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2010-05-28 China-Japan-Koreas
North vs. South Korea: How Bad Could a War Get?
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Posted by Steve White 2010-05-28 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [1184 views ]  Top

#1 I don't believe North Korea will undertake a massive attack of South Korea. I believe they are attempting to provoke the South Koreans into attacking them and getting drawn into a war on the ground in North Korea that the North believes the South would lose. Sort of like Hezbollah drawing Israel into Lebanon a few years ago. Yes, Israel did a lot more damage than Hezbollah did and yes, the battle set back the economic situation of the poor Shiite population in Southern Lebanon by decades ... but the world perceives it as a Hezbollah win. That is exactly what I think North Korea is trying to do. They are forcing South Korea to attempt to occupy territory in North Korea in the belief that the North could resist practically forever and the South would not have the will to sustain it and would eventually leave. The North would be much worse off after, but the world would perceive it as a win for the North because anything that is not a complete loss for them is a win.
Posted by crosspatch 2010-05-28 00:38||   2010-05-28 00:38|| Front Page Top

#2 Turkey has already de facto left NATO, in favor of rising Persian power.

Sounds about right...
Posted by 3dc 2010-05-28 01:13||   2010-05-28 01:13|| Front Page Top

#3 At last check there were unconfirmed Net Repors that Kimmie = DPRK was sending milfors to the CHINESE BORDER???

As per POTUS BUSH 1's "LINE IN THE SAND" AGZ SADDAM, ALL THINGS CHANGE EVENTUALLY + NOT EVEN THE BEST MANIPULATIONS OR POLITIX-AS-USUAL, ETC. WILL CHANGE/STOP IT.

IOW, even presum that NOKOR gets any + all its desired econ concessions + internat assistance, IT MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO SAVE NOKOR FROM ITSELF???
Posted by JosephMendiola 2010-05-28 01:16||   2010-05-28 01:16|| Front Page Top

#4 I very much doubt the Norks will start a war, because they would lose in very short order. Modern precision weapons would bring a society even as primitive as Nork to a grinding halt in a matter of days.

I'd say this is the usual Nork brinkmanship, trying to extract concessions from the South. Although the South may have had enough of rapproachment and is now prepared to play hardball.
Posted by phil_b 2010-05-28 01:47||   2010-05-28 01:47|| Front Page Top

#5 Also, we are now in what used to be called the Hungry Months, when last years harvest has run out and this years has yet to be brought in.
Posted by phil_b 2010-05-28 01:50||   2010-05-28 01:50|| Front Page Top

#6 I doubt the "Hungry Months" have anything to do with North Korean decision-making. The government is perfectly willing to let its people starve. They have enough food to feed the army. "Military First" is their motto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songun
Posted by gromky 2010-05-28 02:21||   2010-05-28 02:21|| Front Page Top

#7 The "hungry months" are also when the DPRK has the most troops available. They use a lot of troops for planting and bringing in crops.

Posted by crosspatch 2010-05-28 02:54||   2010-05-28 02:54|| Front Page Top

#8 And I believe that China would move to intervene in the DPRK long before ROK or U.S. troops (technically, UN troops) could get through the DMZ.

Wake me up when China masses troops and supplies on Nork's border.
Posted by gorb 2010-05-28 04:42||   2010-05-28 04:42|| Front Page Top

#9 Agreed with gorb. China has an economic interest in SK. Imho, they will ultimately find both moral & Int'l support for China's 1st nation-building...in NK.

How it reaches that point is a matter of conjecture and, frankly, would be more likely the result of an 'accident' than any intentional action by either SK or NK.
Posted by logi_cal 2010-05-28 07:56||   2010-05-28 07:56|| Front Page Top

#10 Let me offer a 2nd Scenario: China pretty much is fed up with the Kimmie clan. The invite them for a prewar pow wow, even someplace in North Korea. On the way to or from the meeting they all die in a fiery accident. A new leader emerges that happens to favor EVERYTHING the Chinese like.
Posted by Cyber Sarge 2010-05-28 08:07||   2010-05-28 08:07|| Front Page Top

#11 The more I read and hear about Kim Jong-Il and North Korea, the more it seems to me that the least worst solution would be to just kill the sonofabitch. Wait 'til he and his son and the top brass are all in one place, bunker-buster it with a B-2 or two, and then napalm the rubble just to be thorough. The country is so ruthlessly centralized that its army and all won't know what to do with itself. Certainly, no light-colonel on the DMZ is going to order his regiment to march south on his own hook, not after the Kims have spent three generations selectively breeding personal initiative out of their officer corps.

