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Both were revolutionary organizations, but the Viet Minh emerged from the North, and faded away by the time of American involvement in the Vietnam War, and the Viet Cong was born in the South, and played a major role in the fighting against the United States.
The Viet Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist organization formed in opposition to Japanese rule in 1941, and then opposing, in turn, Chinese and French dominance of the country. The Viet Minh led the war for independence against France, and assumed control (under Ho Chi Minh) of the government of North Vietnam as part of the Geneva Conference of 1954. The Viet Minh lost political power by 1960, both as a result of their failure to institute critical reforms and, more importantly, their failed attempts to bring about unity with the South. They were replaced by the organization known as the Viet Cong (officially called the National Liberation Front,) which was a South Vietnamese communist revolutionary and nationalist organization.
The Viet Cong led the fight against the South Vietnamese government under Ngo Dinh Diem, and eventually against troops from the United States. While theoretically, the Viet Cong was separate from the government of the north, in reality, North Vietnamese soldiers served alongside Viet Cong guerrillas, and Viet Cong fighters were often under the command of NVA officers. The Viet Cong was dissolved when North and South Vietnam were unified.
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