North Korea vows to tear up Korean War ceasefire.

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I suppose I am a bad person. My first thought was "good". We can cut off all aid, and just bomb their asses back to the stone age if they do anything with their nukes.

More likely scenario is China footing the bill for those crazies, because they *really* don't want a flood of north Koreans coming over.

Agema:

Quaxar:

So I believe we're somewhere in between our estimates. 19 is definitely too much, but under 8 probably too low.

I can find that the NK reserves break down into 3 categories:

1) Reserve Military Training Unit (active reserves of fight age) - 1.7 million.
2) The Worker-Peasant Militia (oldsters) - 4.1 million
3) Young Red Guards (kids) - 1.2 million

Realistically, only category 1 would be useful reservists in terms of conventional warfare.

Categories 2 & 3 are at the most optimistic a low grade militia - handing a gun to anyone able to carry it. It's questionable whether they'd be any use at all outside of the most rudimentary home defence duties, and more likely to stop an enemy by their dead bodies clogging up the tank tracks.

Or to summarise, I'd agree that 8 million "theoretical" or "nominal" reserves seems accurate. Effective reserves, a small fraction of that.

I think even that is far to optimistic to be even close to realistic. North Korea would be more likely to just handing out spears to 2 and 3, they don't have the manufacturing capacity (let alone resources or money) to arm each and every one of those reservist.

If anything I am not sure they could even arm the first group as well, more likely resorting to the old Soviet tactic of "don't have a gun, grab one from the mountain of corpses of your allies."

Not G. Ivingname:

I think even that is far to optimistic to be even close to realistic. North Korea would be more likely to just handing out spears to 2 and 3, they don't have the manufacturing capacity (let alone resources or money) to arm each and every one of those reservist.

You might be right. But then, NK is a crazy place: I can't help but wonder that they might have 8 million guns in stock. Old WW2 bolt action rifles, early cold war AK-47s, etc. If a black market or second hand AK-47 costs $500, then it only costs 4 billion dollars to buy 8 million AK-47s or the materials to make them. I would suggest NK does have the manufacturing capacity to make 8 million AK-47s. Especially as it's the sort of place that arms its troops before it feeds its citizens.

Agema:

Not G. Ivingname:

I think even that is far to optimistic to be even close to realistic. North Korea would be more likely to just handing out spears to 2 and 3, they don't have the manufacturing capacity (let alone resources or money) to arm each and every one of those reservist.

You might be right. But then, NK is a crazy place: I can't help but wonder that they might have 8 million guns in stock. Old WW2 bolt action rifles, early cold war AK-47s, etc. If a black market or second hand AK-47 costs $500, then it only costs 4 billion dollars to buy 8 million AK-47s or the materials to make them. I would suggest NK does have the manufacturing capacity to make 8 million AK-47s. Especially as it's the sort of place that arms its troops before it feeds its citizens.

When your economy is only 40 Billion dollar, a tenth of their GDP on guns for the ones to old or to young to even match the ranks of their piss poor standards for military recruitment might be far to much even for North Korean insanity.

Still, they might be able arm every man in the nation with some rusted "hand-me-down from China that was already a hand-me-down from the USSR," a better question is if they could provide that many troops bullets.

Still, we can both agree that North Korea is absurdly outclassed by the South, let alone the USA.

spartandude:
I love how some people think that china never left the cold war and is still the defender of North Korea, from what i understand China would be very happy to see a regime change, it just wouldnt be happy about the US troops so close to the border but i think they see that as the lesser evil

Well your half right, China wants a regime change so they can make money, they cannot make money on a regime that starves there own people and does not contribute to the world economy. On the other hand China is the reason why NK was not obliterated in the Korean war. It may seem that way, but China still loves NK and hates us, but only "tolerates" us because we give them money for some stupid reason. If NK wants to "throw down" next week, I say bring it.

Not G. Ivingname:

When your economy is only 40 Billion dollar, a tenth of their GDP on guns for the ones to old or to young to even match the ranks of their piss poor standards for military recruitment might be far to much even for North Korean insanity.

Still, they might be able arm every man in the nation with some rusted "hand-me-down from China that was already a hand-me-down from the USSR," a better question is if they could provide that many troops bullets.