Am I missing something?
Posted by Mike 2010-05-28 09:22||   2010-05-28 09:22|| Front Page Top

#12 I am going to assume war, because, oddly enough, for some of the principals, war might seem to be the easiest option.

Remember that for many years, Kim Jong Il spent lots of time crafting James Bond villain schemes to invade the South, like gigantic tunnels, etc. But now that he knows he is dying, he may opt to do something to start a war.

Conversely, several American Korean hands I've known have concluded that one of the reasons the US has remained in SKor in such numbers is to *prevent* the ROK Army from invading, with or without orders.

The Chinese Army (name change, no longer the PLA) leadership, the "Princes", are highly aggressive warlords that have become increasingly hard for the central government to control.

The General Staff has been seriously reinforcing the border with NKor, with more "reliable" brigades, that will follow orders. This acts as a buffer against some Prince deciding to attack the ROK Army if it invades NKor, unless they have been ordered to.

About the only part the US can play is with anti-missile defenses, unless the Chinese decided to play, then it could turn into an insane submarine battle. The Chinese diesel electrics are not that bad, so this could turn into a wolfpack vs. wolfpack fight that would be a sumbitch.

Surface ships need not apply.

Nukes are the $64 question. Both China and Russia might be willing to send in teams to secure them quickly. The US just does not have those kind of resources anywhere near enough for what would certainly turn into a murderous brawl.

While again, NKor missiles would be vulnerable to PAC-3, the NKors probably lean towards the Chinese doctrine of using ground detonations to halt enemy advances.

(China had an enormous string of nuclear cratering charges on the parts of its border with the Soviet Union where large numbers of tanks could pass.)

In other words, lots of weird possibilities, most of which wouldn't happen, one of more of which could happen. But it would definitely appeal to the drama queens on both sides of the DMZ.
Posted by  Anonymoose 2010-05-28 10:10||   2010-05-28 10:10|| Front Page Top

#13 Getting our hands on Nork's Nukes would be cool, but seems to me the US would just let the Chinese keep them. They are probably in good part Chinese tech anyway. US forces in the area would be busy trying to stay alive and inflict as much harm as they could hoping the SKors could get themselves into full swing in time to save US forces and then crush the Nork armed forces.

The Norks will need gas and food. If the SKors made sure they were unavailable, any invasion couldn't make it past Seoul, which would supposedly be in ruins anyway. If there were nothing to hold once they got there and they couldn't go on, the whole thing would seem rather pointless. I don't know what the Norks would do with the remaining population other than hold them hostage to try to trade them for gas and food and head back to where they started, hopefully not having lost their country in the process of being away.

If US forces got overrun the American public would get pi$$ed off at Noobama for getting them killed. Being pi$$ed off at Noobama than themselves for putting his clueless butt there is probably the most palatable option, even though it is equally as clueless.
Posted by gorb 2010-05-28 11:00||   2010-05-28 11:00|| Front Page Top

#14 Mike, if the Kims are anything like Mao - and I think it's a pretty safe bet they're cribbing heavily from the past-master of self-preservation - they have dozens of bunker-palaces, and which one the family is in at any one time is a closely-held state secret.
Posted by Mitch H.  2010-05-28 11:07|| http://blogfonte.blogspot.com/  2010-05-28 11:07|| Front Page Top

#15 If China can keep its hands clean, who would be in the best position to rebuild SKor (win or lose) other than China? If China's hands get soiled, who is going to stand up and say hey China, the world doesn't need your help to rebuild SKor - the UN? If the Norks lose, what does China lose if anything, or even gain?

