one day on a boring old ceasefire. Nothing was accomplished in the war by the end. As such, it's hard to paint it as a triumph like WWII, or a tragedy like Vietnam. It just came and went.
That being said, I do lament not really having any major Korean War media. The war would've made for a great story, especially with having North Korea almost take the peninsula, only for the South assisted by a US-led UN force make the counterattack, and then China comes in and all hell breaks loose. Watching a video by The Armchair Historian really made it look intense.

But those are my guesses. Any other reason why this has been swept under the rug?
Some of the Korean vets also had resentment towards Vietnamese vets in popular consciousness and memory. Especially during recession in late 70s.

The Rambo movie compared to book clearly shows this. In book the small town sheriff is a Korean War vet and book takes a more hostile and negative depiction of Vietnam vets as maniacs and crazy killers shaped by war. In first movie especially ending scene(his greatest acting honestly) you see a man broken by war and resentful about being labeled “baby killer” and “all this vile crap” while people who didn’t go through what he went through yell and spit at him. The memory of suicide bomber kid killing his friend at bar in Saigon haunting him(“Johnny yelling “I can’t feel my legs” while Rambo can only reply but “they are everywhere” because explosion)

the first movie actually better then book because it does not dehumanize Rambo or vets. They are depicted as men as brothers in arms who often got through under bus by their superiors or used as scapegoats which does add more depth to what seems to be one dimensional to many who don’t understand him.

Also many Korean vets were ww2 vets right too? Due to distance. The ones who fought in Korean and ww2 likely reference two more so. Many officers from 2 in Korea more so then Vietnam.

People forget before Reagan “born again Christians” and boomer generation got more conservative many of these same people especially older and elites for first time in America history dehumanized or blame grunts or common foot soldiers for war crimes or failure of war more so then elites, politicians, or commanders responsible. Even on right and moderates some made these soldiers to be crazy “druggie jarheads” instead of just products and people shaped by their war and treatment. Even Korean vets at least got more warm welcome
 
I heard a story from the Vietnam War era. It said there was some resentment against the US in/near the military bases in Korea. One story says a South Korean boy took a grenade, approached a US soldier and killed them both when it exploded. Was that kind of encounter true?
 
I heard a story from the Vietnam War era. It said there was some resentment against the US in/near the military bases in Korea. One story says a South Korean boy took a grenade, approached a US soldier and killed them both when it exploded. Was that kind of encounter true?
No clue about that specific story, but there was a flair up in violence along the DMZ during the Vietnam War, during which KPA forces tried (and failed) to ignite a communist insurgency in the south.
 
Well OP if you’re that hurt about the absence of Korean War media then suicide is painless.
Would have helped maybe if the italicized part were a link to some reference to M.A.S.H. Ought to be the movie not the TV series since the TV show used the music of the referenced song as the theme, but omitted the pointed words.
lol, you complain about a lack of pop culture about the Korean War

someone posts about the most famous piece of Korean War pop-culture, and the reference sails over your head

have you thought that perhaps your OP was flawed

;-)

I got the joke, and I thought it was pretty funny. However, since the line, taken literally, is basically advising someone to kill themselves, it really goes down badly if the other person doesn't get the reference.
I certainly got the joke too, but then again I am the child of a Vietnam vet, remember when my dad was gone to fly his 100 missions (plus, it turns out) over NVN (out of Thailand, not a RVN base to be sure), and paid a lot of attention to the whole hawk/dove controversy. Also MASH the TV show debuted when I was 10 or so--didn't see the movie until I went to college in the '80s.

Not everyone can be expected to have the same pop culture I guess. And behold, it was a few years ago (well, going on 6 or 7 by now actually) that I encountered an on-line advertisement campaign for an allegedly life-enhancing drink based on some kind of soy product.

Its name?

Soylent.

{To be sure, it turns out, looking up the actual OTL 2013 released product Soylent, the inventor was quite aware of Harry Harrison's novel Make Room, Make Room! and the Charlton Heston vehicle movie with what I assumed was its still universally known spoiler catchphrase

"Soylent Green is people! It's people!"

So evidently the man was being a wiseass--but it seemed evident to me the joke if that is how this guy saw it was going right over a lot of younger heads.
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I also have to agree that in context, the novel M.A.S.H., Robert Altman's movie, and the long running beloved high rating TV sitcom were all really much more about Vietnam than Korea. But then again, just how much pop culture do we want focused on every war the USA has been in, and how much fidelity to history do we expect such pop culture to ever have anyway? I mean, where's the love for all those CIA coups imposing police states in the name of freedom pretty continually from the Eisenhower Administration, to the present day to be honest? (I guess we can adduce James Bond movies and say Get Smart, not to mention the much more recent cartoon Archer, which is actually more brutally historically accurate than either mass market vehicle of bygone generations, in this category actually).

Seriously the whole MASH run of its iterations at least reminded Americans that there is a Korea and the USA was tied down heavily in the Korean War, and remains in SK to this day.

