The Brutal Reality of War with North Korea

This map of North Korea shows the country’s borders with China and South Korea. Notice also in the upper right that the North also borders Russia.

Excerpt from Lew Rockwell

The US could literally blow North Korea off the map using tactical nuclear weapons based in Japan, South Korea and at sea with the 7th Fleet. Or delivered by B-52 and B-1 bombers and cruise missiles. But this would cause clouds of lethal radiation and radioactive dust to blanket Japan, South Korea and heavily industrialized northeast China, including the capital, Beijing.

China would be expected to threaten retaliation against the United States, Japan and South Korea to deter a nuclear war in next door Korea. At the same time, if heavily attacked, a fight-to-the-end North Korea may fire off a number of nuclear-armed medium-range missiles at Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa and South Korea. These missiles are hidden in caves in the mountains on wheeled transporters and hard to identify and knock out.

This is a huge risk. Such a nuclear exchange would expose about a third of the world’s economy to nuclear contamination, not to mention spreading nuclear winter around the globe.

A conventional US attack on North Korea would be far more difficult. The North is a small nation of only 24.8 million. Its air and sea forces are obsolete and ineffective. They would be vaporized on the first day of a war. But North Korea’s million-man army has been training and digging in for decades to resist a US invasion. Pyongyang’s 88,000-man Special Forces are poised for suicide attacks on South Korea’s political and military command and control and to cripple key US and South Korean air bases, notably Osan and Kunsan.

North Korea may use chemical weapons such as VX and Sarin to knock out the US/South Korean and Japanese airbases, military depots, ports and communications hubs. Missile attacks would be launched against US bases in Guam and Okinawa.

Short of using nuclear weapons, the US would be faced with mounting a major invasion of mountainous North Korea, something for which it is today unprepared. It took the US six months to assemble a land force in Saudi Arabia just to attack feeble Iraq. Taking on the tough North Korean army and militia in their mountain redoubts will prove a daunting challenge.

US analysts have in the past estimated a US invasion of North Korea would cost some 250,000 American casualties and at least $10 billion, though I believe such a war would cost four times that much today. The Army, Air Force and Marines would have to mobilize reserves to wage a war in Korea. Already overstretched US forces would have to be withdrawn from Europe and the Mideast. Military conscription might have to be re-introduced.

US war planners believe that an attempt to assassinate or isolate North Korean leader Kim Jung-un – known in the military as ‘decapitation’- would cause the North Korean armed forces to scatter and give up. I don’t think so.

My visits to South and North Korea have shown me that soldiers of both nations are amazingly tough, patriotic and ready to fight. I’ve also been under the Demilitarized Zone in some of the warren of secret tunnels built by North Korea under South Korean fortifications. Hundreds of North Korean long-range 170mm guns and rocket batteries are buried into the hills facing the DMZ, all within range of the northern half of South Korea’s capital, Seoul.

North Korea is unlikely to be a pushover in a war. Even after US/South Korean forces occupy Pyongyang, the North has prepared for a long guerilla war in the mountains that could last for decades. They have been practicing for 30 years. Chaos in North Korea will invite Chinese military intervention, but not necessarily to the advantage of the US and its allies.

All this craziness would be ended if the US signed a peace treaty with North Korea ending the first Korean War and opened up diplomatic and commercial relations. No need for war or missile threats. North Korea is a horrid, brutal regime. But so is Egypt, whose tin pot dictator was wined and dined by Trump last week.

HISTORY CAN REPEAT ITSELF.

3 thoughts on “The Brutal Reality of War with North Korea

  1. “The US could literally blow North Korea off the map using tactical nuclear weapons”. All the nuclear weapons in the world could not blow North Korea off the map. Most life on earth might end however and most niggers would die, which is good news. Most whites would also die.

    What is a tactical nuclear weapon if and when actually used in war? They all kill lots of women and babies wherever used above ground. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, war crimes, were both strategic use of nuclear weapons, not tactical. The Japs were not allowed to surrender until the second bomb was dropped and that was always the intention. The USA had only two and wanted to frighten their ally Uncle Joe who they had given all of Central Europe and Eastern Europe and some of Western Europe to. The treason of Roosevelt in helping Uncle Joe militarily even before any Congress vote led to 45 years of expensive Cold War – which the USA wanted.

    “at least $10 billion, though I believe such a war would cost four times that much today.”
    Wow what an optimist. Has the 1950s Korean war been paid for yet? Trump said the Iraq and other Mid East wars have cost the USA $6 trillion. This is 600 times more than the new Korean war estimate.

    “All this craziness would be ended if the US signed a peace treaty with North Korea ending the first Korean War and opened up diplomatic and commercial relations. No need for war or missile threats. North Korea is a horrid, brutal regime. But so is Egypt, whose tin pot dictator was wined and dined by Trump last week.”

    Obama ended the 60 years of hate with Cuba, and signed a deal with Iran. A pity he did not do this with North Korea as well.

    The USA needs enemies like a fish needs water. Both die without it.

  2. It could even be worse, but every strategy has a best and worst case scenario. Where is the best? If our military only concentrated on the worst, they wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

    Margolis leaves us with a depressive emptiness, hopelessness, no encouragement. But, there’s bias at Lew Rockwell. They’re libertarians who must not think we should protect ourselves from those who seriously threaten harm. Do we retreat, slam our doors shut immediately or do we rid ourselves from these threats, then retreat and let a powerful military speak for itself hoping never the need to use it again; the latter I understood Trump said he would do during his rallies.

  3. China knows that the NORK leaders are unstable and unpredictable. The NORKs once refused to return a Chinese railroad supply train back to China. They tried to keep it until China pressured them to return it. China will not chance the NORKs doing something insane such as using nukes or chemical weapons or conducting a surprise attack on South Korea. China has too much to risk from letting the NORKs be a gadfly toward the West anymore. I think that we will be pleasantly surprised to learn that China convinced the pot-bellied pig to step down or that he was liquidated by his own Praetorians.

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