I was going to say the biggest loser, other than those in area, would be the UN but they loves themselves disasters - its how it grows.
Posted by swksvolFF 2010-05-28 11:46||   2010-05-28 11:46|| Front Page Top

#16 "Nukes are the $64 question"

Not for me. My $64 question is the significant investment North Korea has made in chemical weapons. If they use those, it would be worse than nuclear. There would be no turning back. North Korea would be toast. If North Korea used them we would probably nuke them.
Posted by crosspatch 2010-05-28 12:16||   2010-05-28 12:16|| Front Page Top

#17 Chemical weapons are very dependent on precise delivery, which is not the Nork strong suit.

I wonder if the Norks would try to take a swipe at Japan before they went under.
Posted by gorb 2010-05-28 12:29||   2010-05-28 12:29|| Front Page Top

#18 If the north did start with Chemical or Bio weapons - how long do you think before Obama authorizes the use of Nukes (even Tactical) to shut them down?

I mean he has to go Golfing and Vacationing first right? Then there is the 2-3 weeks to make the awful decision, consult with the international community, get a consensus, etc...

Meanwhile its raining Bio and Chem death on our allies....
Posted by CrazyFool 2010-05-28 12:29||   2010-05-28 12:29|| Front Page Top

#19 "We would probably Nuke them"

Okay!
Posted by Richelieu  2010-05-28 12:31||   2010-05-28 12:31|| Front Page Top

#20 (from FAS) (actual reality may vary. Some settling may have occurred during shipping and handling.)

"In the assessment of US intelligence services, their reserves, accommodated in perhaps half a dozen major storage sites and as many as 170 mountain tunnels, are at least 180 to 250 tons, with some estimates of chemical stockpiles run as high as 5,000 tons. In May 1996 ROK Foreign Minister Yu Chong-ha reported to the National Assembly that it was estimated that North Korea possessed approximately 5,000 ton of biological and chemical weapons. Given the extensive production facilities, this later estimate may constitute the low end of the actual stockpile.

North Korea is capable of producing and employing chemical weapons that virtually all the fire support systems in its inventory could deliver, including most of its artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers (including those mounted on CHAHO-type boats), and mortars. Some bombs the Air Force employs also could deliver chemical agents, as could the FROG or the SCUD missile.

North Korean military units conduct regular NBC defensive training exercises in preparation for operations in a chemical environment. North Korea has chemical defense units at all levels of its force structure. These units are equipped with decontamination and detection equipment. North Korean military personnel have access to individual protective masks and protective suits."
Posted by  Anonymoose 2010-05-28 14:20||   2010-05-28 14:20|| Front Page Top

#21  US forces have pro masks and MOP suits and conduct NBC drills.
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 14:36||   2010-05-28 14:36|| Front Page Top

#22 *I have slept and ran 3 miles in MOPP.*

More fun reading on MOPP for chemical environments:


MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) (acronym pronounced as "mop") is a military term used to describe protective gear to be used in a toxic environment, i.e., during a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) strike:

* Protective mask — Commonly referred to as a gas mask. It is designed to filter harmful chemical and biological agents, as well as irradiated particles from the air to allow the wearer to breathe safely. No protective masks filter out gasses such as carbon monoxide, and in situations requiring that level of protection, external breathing apparatus is employed.

* Mask carrier — Protects the mask from damage. It is usually worn as part of battle gear for easy access and usually contains a technical manual, spare parts, and nerve agent antidotes.

* Overgarments — Specially designed clothing to be worn over the normal uniform. These garments are designed to allow maximum airflow for cooling while keeping chemical and biological agents from reaching the skin of the wearer. Some are equipped with a charcoal lining to neutralize some agents. Overgarments are often equipped with strips of M9 Detector Paper.

* Gloves and overboots — Highly durable rubber, designed with combat operations in mind. Used to prevent contact with agents
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 14:48||   2010-05-28 14:48|| Front Page Top

#23 "Chemical weapons are very dependent on precise delivery, which is not the Nork strong suit."

A SINGLE chemical weapon, maybe, but not an artillery barrage blanketing an entire city. That stuff is in artillery shells. They have TONS of of the stuff. They could wipe out Seoul without damaging the infrastructure. Nobody in a MOPP suit is going to survive there long. A MOPP suit gives you enough protection to (maybe) make it the hell out of the contaminated area. It is not designed to protect you well enough to fight in it.


