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by
Bryan Preston

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April 3, 2013 - 4:51 pm
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If North Korea makes good on its threats and attacks South Korea and the U.S., the war that ensues is likely to be very bloody but short — as long as China either stays out of it or sticks to sealing its border with North Korea. China’s actions will have a massive impact on the course that any war with Pyongyang is likely to take.

The United States keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea. They’re there to act as a trip-wire and deterrent against any North Korean attack. Any serious attack on South Korea would trigger a serious U.S. response.

The South Korean military is about 600,000 strong. Through decades of training and equipment buys, it’s modern and very capable. South Korea’s total population is about 49 million.

The North Korean military is about 1.1 million strong, and is one of the largest military forces on earth in terms of manpower. But it is not one of the best trained, and its supplies are not likely to last for very long. A military that cannot eat cannot long fight, and North Korea has not been able to feed itself for decades. Its military is well fed, for now. A war would force it to burn through men and supplies quickly. North Korea’s total population is about 24 million.

The U.S. contributes more than just boots on the ground. It brings the most modern and lethal air force into any conflict, and the clearest view of the battlefield from our fleet of satellites. The B2 and F22 stealth aircraft can be expected to play a very significant role against North Korea’s layered radar and anti-aircraft defenses. Most of North Korea’s gear is Soviet-made and of that era, but it has been upgraded over the years. It will not be able to keep up with U.S. stealth aircraft. The B2 can drop the MOP, the 30,000 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, on North Korea’s dug-in bunkers and artillery positions. The B2 can launch from Guam, Japan, or Diego Garcia or even the continental U.S., and therefore can be based well out of range of any North Korean efforts to strike at it. The F22 can outrun and outshoot anything the North Korean air forces can throw at it. Like the B2, it can attack ground targets, and can remain largely invisible to North Korean anti-air.

A war with North Korea is likely to be bloody in the early going because the North has positioned massive numbers of artillery in the mountains just 35 miles from Seoul, and within range of South Korea’s capital. The North could be expected to unleash those guns on the city of 10 million. But the U.S. could be expected to establish air supremacy quickly. The U.S. could strike anywhere in North Korea by air and offshore ballistic missile, launched from submarines and surface ships. As long as the U.S. brought its full naval strength to bear, from Japan, Hawaii, and around the Pacific, the naval side of the conflict would be a quick kill for the allies. North Korea’s navy simply cannot match the U.S. navy. North Korea’s artillery would probably enjoy a short lifespan, until U.S. forces cave in the mountain tunnels from which they fire. American and South Korean conventional air power would devastate North Korea’s air defense net and then rip up Pyongyang’s military infrastructure. South Korean ground forces would probably spend the opening hours of the war repelling a massive ground invasion from the North, but as the air war shifts to the allies’ favor, would push the North Korean ground forces north of the DMZ as they chewed the Kims’ military to pieces. South Korea would suffer massive civilian casualties in the early hours to days of the war, but the North would probably have its military destroyed and then the North Korean state would be dismantled.

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Top Rated Comments   
If he starts a war, it's a trap.

Tattaglia is a pimp, it was Barzini all along.

If this is just sabre rattling, then it's Baby Nut in the Pajamas.

If it's a real attempt to start something, look deeper. He would NEVER do this...without China's assent and permission. Ever.

They play the shocked and disappointed role. But don't believe that for a minute. Weakness is always tested. And nobody looks weaker than Obama.

China would NEVER let us finish this war. Ever. We can't win. If it's real, the play is much more complex. If it's just sabre rattling, nothing will come of it militarily and Obama will be forced to kneel before his Chinese masters.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (27)
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My classmate's mom makes $74 an hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for seven months but last month her payment was $18637 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site Fox78.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Both the China's and Russia's leaders have taken the full measure of our current administration and the "political " generals who now control our military and have concluded that it is not the Truman-Acheson-MacArthur combo of 1950.
The first Korean War 1950-53 resulted in 37,000 killed in action plus 17,000 deaths from non-combat causes, all in a period about 1/3 that of the Vietnam War. Does anyone believe that the American public could withstand a war like that today? We would need a military draft and significant build-up of conventional forces which would be extremely costly and put further pressure on our already starined economy. While ROK forces could probably defeat the North, China and Russia would do all they could do prolong it and draw as much out of us as they could.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's a thought:
China has a thriving trade relationship with South Korea, but is paying to keep North Korea afloat. Could they not benefit from a reunified Korea after the southern model? And might they not tacitly conspire in the destruction of a costly and troublesome ally by adopting a "hands-off" policy toward conflict, simply sitting on the sideline expressing passive disapproval?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is a quote from another website: " RUSSIA and CHINA control North Korea's (and Iran's) every move ... North Korea's first "Great Leader" was an officer in the Russian Army during WWII ... he was later transferred and placed in power over North Korea by RUSSIA. Stalin called Russian-bred allies such as Iran and North Korea "icebreakers" directed by Russia to weaken and distract the enemy ... another good term for Iran and North Korea would be well-trained and vicious "attack dogs" straining on the end of Russia (and China's) leash. They will use nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and North Korea to deplete America's (and NATO) forces, economies, resources, and morale before launching a full-scale attack. Plus, Russia, China, Iran, and allies now have their "dream team" of Obama, Biden, Kerry, and Hagel in office which their war-planners will use to their advantage against America (and Israel and allies.)"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What I find most most significant is, N. Korean's couldn't wipe their collective behind's unless the Chinese government gave them permission.

