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South Park Takes On 9/11 Truth Movement Tonight | Main | Shock Claim: Sixty-Eight Bajillion Casualties In Iraq
October 11, 2006

North Korea Threatens (Yawn) War response to coming sanctions.

Alllah asks what's left for North Korea to lose-- why not go to war?

Well, they have a lot to lose. Like, for example, their entire country. North Korea has about 24 hours to decimate Seoul by artillery and rocket fire before Big Daddy America bombs all their weapons to hell.

North Korea has a conventional army. Which means it's the sort of country that ought not be threatening the US with war.

How Long To Knock Out North Korea? The two big obstacles are the size of North Korea's army and the fact that it has thousands of artillery pieces ready to rain shells on Seoul.

The army is big, and, we're told, very disciplined, but we know exactly where they are. They're almost all massed on the border of South Korea. Putting them not only in range of our artillery, but also in easy range of our planes.

The turn-around time for fighter-bombers returning to Okinawa or an aircraft carrier, refueling and re-arming, and then making the quick trip to the North Korean border would be short. Their army is so big I don't think it's possible that a first strike could conceivably take out all their artillery, but 12-24 hours of constant sorties, targeting their artillery, should do the trick.

As for their infantry and armor -- well, a few large bombs take care of any attempts to surge south. Again, conventional army moving in mass... a bunch of daisy-cutters end that surge pretty quiclkly.

Military people note their artillery is "dug-in." That's another word for "immobile" and "easily targeted." Digging in doesn't help too much against a smart bomb, or even well-aimed American artillery.

North Korea also has a lot of rockets, but, as the Hezbollah-Israel war showed, rockets aren't particularly devastating weapons. They don't pack massive warheads and are often poorly aimed. Further, it's doubtful that many of their fixed missile positions would survive the first several hours of combat, and their mobile missile trucks would be destroyed not long after. Leaving them with man or truck portable rockets that Hezbollah fired off as "terror weapons," but were more accurately described as "nuisance weapons."

Seoul would be greatly damaged by the barrage of artillery fire. But perhaps not as much as feared. The Norks cannot train all their artillery on Seoul while American and South Korean artillery is simultaneously blasting their guns. The attack would pound Seoul, but it would be a fairly brief attack. And a few large bombs -- MOABs, for example -- would certainly send many units scattering back from the border.

North Korea is right on the sea, easily surrounded by gunships and aircraft carriers, easily reached by F-15's and Tomcats and Super Hornets and, of course, B-52's.

As for the atomic bomb: Even assuming they have one, they could only hope to bury one where they think we'll be invading and then detonate it under our troops' feet. They can't deliver it by missile; they can't deliver it by plane. It's unlikely they have a bomb small enough to deliver by plane, and even if they did, they wouldn't have many planes left after the first several hours of war, and the skies would be controlled by US planes afterwards. And no ships will be leaving North Korea, either.

They could move it through tunnels, perhaps, but again, we're likely talking about a fairly primative, and thus fairly large, device that will be pretty hard to move through anything but large tunnels.

The only thing I really see stopping a swift US decimation of all of North Korea's military power is South Korea, which is understandably reluctant to lose Seoul in the fight (and much of Seoul would be lost).

Still, if it comes to that, if North Korea really attempts to go out in a blaze of glory, the blaze will be short-lived and the glory will paltry, and bloody.

The downside is that hundreds of thousands of North Korean soldiers will be quickly killed, leaving the country for years with a massive debt in young men, and thus an even worse depopulation problem that it has now.

But the war can be won, and, I think, pretty quickly besides. North Korea is in worse shape, geographically, than Iraq was in the first Gulf War. A dug in conventional army, plus largely exposed to naval bombardment and easiily and quickly reached by air.

Kim Jong-Il should probably know this, but he probably doesn't. Hopefully his generals aren't as maniacally deluded as he is.

The Sanctions Route: Tough sanctions might actually avoid all this (or, perhaps, goad North Korea into launching a last-ditch attack as the country crumbles).

Without aid, without foreign oil, blockaded and unable to sell drugs, weapons, or counterfeit currency, without any sort of propping-up of their basket-case Dark Ages economy -- how long until the nation simply cracks?

Peasants can eat dogs and cats, but you have to feed soldiers if you want to keep them in position.

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:00 PM

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