You can plaster a city 35 miles away with nerve gas in about 5 minutes.

"US forces have pro masks and MOP suits and conduct NBC drills. "

Yeah, those are good for a few hours in a chemical environment. Persistent (oil based) nerve agent can linger for a week or more depending on weather conditions. And it is completely odorless/colorless and a single drop on your skin will kill you.

Posted by crosspatch 2010-05-28 14:56||   2010-05-28 14:56|| Front Page Top

#24 Yes, Mop is good to wear as you're running driving or flying the hell away from contamination. War kicks off and chemicals come out, the majority are going to be dropping like flys.
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 15:06||   2010-05-28 15:06|| Front Page Top

#25 Heres how I loosely envisage the situation:

Norks chemically attack Seoul, and simultaneously gases all military bases North of Seoul. 95% +/- in those areas die. Colonels and above are airlifted out just in the nick of time. Remaining population in urban areas starts to flee to South and to the Woodlands and Mountains which comprise 65% of the land on foot...they will form rogue bands of resistance, but won't be enough to stop the coming Nork invasion. Some of the lucky ones wind up at the gates of the southern military bases and eventually escape on boats. A mass crisis happens, and chaos ensues. Norks roll in and the surviving 2ID try to fend them off unsucessfully. Norks take over the entire penisula and subjugate the populus into a workers paradise, and eat all the tasty food from raiding stores and markets. Dead bodies litter the streets and roadways. Norks start starving the South Koreans, and feeding themselves off of canned goods and crops. Obama does nothing, neither does Japan, China, Russia, or the UN. In the end, its another communist paradise.
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 15:59||   2010-05-28 15:59|| Front Page Top

#26 It is estimated that North Korea has some 13,000 artillery tubes deployed along the border. Assuming 10% of them are in range of Seoul (conservative) and a rate of fire of 5 rounds/minute (conservative) that would mean 6500 rounds a minute into Seoul.

It is further estimated that Seoul would be leveled by artillery fire in about 2 hours.

North Korea has the world's largest artillery force. They don't have a lot of money to spend. They wouldn't buy it if they didn't intend on possibly using it.

I believe the game North Korea is playing is one of a kid who has a great big friend (China). The kid picks a fight to provoke someone into attacking him, and then relies on the bigger friend to protect him. They are going to do things like throw a rock at you when nobody is looking and shoot spitballs ... constantly ratcheting it up and gauging how far they can push it. The idea is, I believe, to get South Korea to attack. So far North Korea has lost little for killing those sailors. They are apparently learning that as long as they space out their provocations, they can do whatever they like.

Military force is all North Korea has and we all know the old saw ... "When your only tool is a hammer, the entire world looks like your thumb."
Posted by crosspatch 2010-05-28 16:16||   2010-05-28 16:16|| Front Page Top

#27 I get that the destruction would be quick, but if I was a Nork, I would want to keep the infrastructure intact in South Korea so I can use it later on, but still kill everyone. Is it conceivable they (Norks) might intend to use alot of chemical weaponry in combination with artillery to keep the infrastructure more intact for their later use and exploitative goals?
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 16:28||   2010-05-28 16:28|| Front Page Top

#28 GT: All MOPP gear did for us in GW-I was keep us warm at night. The most useful gear we had were the Czech CW units mobile detector vehicles.

You can plaster a city 35 miles away with nerve gas in about 5 minutes.

With what artillery? Given the high alert status and counterbattery, NK artillery with the requisite gun range (170mm), stationed close enough to hit Seoul (approx 230-270 tubes) and crew ability to fire Chem munitions (does require special training, so only about 10-20% of the tubes are so qualified) has a functional lifespan of less than five minutes. Secondarily, they do not keep Chem stockpiles near the batteries routinely (estimated 10% have local storage and access). So the initial attacks they have, short of a large and obvious distribution of CW, are limited.

Amateurs always seem to make the N-Koreans out to be some sort of supermen who can magically throw together a TOT barrage from all guns on the front without giving the whole thing away via SIGINT and a crapload of other indicators.