I put very little past NK insanity ;)

But they are reckoned to spend $10 billion a year on the military. It's not hard to imagine they could buy that many guns, whether $4B in one year or $400M spread across ten. You're right about the ammo as well. They might be able to hand these guys clips at the start of a war, but I don't imagine much more would get to them afterwards.

Ugh. China, just curbstomp these idiots, annex their country and be done with this silliness.

Not G. Ivingname:
I think even that is far to optimistic to be even close to realistic. North Korea would be more likely to just handing out spears to 2 and 3, they don't have the manufacturing capacity (let alone resources or money) to arm each and every one of those reservist.

If anything I am not sure they could even arm the first group as well, more likely resorting to the old Soviet tactic of "don't have a gun, grab one from the mountain of corpses of your allies."

Um, actually they have their own arms factories. And let's not forget that until the 90s the USSR was a big supporter of firepower for them. A lot of their equipment is outdated Soviet stuff or homemade based on outdated Soviet stuff but they still have a lot of it.
Although their ammo reserves are reckoned to be only worth between 500 and 100 days of war, depending on scale.

PrimitiveJudge:

spartandude:
I love how some people think that china never left the cold war and is still the defender of North Korea, from what i understand China would be very happy to see a regime change, it just wouldnt be happy about the US troops so close to the border but i think they see that as the lesser evil

Well your half right, China wants a regime change so they can make money, they cannot make money on a regime that starves there own people and does not contribute to the world economy.

Fun fact: there's actually quite a few Chinese companies that outsource labour to North Korea because they are cheaper. Let that sink in... North Korea is cheaper to manufacture in than using Chinese child workers.
A lot of fabric work, so maybe you're wearing a product of North Korea right now!

a north korean general has gone on tv saying the armistice deal has been torn up and that they have set up a no fly/no sail zone on the east and west coasts

At this point, it's almost adorable watching North Korea try and flex their muscle. It's like, "Aww look at the little Communist Dictator trying to be all tough."

Yeah have fun waging a war while dealing with famine and an economy that makes America look absolutely booming.

If the North went to war it'd be over very quickly. The north would crumble within hours to days and here's why.

Defectors have told us that the majority of the Army isn't even armed, they don't have enough weapons to arm every soldier. Also some defectors have told us they keep a large portion of their Army unarmed to prevent rebellion.

We also know that often times they have a hard time feed/keeping their Army warm. There are only a few "special" units that are constantly taken care of.

Overall the Moral is quite low among the vast majority of their 9 million men army (as another poster here said) I would estimate only 25% of their numbers are even capable of fighting. All of a sudden their Army isn't so big enough, plus it's not properly equiped.

The most effective method of moving troops and supplies is by train, this is easily dealt with. A single US Jet could likely knock out their majority of the railroads.

What do they have? Their most effective and worrisome weapon is not the nuke...It's their artillery. It's hard to counter, and it's in range of one of the largest and economically successful cities in the world...Seoul. How I see this going down is this:

North fires everything they got at Seoul, the city of Seoul is destroyed hundreds of thousands (if not millions) are dead. This could happen in a matter of 30-45 minutes I'm sure it's estimated they have some 10,000 Artillery pieces. And even though they are old and outdated they can still be very effective.

Then comes our response which I'm confident would be devastating. Our jets and missiles would disable huge chunks of their forces right after. Shortly there after the ROK Army begins the invasion (I don't think US Forces would be on the front line, they are too insignificant of a number to make a difference. However in terms of support they are critical)

Here comes the part people don't consider. China won't remain silent. They also won't support the North nor will they support America. That is where things will get interesting. The Chinese will invade North Korea with the intention of maintaining as much of the buffer as possible.

What will happen at the end of the day is the ROKs will take over a larger portion of the North, and China will control what they where able to grab. S. Korea as a nation will be hurting (they just lost Seoul and a million people) and Kim Jung Un will be dead.

Basically no-body wins.