Therefore why is it in China's interest to allow N. Korea to do what it does ?

What does China expect ? What does China want ?

What do they have to gain, given their country is not run by a bunch of fools ?

The questions answer themselves.

What did those stupid amerikan's expect, or want ? The idiot went to the Church of God Damn amerika for 20 years. And there's a government full of them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think Bryan provides a fair analysis, but our "wild card" is a weak president, who believes he has some superior legacy to protect. We cannot count on our leadership to act with purpose or finality. Obama has demonstrated time and again (and yet he is still president) he does not have the courage to act decisively unless he is "lawyered up." Meanwhile, he is off campaigning to rob Americans of their rights under the Constitution... he is a "weak sister" in a pantheon of the same from around the world. We can only hope that the noxious upstart in North Korea is only chest beating.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kim Jong Un is little more than a wank-stain on the drawers of the civilized world. I would think that once the gloves come off, sniper teams would be infiltrated into the North and flush that human turd. With Un dead, the NKs simply collapse. Then we let the Chinese help them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe that all the commentators that I have heard have this all wrong. If there is a conflict with NK, it will be asymmetrical warfare rather than conventional warfare. Think 9/11 on steroids. As a possible scenario, the possibility of container ships with dirty bombs blowing up in a few US ports comes to mind. NK would then hide behind China's skirts and threaten global conflict if we tried to retaliate like we did with Afghanistan. cfbleachers has it right that China would NEVER let us finish such a war.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're right. North Korea has known it can't fight on an even footing with anyone so it has been shifting toward asymmetrical warfare since the late 1990's. I mentioned most of this in my post below. People who think this will be a walkover like Iraq will be in for a surprise.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Given our emphasis on winning hearts and minds rather than the actual fight over the past 40 years, my concern here is the number of casualties the U.S. will take due solely to rules of engagement out of an anti military White House. A bad as things in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in exposing our troops in the interest of avoiding civilian casualties, in a major conflict such as this would be, we would get our asses handed to us. And Mr "go on the campaign trail instead of addressing the threat" as CIC evokes zero confidence on my part. And given the number of casualties we taken over the past 10 years, I have next to zero faith in our current general staff either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I just don't see how the US has any freedom of action that conflicts with China's interests. I think that is true in NorKor and anywhere else China has an interest. Taiwan is forfeit whenever the Chinese want it and we won't raise a finger. First, Obama and his regime are more inclined towards China's views than the US' view, probably half of them have a copy of Mao's Little Red Book somewhere in a box from their college days. Second, China can stay our hand because we owe them so much money and need to continue borrowing from them. The Chinese will let our President manque look tough for the home crowd, but they aren't going to let him do more than look tough. If the thing gets out of control, I hope the South Koreans can handle it on their own, because they'll be on their own. I also really hope US anti-missile technology works because Anchorage is only a little further from NorKor than Guam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Re:
"China can stay our hand because we owe them so much money and need to continue borrowing from them."

Not necessarily.

This just may work in our favor. We just may have the "staying hand" over the masses of those dollar-rich Chinese. Notice: not the "upper" hand. The Chinese don't want to left holding bundles upon bundles of rapidly value-deteriorating United States Dollars. So, what destroys the American dollar value here at home also destroys the value of all of those Dollars held by our creditors.

The Chinese have much longer memories and attention spans than do we Americans.

They had a horrible inflation in 1948-49 during their revolution.

Pasted here from Major Google:

"Hyperinflation is often associated with wars, their aftermath, sociopolitical upheavals, or other crises that make it difficult for the government to tax the population, as a sudden and sharp decrease in tax revenue coupled with a strong effort to maintain the status quo can be a direct trigger of hyperinflation."

This did not happen in the aftermath of Iraq and now Afghanistan [yet] because there weren't the same huge dollar transfers to the Iraqis and Afghans, not belittling the huge sums we've squandered over there.

We're all very much more electronically connected/instantly inter-dependent than we were sixty years ago.

The Chinese and Arabs have more patience than we do. The "Arabs" are introduced here as the new factor not seen years ago.

We're in a helluva mess now with our nouveau arriviste "administration" AND that Chinese/Arab joint problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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