After you examine the number of tubes that can hit Seoul, the number trained, and the number supplied with CW, the total number of CW trained and supplied tubes is in the vicinity of 25-50 (without significant and noticeable changes) at any given time, most of which are heavily monitored and observed, as well as already punched in for CB artillery fire missions and MLRS-type suppression missions.

Please folks, do the math before you paint a sensationalist picture of Armageddon. First, there are counters, and secondly, there are good (military) reasons why such a continued civilian targeted barrage would not be quite as likely as many here seem to think.

They do have over a million tons of munitions and POL set aside for military use, much of it in hard bunkers and stored in mountain tunnels to the N of the DMZ.

The problem for them is most of their transport (90%) is rail, not roads (and roads are only about 15% paved), and much of that rail is single-track, and runs N-S. So disrupting their logistics is relatively simple (single tracks really kill them here), as is detecting their spin-up for war, and detecting where their main effort/axis its (the N-S directionality leaves little room for movement in any other direction). They have little to no way to reinforce or supply efforts laterally (E-W) if a N-S path is interdicted.

Plus the stuff is a bitch to store and transport, especially VG and other nerve agents (The old Soviet Union always had problems, with far better trained troops and better equipment, and better designed binary munitions).

There's the whole question of the sheer military stupidity of a mass destruction attack on Seoul, destroying the very thing of value that you would assume they wanted to capture loot - plus, as the Germans learned in Stalingrad, in a modern city rubble can make a formidable defense barrier and allow even smaller forces to hold out against large assault units.

Additionally there is the military error of putting artillery fire and effort into terrorizing and destroying civilian targets, instead of providing needed massive prep fires and other military artillery uses along their main lines of assault against the military that could prevent them from breaking out and exploiting any holes in the US-SKorean defenses.

This isn't to say that there are no concerns.

On big question is the impact of SCUDs they have in relatively large numbers for rear area strikes (the most likely place for the NKorea to use persistent blister and nerve agents are US and Korean Airfields, and logistical centers for reinforcements).

And the nonpersistant CW stuff (blood agents, choking and gas based nerve agent) is probably targeted via the shorter range artillery at US and S-Korean troops near the DMZ to maximize disruption and allow them to achieve a breakthrough into rear areas with armored forces.

Its classic 1970's Soviet mechanized doctrine for those of us that have been there done that. For those of you that haven't been in prior to 20 years ago, you may not be as familiar, but we did have operational art that would counter and defeat a great deal of this sort of offensive action.

The real joker in the deck are the special ops with the emphasis penetration to rear areas, then infiltration and destruction of logistics and infrastructure.

The key thing is that they have 72 hours to break out and run, before thier logistics stops them, and US Airpower completely takes over. In the meanwhile they will still have to deal with cruise missiles, PGM, EW and so on that would degrade or shatter their C3I systems badly within the first 24 hours of offensive action. Not ot mention that after the initial shock of the assault, defense is almost always easier than offense.

So please, study a bit before predicting gloom and doom. It ain all sunshine and roses, but NKorea would likely cease to exist within a week of hitting the South with everything they have. the only thing open to question is the amount of civilian lives that would pay the price for Kim megalomania, and China's failure to remove the Kim dynasty while they could still do so peacefully.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-05-28 16:29||   2010-05-28 16:29|| Front Page Top

#29 Norks chemically attack Seoul, and simultaneously gases all military bases North of Seoul. 95% +/- in those areas die. Colonels and above are airlifted out just in the nick of time.

So you really believe that? And how do they catch all those units in garrison, flat footed, unprepared, while they clandestinely give orders, stockpile and distribute chem munitions, then prep for a huge TOT chemical strike across the entire peninsula? Sorry, gotta call you on that one. Especially that horseshit there at the end about US flag officers bailing on their commands. Save that shit for Daily Kos.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-05-28 16:38||   2010-05-28 16:38|| Front Page Top

#30 You don't need artillery to chem attack Seoul! Low tech works just fine. Just send some Nork infiltrators in to do it by hand. Air ducts, large buildings, subways and large populations. Not that hard to do.
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 16:39||   2010-05-28 16:39|| Front Page Top

#31 As I said, and I will say it again, I know some things and some things I dont know. Its not about bailing, its about if everyone gets killed, there is no command. And in the gridlock in Seoul, the only way out is by air. I lived there, OS, so quit your horsehit talk.
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 16:41||   2010-05-28 16:41|| Front Page Top

#32 All the above aside, most of you are missing hte point:

The primary question here is not a military one, its a political one.