NIk001172:
What do they have? Their most effective and worrisome weapon is not the nuke...It's their artillery. It's hard to counter, and it's in range of one of the largest and economically successful cities in the world...Seoul. How I see this going down is this:

North fires everything they got at Seoul, the city of Seoul is destroyed hundreds of thousands (if not millions) are dead. This could happen in a matter of 30-45 minutes I'm sure it's estimated they have some 10,000 Artillery pieces. And even though they are old and outdated they can still be very effective.

You do realise that the North's only conventional artillery big enough to reach Seoul are the M-1978/1989 Koksan, which has a rate of only 2 per five minutes if you actually are well-trained and the M-46, which would be lucky to hit the Northern outskirts of Seoul on a windy day? And the artillery estimations I know for those that are actually in range of Seoul is more like 500. Plus possibly some 200 MRLs, such as the M1985.
Also, Seoul possesses bunkers for roughly 60% of its population and artillery and other, more advanced, weaponry that can hit the DPRK's known emplacements within minutes.

To be honest I'm pretty sure the only reason China doesn't want a conflict is due to the refugees that would be fleeing North Korea. People need to move on from this Cold War Era thinking: China isn't even an enemy anymore as much as a competitor, which is a good thing. As for the questionable things happening in China: the US has done some pretty questionable things over the last decade as well.

I don't know. This feels like two cavemen who just met both holding a spear at each other and neither one really wanting to attack the other, but neither one wants to put the damn spear down.

Agema:

Not G. Ivingname:

I think even that is far to optimistic to be even close to realistic. North Korea would be more likely to just handing out spears to 2 and 3, they don't have the manufacturing capacity (let alone resources or money) to arm each and every one of those reservist.

You might be right. But then, NK is a crazy place: I can't help but wonder that they might have 8 million guns in stock. Old WW2 bolt action rifles, early cold war AK-47s, etc. If a black market or second hand AK-47 costs $500, then it only costs 4 billion dollars to buy 8 million AK-47s or the materials to make them. I would suggest NK does have the manufacturing capacity to make 8 million AK-47s. Especially as it's the sort of place that arms its troops before it feeds its citizens.

The thing is though, in a modern, high intensity conflict, 8 million untrained light infantry are going to be less use than 8 million figure 11 targets. This is the war that the West's collective defence forces have had blue balls for for the past sixty or so years. This is a massed infantry and armour soviet styled force with a penchant for direct numbers based attacks, exactly what the west is designed to counter. All that kit that has been derided as being overkill or designed for wrong war... The abrams, the Apache, the A-10, the Mk-19, this is the war that it was supposed to fight.

It will be the fulda gap fulfilled... If the soviets were barely trained, lacked doctrinal development, lacked enough fuel or ammo reserves, were half starved conscripts instead of professional soldiers, had a fraction of the strategic depth and were fighting a force decades ahead of them.

Also remember that a firearm is not a one off expense, you have to maintain it, put man hours into transporting and training, constantly replacing parts and sometimes entire units. Also, your costing estimate accounts for second hand or black market weapons, not indigenously produced ones.

the clockmaker:
The thing is though, in a modern, high intensity conflict, 8 million untrained light infantry are going to be less use than 8 million figure 11 targets.

Not entirely. They are useful for clearing minefields, soaking up enemy munitions and tempting enemy forces into giving away their positions.

They are most definitely not there to fight. That's not to say they are useless.

the clockmaker:
Also remember that a firearm is not a one off expense, you have to maintain it, put man hours into transporting and training, constantly replacing parts and sometimes entire units. Also, your costing estimate accounts for second hand or black market weapons, not indigenously produced ones.

While that's true, there are cheap, reliable-ish weapons that an embattled nation can produce (some of the Soviet WW2 designs come to mind, also the British/Commonwealth Sten) with little expense or training for the workers.

But you get what you pay for.

thaluikhain:

Not entirely. They are useful for clearing minefields, soaking up enemy munitions and tempting enemy forces into giving away their positions.

They are most definitely not there to fight. That's not to say they are useless.

All of which can be achieved by a fig 11 on a go cart (I am determine to hold onto that image)

I admit a bit of hyperbole on my part, but while the Dprk can absorb casualties, they cannot attrit the logistical juggernaut that is the US military, let alone the Yanks plus all of their assorted allies. Not one step back doesn't work when your enemy sees you as blips on a screen or is well drilled enough to do section defence after section defence not as some heroic stand, but rather as a workmanlike task. The DPRK sees this war as a great world ending struggle, our militaries see it in the similar way that uni students see a sudoku puzzle.

