How Kimchi Was Used As Political Leverage in the Vietnam War


The story of LBJ, the president of South Korea, and a $2 million annual supply of fermented cabbage.

Kimchi is having a bit of a global moment. Of course, kimchi has been popular in Korea for thousands of years, but these days, the fermented cabbage stuff has come to adorn grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, and practically every supermarket shelf in the US.

But most people don’t know that in the 1960s, kimchi had a significantly more important moment—as diplomatic leverage in the politics of the Vietnam War.

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