Does Obama have the wherewithal to present a credible deadly response that will keep even an insane desperate aging dictator from rolling the dice and attacking?

That is what this will hinge upon.

Sadly for a couple million people and thousands of US troops, the answer is likely "no".

That means the only thread holding this in place is the Chinese willingness to stop Kim (because the US doesn't have the leadership to present proper threat to dissuade him).

Perhaps Clinton gan go to her investors (the Chinese) and offer them NKorea if they will install a puppet friendly to them - the US will immediately help NKorea rebuild and supply China with cheap labor. Its a sellout, but one I bet is already rolling around in State Dept - making China an offer to fix NKorea's economy for them, and hand NKorea to them on a silver platter along with a complete US withdrawal from SKorea, if the Chinese will get rid of the threat of war by installing a junta that will be willing to make deals.
Posted by OldSpook 2010-05-28 16:46||   2010-05-28 16:46|| Front Page Top

#33 OK, you asked for it.

Girl Thursday, you are a fuckwit.

I was not questioning the Airlift part you disingenueous little asshole. Seoul being gridlocked is true even on a good day, I've been there too, on business a year ago as well as multiple TDYs in prior decades, the growth is astounding.

I was questioning YOUR HORSESHIT ACCUSATION that all flag officers would bail.

Care to defend your blanket accusation of all flag ranks in Korea being chickenshit you dishonorable little bitch?
Posted by OldSpook 2010-05-28 16:51||   2010-05-28 16:51|| Front Page Top

#34 And secondarily TwatThursday, please enlighten us all with how they achieve a complete bolt from the blue CW attack cross the entire front without tipping it?
Posted by OldSpook 2010-05-28 16:52||   2010-05-28 16:52|| Front Page Top

#35 Old Spook, your rudeness is so interesting and of course, because everyone should just bow to your superior intelligence and name calling. Because you are Older And Wiser. So why are you acting like an adolescent?
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 17:06||   2010-05-28 17:06|| Front Page Top

#36 Suprised you take such offense at the thought of Colonels not getting killed in a war zone. Like this is news. They usually don't, dipshit. As for all the other names you've slung, the only thing I can say to you is too bad your temper is clearly running your thoughts, all two of them.
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 17:08||   2010-05-28 17:08|| Front Page Top

#37 One other point that bears mentioning : several news reports state that South Korean units are having all leaves cancelled and are being set to prepositioned defensive sites. Now I am sure that the Norks know where those are BUT the big thing about those sites is that they are dispersed, and if you want to use NBC against them, you have to REALLY spread the attacks around. The SoKors are not just sitting in their big nice bases now, they are spreading out -- which eliminates a lot of the utility of chemical weapons. As for the Norks' Special Forces, there are a lot of them but the last major campaign that they were involved in was in the 1980s in Zimbabwe, against civilians. No major military experience for the past 25 years or so.
Posted by Shieldwolf 2010-05-28 17:12||   2010-05-28 17:12|| Front Page Top

#38 "Is it conceivable they (Norks) might intend to use alot of chemical weaponry in combination with artillery to keep the infrastructure more intact for their later use and exploitative goals?"

I don't think they will opt for a massive attack. I still believe they are simply going to be as obnoxious as possible and try to provoke an attack on themselves. Their military and their country is more geared toward being a fortress. They would stand the most to gain by simply drawing someone into a stalemate with them. The way to defeat that tactic is to now allow it.

What Israel did in Lebanon was one example. Rather than moving massive numbers of troops in to attempt to occupy ground wired with booby traps, they make short in/out forays and took out infrastructure. How is the Lebanese apple crop these days South of the Litani?

Old Spook, North Korea has more artillery than any other country on the planet (and that includes China and Russia) and most of it is concentrated in a pretty small area.