While that's true, there are cheap, reliable-ish weapons that an embattled nation can produce (some of the Soviet WW2 designs come to mind, also the British/Commonwealth Sten) with little expense or training for the workers.

But you get what you pay for.

Oh, the AK family is a magnificent piece of engineering. It is a wonder of the industrial world, on par with the harbour bridge and the empire state building, made all the more amazing that it is built on a base almost seventy years old. But you need to keep it in oil, in cloth, in man hours for maintenance and training (marksmanship is a perishable skill) and no matter how great the parts are, some dickhead soldier will break it ( I call it clockmaker's law "If a part exists, the soldier operating it will break it, if it does not exist, the soldier will invent it, big himself up for its creation, and then break it. If it cannot exist, the soldier will spend his down time creating hypothetical ways of breaking it." ) so you need to provide a steady supply of parts.

My overarching point was that the costing estimate provided by Agema was very lowball for both manufacturing and developing.

And sten drools Owen gun rules.

the clockmaker:
I admit a bit of hyperbole on my part, but while the Dprk can absorb casualties, they cannot attrit the logistical juggernaut that is the US military, let alone the Yanks plus all of their assorted allies. Not one step back doesn't work when your enemy sees you as blips on a screen or is well drilled enough to do section defence after section defence not as some heroic stand, but rather as a workmanlike task. The DPRK sees this war as a great world ending struggle, our militaries see it in the similar way that uni students see a sudoku puzzle.

Very true.

the clockmaker:
Oh, the AK family is a magnificent piece of engineering. It is a wonder of the industrial world, on par with the harbour bridge and the empire state building, made all the more amazing that it is built on a base almost seventy years old. But you need to keep it in oil, in cloth, in man hours for maintenance and training (marksmanship is a perishable skill) and no matter how great the parts are, some dickhead soldier will break it ( I call it clockmaker's law "If a part exists, the soldier operating it will break it, if it does not exist, the soldier will invent it, big himself up for its creation, and then break it. If it cannot exist, the soldier will spend his down time creating hypothetical ways of breaking it." ) so you need to provide a steady supply of parts.

My overarching point was that the costing estimate provided by Agema was very lowball for both manufacturing and developing.

Not so certain about that, other nations have seemed to have developed, built and not ruined weapons in large scale under very adverse conditions. The submachine guns built during the sieges of the USSR come to mind.

Not an expert, but personally I'd say the real problem would be getting those 8 million people anywhere useful. Even without an opposing force, that's a hell of a job.

the clockmaker:
And sten drools Owen gun rules.

You must be the first person I know on the net that's even heard of those. Was the Owen gun done on the cheap though, like the Sten was? If not, you'd expect it to be better.

thaluikhain:

Not so certain about that, other nations have seemed to have developed, built and not ruined weapons in large scale under very adverse conditions. The submachine guns built during the sieges of the USSR come to mind.

While my experience is obviously more along the lines of contemporary things, I would say that they would still have suffered a certain rate of equipment attrition. Not the weapon falling apart in your hands, but more the firing pin shearing after long periods of use requiring a new firing pin. I would say that the sovs would have been canabilizing their gats to keep them going. Think of it like you think of your car, it may not break down, but you still need to replace your tires and fan belts and... I don't know, my experience of cars is substantially less than firearms.

Not an expert, but personally I'd say the real problem would be getting those 8 million people anywhere useful. Even without an opposing force, that's a hell of a job.

Dear god, it is hard to get five people anywhere, I have been told to drop all my shit in one state to be half way across the country a day later to report to people who had no idea I was coming. This has lead to quite a few nights spent on gym floors.

For the DPRK, from what I can see they are focused on an idea of static defence, trenches and arty and whatnot, which will see them well for the first few hours of the war, but you are right, once their first line collapses, they will suffer a lot of operational friction in just moving around. To give some context, the yanks have amounts of equipment that they account for at the start of the year that will be lost or damaged, not as enemy action, just as operational friction (you know X pistols, X rounds of ammo, X tonnes of food etc )

You must be the first person I know on the net that's even heard of those. Was the Owen gun done on the cheap though, like the Sten was? If not, you'd expect it to be better.