I have to concur in the guess that it wasn't so much the duration or even timing of the war but its rather inglorious seeming conclusion (for a certain value of conclusion, give or take the occasional border shooting, raid, or capture of a US Naval vessel here or there) in context of a contemporary feeling that this "police action" was just the prelude to a spectacular World War Three that would put both its predecessors in a glowing blue radioactive light cast shade. More or less "inevitably," though the more concrete war fighting ability rose on either side (and eventually, three sides) the less enthusiasm most people had for getting said "inevitable" conflict over and done with before capabilities escalated to a degree that would exterminate even more of humanity. Largely it was the embarrassment of not accomplishing a sweeping Good Guys total victory; they hadn't learned to count their blessings versus the kind of debacle Vietnam turned out to be.

Which is why framing Korea as an allegory of Vietnam does not do the older conflict justice of course. But I think a lot of the Vietnam-allusion incidents the TV show in particular would mention had a lot of historical accuracy as details that actually happened there in the 1950s.
 
@Shevek23

I actually didn't see the movie MASH until I was in my mid-30s, and I'm probably one of the few westerners who actually saw it IN KOREA: found an old videocasette of it for sale at the art-theatre in Gwangju. Most Koreans I've asked have never heard of either the movie or the TV show.

One thing that ticked me off about the movie is that it portrayed Koreans as sporting headware common in Vietnam, but which I have never seen associated with Korea. Maybe that was meant to symbolize the continuity between the two wars, but I'm kinda doubting it.
 
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It's a matter of mindset. WW2 was seen as an event that threatened the country. Vietnam was seen as unnecessary. Korea happens at the peak of US military might, so the people aren't threatened. Many of the soldiers were just a little too young for WW2 and still had a sense of duty. Besides, it was a shorter war. It was so close to WW2 that the veterans were often classified together.

I don't disagree with that as an overall assessment. My contention is that the technology used in the Vietnam War generates its own interest; it was the first extensive use of guided missiles, mach 2 combat aircraft, a new generation of AFVs, helicopter assault etc. Regardless of how the war itself is seen overall this technology is worth looking at, whereas in Korea apart of swept wing jets little new technology was used.
 
I don't disagree with that as an overall assessment. My contention is that the technology used in the Vietnam War generates its own interest; it was the first extensive use of guided missiles, mach 2 combat aircraft, a new generation of AFVs, helicopter assault etc. Regardless of how the war itself is seen overall this technology is worth looking at, whereas in Korea apart of swept wing jets little new technology was used.
Introduction for body armor with some Marine units, but other than a few jets, it was near all WWII leftovers.
 
Until the 1970's North Korea really was best Korea, after that it tanked really fast and South Korea became a prosperous democracy.
Even up until the 1970's it was a Totalitarian Communist State not a democracy. Like almost all countries called "People's Republics" or "Democratic Republics" it was a People's Republic of Tyranny . It was richer mostly because the Japanese developed the north considerably more prior to WW2.
 
I think that the Korean War is still well known but if you're comparing it to ww2 or Vietnam maybe it may feel not so much.

I do recall being taught about it briefly at school in the 1990s, relating to Kayforce. MASH was still on the TV regularly at that point too so I was watching that most weeks
 
It was richer mostly because the Japanese developed the north considerably more prior to WW2.
But by 1953, USAF had done to the DPRK what they had done to Imperial Japan in 1945. Nearly all that infrastructure had been bombed to bits.
They were running on Soviet aid and largese til Kim decided to buddy up with Mao. DPRK plateaued, while the ROK finally passed the North in GDP by the early 1970s, and never looked back, while the North doubled down on what they saw a more Pure Korean way forward with Juche, Autarky mated with the Cult of Personality to a new Royal Line and leave standard Marxism–Leninism to the past

They moved from the nominal Socialism inherent in Communism to just Nationalism with a Great Man© ® ™ showingthe way the the Chosen Korean People
 
But by 1953, USAF had done to the DPRK what they had done to Imperial Japan in 1945. Nearly all that infrastructure had been bombed to bits.
They were running on Soviet aid and largese til Kim decided to buddy up with Mao. DPRK plateaued, while the ROK finally passed the North in GDP by the early 1970s, and never looked back, while the North doubled down on what they saw a more Pure Korean way forward with Juche, Autarky mated with the Cult of Personality to a new Royal Line and leave standard Marxism–Leninism to the past

They moved from the nominal Socialism inherent in Communism to just Nationalism with a Great Man© ® ™ showingthe way the the Chosen Korean People
It is considerably easier to rebuild infrastructure than to build it the first time. The people who built it know how, while the people who didn't have to spend time learning how.
 
The fuck man? I only said I wouldn't mind an epic Korean War movie. What's your problem?
looks like your ignorance caught you up kid

suicide is (the) painless option for you ... or maybe you can Kling(er) onto to some credibility rather than talking a load of horse puckey
 
looks like your ignorance caught you up kid

suicide is (the) painless option for you ... or maybe you can Kling(er) onto to some credibility rather than talking a load of horse puckey
Hey man, what gives? I missed the Mash reference because it's only something I've heard of as it's old. And dude, the wording was pretty bad.
 
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