North Korea isn't playing American football. They aren't even playing Chess. It is more like backgammon where you have a combination of chance and skill. They wait until an opportunity presents itself and take advantage of it.

My guess is they will bluster a bit with words, cancel agreements, etc. but won't take any further active measures for a while until things cool down a little ... and then they will do something else.

They have apparently learned that they can get away with it as long as they don't do too many things too quickly and with this current President, they can probably push the limit more than they could in the past.

The trouble is they are probably wearing out China's patience with them. Russia doesn't seem all that happy with them either. Their only friends seem to be Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela and Venezuela only because it is lead by an idiot who simply wants to see someone punch the US in the nose.
Posted by crosspatch 2010-05-28 17:21||   2010-05-28 17:21|| Front Page Top

#39  "And secondarily TwatThursday, please enlighten us all with how they achieve a complete bolt from the blue CW attack cross the entire front without tipping it?"

Um, there are people in South Korea that are sympathetic to North Korea in and around every military base? And like you need a degree in Chemical Engineering to deploy canisters of Chemical agents?
Posted by GirlThursday 2010-05-28 17:24||   2010-05-28 17:24|| Front Page Top

#40 BLUF: Another Korean War (should the North come south) would be very, very chaotic and bloody. The refugee problem would be unparalleled in annals of history. The north has several divisions of so-called 'Special Forces' that would infiltrate the south and create havoc almost immediately. I suspect we'd lose Seoul and most of the 2nd Inf Div within the first 24-48 hours while awaiting some sort of decision from Commandante Obama. I hope I am dead wrong. The first few hours will be key.
Posted by Besoeker 2010-05-28 17:51||   2010-05-28 17:51|| Front Page Top

#41 Bad news, you will be in MOPP gear for a few weeks. Good news you will be ready for bikini and speedo season. Reality, IF there is a war and they don't have a nuke, they will lob some bio or chem attack. A telling sign would be the departure of the NORK officials families to china.
Posted by Cyber Sarge  2010-05-28 18:41||   2010-05-28 18:41|| Front Page Top

#42 Does anyone honestly believe Bambi will authorize nuke release even if the Norks use massive WMD chem or bio agents? I for one doubt it under any circumstances. The POS cares more about his legacy than anything, and he doesn't have a clue that the hardboys in Moscow, Peking (really pisses them off to spell it that way) and Pyongyang (not to mention a raft of 2nd and 3rd world s*itholes in both hemispheres) have broken that code on week 3.
If you are on the peninsula or floating around it, MOPP 4 forever my friend.
Posted by NoMoreBS 2010-05-28 18:54||   2010-05-28 18:54|| Front Page Top

#43 China has to think about this hard. If NK uses nukes, chem, or bio - Japan and what's left of SK, and possibly Taiwan will have the justification to go nuke-capable. I suspect Japan, SK, and possibly Taiwan, are fully capable of making that jump pronto. Time to curb your dog, Hu
Posted by Frank G 2010-05-28 18:59||   2010-05-28 18:59|| Front Page Top

#44 Didn't Bambi say a few weeks ago that the US would not use nukes to respond to a non-nuclear WMD attack? So NK is free to use all the chem/bio weapons they want, and they can rest assured that we won't nuke them.
Posted by Rambler in Virginia  2010-05-28 20:16||   2010-05-28 20:16|| Front Page Top

#45 VARIOUS > CHINA: WE WILL NOT DEFEND ANYONE IN KOREA CRISIS.

IMO read, AS LONG AS THE US STAYS SOUTH OF THE KOREAN DMZ = NO REPEAT OF DAT "MACARTHUR AT THE YALU" 1950 THINGY

* NEWS KERALA > NORTH KOREA: WE DID NOT SINK SK WARSHIP.

* WND.com > NORTH KOREA: WE WILL MEET CONFRNOTATION WITH CONFRONTATION/WAR WITH "ALL-OUT WAR".

