A recent publication from a US-based think tank confirms that North Korean pilots were engaged in combat against US forces during the Vietnam war.
The Woodrow Wilson Center published its latest North Korea International Documentation Project on Sunday that is based on documents taken from the historical archives of the People's Army of Vietnam.
It says the Vietnamese Communist Party approved Pyeongyang's request to send North Korean Air Force regiments to help them fight against US forces during the war.
The military archives reveal that top North Korean military chief Choi Kwang signed a protocol with his North Vietnamese counterpart Van Tien Dung in 1966.
The agreement listed the detailed size and the time table of providing North Korean Air Force regiments to North Vietnam.
It said North Korea would send two sets of ten pilots to man Vietnamese MiG-17 aircraft and an additional set of 10 pilots for MiG-21 aircraft but the aircraft and all necessary technical equipment would be provided by Vietnam.
It then added that the North Korean Air Force personnel would be called "specialists" and be subordinate to the guidance and the direction of North Vietnam's Air Defense and Air Force Command.
Both Vietnam and North Korea first admitted in 2000 that North Korean pilots saw combat in the Vietnam War but this is the first time that details have surfaced and been confirmed by official documents.
Kim Han-ul, Arirang News.