A consistent theory of plasma soliton interaction with resonant particles is developed. A simple derivation of a perturbed Korteweg–de Vries equation with the interaction term is presented. It is shown how the known limit cases (such as Ott–Sudan’s, etc.) can be derived from the general equations and what their regions of applicability are. Some effects caused by the soliton‐particle interaction (amplitude change‐rate, tail formation, etc.) are analyzed by means of a recently developed perturbation method. The analytical results are compared with a direct numerical integration of the perturbed Korteweg–de Vries equation. Laboratory measurements carried out in a strongly magnetized, plasma‐filled waveguide and results from particle simulation are interpreted in terms of the analytical results.