Also, WMF > DPRK NDC SECRETARY [Major Gen. PU LINSHOU]:NORTH KOREA MAY RESPOND WITH ALL-OUT WAR/ATTACK TO ANY SOUTH KOREAN BORDER PROVOCATION(S), AND IN DOING SO ACHIEVE NATIONAL REUNIFICATION OG TWO KOREAS.

and

TOPIX > NORTH KOREA DOES NOT RULE OUT ALL-OUT ATTACK.

"Preemptive/First Strikes] > CONVENTIONAL, NUCLEAR, WMDS, MIXED.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2010-05-28 20:25||   2010-05-28 20:25|| Front Page Top

#46 OOOOPSIES, forgot WND > ANALYSTS: ATTACK MAY BE TIED TO NK SUCCESSION [Cheonan strike + NK-SK War].

IIUC, ARTIC > KIMMIE wants Son + potens Successor KIM JONG-UN? TO BE A DPRK VERSION OF POTUS BAMMER???
Posted by JosephMendiola 2010-05-28 20:32||   2010-05-28 20:32|| Front Page Top

#47 In the first Korean War, it still took days for the Nkors to 'blitzkrieg' to Seoul facing a military force that lacked AT weapons or any heavy artillery. That was before the urban sprawl that constitutes metro Seoul extended more than half way to the border. They're not going to be much faster today.

If he Nkors use chem, they too have to move through the same areas. Regardless of what you might want to envision, they are no better prepared to sustain operations in such areas either. The key to any successful op is rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. They're not doing that.

While old Soviet doctrine calls to burn off the first echelons of any attack, the remainder that get through are going to have to be sustained somehow because by contaminating the areas they have to travel through, they're going to deny their own forces the means to 'live off the land'. Within one or two days the formations will have to disperse to forage off of the areas beyond the contaminated zones making them vulnerable to counter attack.

And if you've live there, you'd also know that terrain channelizes most of the north south flow which constricts forces into kill zones for air and MLRS interdiction.

The opponent is not 10 foot tall. And, yes we'll screw up. The lesson is to screw up less than the other guy. He's going to have his own.
Posted by Procopius2k 2010-05-28 23:14||   2010-05-28 23:14|| Front Page Top

#48 Japan is 6 weeks away from thermonuclear warheads - most of their reactors burn plutonium. Most consistent estimate on South Korea is 6 months if they want one bad enough to burn some bridges with the US - major NBC attack on South Korea with NO US nuke response would do it.
Taiwan is about 6 months out as well, but they don't have the nice IRBMs that Japan does.
Posted by Shieldwolf 2010-05-28 23:16||   2010-05-28 23:16|| Front Page Top

#49 OldSpook, please refrain from ad hominem attacks, it lessens you. Even so, GirlThursday's scenario is very unlikely. Not impossible, but very unlikely, but certainly what she says is agitprop. Ignore it.

To really prep for an synchronized attack, the Norks would run out of fuel not 72 hours after they kicked off, but 72 hours before they did. Further, many of their troops would die from mishandling of CW weapons well before the appointed hour. If they did kick off the big attack, half of the equipment of ther vaunted forces would fail. What worked in the first hour would break in the next. Their air force and navy would head out for one crazed sortie and never return.

Yes, the civilian SKor casuaties would be huge. But everyone would know what was coming days in advance and military losses would be few.

After shooting their bolt, all the Norks that didn't want to die would surrender or retreat.

The real crisis would be afterwards. There are 20 million north korean citizens, who are victims of this horrid regime. It will be hard to give them what we want them to have, but easy to provide food, comfort and freedom to be what they want to become.
Posted by rammer 2010-05-28 23:30||   2010-05-28 23:30|| Front Page Top

23:56 Pappy
23:30 rammer
23:16 Shieldwolf
23:14 Procopius2k
23:07 Frank G
22:19 Glenmore
21:58 Rex Mundi
21:48 chris
21:40 Iblis
21:40 Grunter
21:03 JosephMendiola
20:55 JosephMendiola
20:55 Goober Crealet3411
20:53 3dc
20:51 JosephMendiola
20:48 JosephMendiola
20:44 JosephMendiola
20:40 JosephMendiola
20:32 ed
20:32 JosephMendiola
20:30 swksvolFF
20:25 JosephMendiola
20:20 Barbara Skolaut
20:16 Rambler in Virginia

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