In March 1956, southern communist leader Lê Duẩn presented a new plan called the "The Road to the South" to the other members of the Politburo in Hanoi, however the Chinese and the Soviets both were against the plan, and so Lê Duẩn's plan was rejected. However the North Vietnamese leadership approved the plan the ‘The Road to the South’ in December 1956. Communist forces were under a single command structure set up in 1958.The North Vietnamese Communist Party approved a "people's war" on the South in January 1959 and in May, a new group was formed called Group 559 to maintain and upgrade the Ho Chi Minh Trail, at this time a six-month mountain trek through Laos. About 500 went in 1954, to send south on the trail during its first year of operation. The first arms delivery via the trail was completed in August 1959.
North Vietnam invaded Laos in 1959, and used 30,000 men to build invasion routes through Laos and Cambodia by 1961.About 40,000 communist soldiers infiltrated into the south from 1961–1963. North Vietnam sent 10,000 troops of the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) to attack the south in 1964, and this increased to 100,000 in 1965.
RUSSIA/The Soviet Union:
The Soviet Union was responsible for supplying North Vietnam with military air support – in the form of tanks, helicopters, planes, arms and artillery. They also provided medical supplies. The Soviet Union suffered minimally, in terms of human life, when compared with other countries that played a role in the conflict. The number of deaths of Soviet Union citizens would have been in the single digits. After the Soviet Union collapsed, Russian government officials made a statement acknowledging that 3,000 troops were stationed in Vietnam during the conflict. Soviet ships in the South China Sea gave vital early warnings to NLF forces in South Vietnam. The Soviet intelligence ships would pick up American bombers flying from Okinawa and Guam. Russian gave hardware donated by the USSR included 2,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery guns, over 5,000 anti-aircraft guns, 158 surface-to-air rocket launchers. Over the course of the war the Soviet Union money donated to the Vietnamese cause was equal to 1.5–2 million dollars a day.
As a result of a decision of the North Korean Workers' Party in October 1966, in early 1967 North Korea sent a fighter squadron to North Vietnam to back up the North Vietnamese 921st and 923rd fighter squadrons defending Hanoi. They stayed through 1968, and 200 pilots were reported to have served.
In addition, at least two anti-aircraft artillery regiments were sent as well. North Korea also sent weapons, ammunition and two million sets of uniforms to their comrades in North Vietnam.
On the anti-communist side, South Korea had the second-largest contingent of foreign troops in South Vietnam after the United States. In November 1961, Park Chung Hee proposed South Korean participation in the war. On 1 May 1964 Lyndon Johnson requested South Korean participation. The first South Korean troops began arriving in 1964 and large combat battalions began arriving a year later, with the South Koreans soon developing a reputation for effectiveness. They conducted counterinsurgency operations so well that American commanders felt that South Korean area of responsibility was the safest.
Approximately 320,000 South Korean soldiers were sent to Vietnam, each serving a one-year tour of duty. Maximum troop levels peaked at 50 thousand