TO be fair, we are now into my very narrow wheelhouse (AUS military) so I am expected to know some of this, but...

I actually don't know enough to make a call on that, the UK industrial base was a lot larger, but they were under a lot more direct pressure than we were. The UK had more money overall, but they had to develop a lot more than we did ( I mean, we took half our kit from them and most of the other half from the yanks). We had to supply less units, they had more forgiving environments for weapons. We had less weapons to start, they lost more in attrition. The sten survived years later as the stirling and the Owen evolved into the F1. The sten ND'd more, but the Owen would be harder to aim (based off of ergonomics)... It goes on and on

The Owen was done on the cheap, but I honestly cannot say if it was done as much on the cheap as the old sten (which does not quite drool, I was a bit unfair). You'd need to ask someone with a lot more letters after their name than me as to which was more of a logistical achievement accounting for all limitations.

In the end, my comment came down to one question, 'Who's flag is on my arm', which the answer is both, but one is confined to a small corner of the actual flag, so the answer is actually Australia, so an Australian developed, built, used and evolved weapon is going to get the big tick in my tiny, nationalistic mind.

And can I say how nice it is to talk to someone here who is less "Our points diverge, you are the devil", than "I see the rationale behind A, but have you considered A.5?"

the clockmaker:
For the DPRK, from what I can see they are focused on an idea of static defence, trenches and arty and whatnot, which will see them well for the first few hours of the war, but you are right, once their first line collapses, they will suffer a lot of operational friction in just moving around. To give some context, the yanks have amounts of equipment that they account for at the start of the year that will be lost or damaged, not as enemy action, just as operational friction (you know X pistols, X rounds of ammo, X tonnes of food etc )

Well, I was thinking more of the vast amount of vehicles needed to transport them and their supplies, and the vast amount of vehicles and supplies needed to supply them, but yeah.

the clockmaker:
The sten survived years later as the stirling and the Owen evolved into the F1.

Did they? I thought, for the Sten at least, it was more a matter of making a weapon that could use the magazines for the one it was replacing, than the mechanism was similar.

the clockmaker:
[the old sten (which does not quite drool, I was a bit unfair).

Unless you've got one made by some bloke in a garage who didn't know what he was going. Not the designs fault, but still...

I've often wondered if you could identify what was wrong with a particular Sten and mix the parts up with a Sten faulty in some other way, or if they tended to go wrong the same way.

the clockmaker:
In the end, my comment came down to one question, 'Who's flag is on my arm', which the answer is both, but one is confined to a small corner of the actual flag, so the answer is actually Australia, so an Australian developed, built, used and evolved weapon is going to get the big tick in my tiny, nationalistic mind.

Have to agree with that :)

OTOH, the Australian army had the choice between Owen guns and the Austen (which is totally Australian, has got "Aus" in the front of "Sten"), and presumably they didn't choose the Owen gun because it wasn't the name of an English novelist...yeah, "Austen" just doesn't sound very impressive to me.

Honestly, if they want to keep saber rattling like they are and threatening countries with nuclear attacks, I think we should just fuel up handful of B-2s and B-1Bs and turn a few of their military bases into smoldering piles of rubble. Maybe we dispatch an armed drone or two to where ever it is that fat little prick Kim Jong Un is hiding just for good measure. Afterwords we inform them that was their first and only warning and if they want to continue threatening to deploy nuclear weapons the next time instead of military bases the target will be their entire ass backwards country.

Pfffttt...Get out of here Koreans, no way they'll bomb us, silly geese with a nuclear weapons program. C'mon guys, let's get back to bombing Iran for their nuclear energy program.

Super Not Cosmo:
Honestly, if they want to keep saber rattling like they are and threatening countries with nuclear attacks, I think we should just fuel up handful of B-2s and B-1Bs and turn a few of their military bases into smoldering piles of rubble. Maybe we dispatch an armed drone or two to where ever it is that fat little prick Kim Jong Un is hiding just for good measure. Afterwords we inform them that was their first and only warning and if they want to continue threatening to deploy nuclear weapons the next time instead of military bases the target will be their entire ass backwards country.

Bad idea for the same reason that firing a warning shot in combat is a bad idea. Think about what it is going to look like from their point of view. Do you think they are going to see it as a 'warning' or the start of something much larger? Chances are they will go into full war footing and start firing on every target they can see. If you start a fight, you finish it there and then. If the west starts bombing the DPRK, it cannot stop until it is sure that it is in no shape to continue the fight.

the clockmaker:

Super Not Cosmo:
Honestly, if they want to keep saber rattling like they are and threatening countries with nuclear attacks, I think we should just fuel up handful of B-2s and B-1Bs and turn a few of their military bases into smoldering piles of rubble. Maybe we dispatch an armed drone or two to where ever it is that fat little prick Kim Jong Un is hiding just for good measure. Afterwords we inform them that was their first and only warning and if they want to continue threatening to deploy nuclear weapons the next time instead of military bases the target will be their entire ass backwards country.

Bad idea for the same reason that firing a warning shot in combat is a bad idea. Think about what it is going to look like from their point of view. Do you think they are going to see it as a 'warning' or the start of something much larger? Chances are they will go into full war footing and start firing on every target they can see. If you start a fight, you finish it there and then. If the west starts bombing the DPRK, it cannot stop until it is sure that it is in no shape to continue the fight.

Honestly I'd be fine with wiping North Korea off the map. They are pretty much a rabid animal at this point and it's not a question of if we are going to have to go put them down but rather when. Sure, everything in recent history has just been impotent threats they probably can't back up. Eventually though they are going to have the means and gumption to actually act on one of those threats and at that point it's going very likely fall on the US to go and intervene.

The way I see it is that if they want a fight with the US we should just give them one. We should go over there with the full force and might of the US military and be done with them in a matter of days. The one thing I don't want to see done is to see North Korea handled with the same kid gloves we have handled Afghanistan and Iraq with. I'd much rather see it ended quickly and in such a fashion that it makes any other third world Hell hole with a dictator too big for their britches think twice before they start shit with the US.

I would very much support going over there unleashing hell then go back home a couple weeks or months later. None of the nation building garbage just a good old fashion war where we go over and blow up a whole bunch of shit then go home while the people of whatever country we just blew up pray to whatever gods they think might help them that we don't come back, ever. However, that's probably a pipe dream as the US has grown soft over the past few decades. What will more likely happen is that we will go over there and pussy foot around for a decade or more making little if any difference like we have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Super Not Cosmo:

Honestly I'd be fine with wiping North Korea off the map.

I would not be. I would be more for a rapid interdiction of governmental/military/security infrastructure, which, while it would seem like the end of the world to those on the receiving end, would allow for national recovery and, more importantly from a military point of view, would allow the enemy a reasonable avenue to surrender.

It is important to create in the mind of the enemy a firm idea that his only option for survival is to surrender. If he thinks that you will kill him regardless, or that the interests of those he protects will be more served by his death than a general submission, he will lay down his life.

Saying that we will 'wipe them off the map' will stiffen their resolve, not weaken it and while that may not do more than delay the inevitable victory it can result in the death of a lot of ROK, US, AUS, CAN, UK etc etc personnel.

They are pretty much a rabid animal at this point and it's not a question of if we are going to have to go put them down but rather when.

According to human rights watch, there are around 200,000 DPRK citizens in internment camps at the moment. The DPRK, while remarkably politically unified by dint of propaganda and fear, is still home to millions of citizens guilty of nothing more than where they were born. Calling them a 'rabid dog' ignores one of the three key pillars to our moral superiority in this war; 1- They are a threat to our allies in the region (The ROK, Japan, to a lesser extent the other nations in the Asia-Pacific 2-They will likely initiate the war and 3-We are going in with the intent of ending the horrors perpetrated by the Kim dynasty.

Sure, everything in recent history has just been impotent threats they probably can't back up.

against the US and Aus yes, their threats are fairly impotent. At the moment, I think Darwin is the only major 'Western' city in range of DPRK action. But we need to remember that Japan and the ROK are under much greater threat.

Eventually though they are going to have the means and gumption to actually act on one of those threats and at that point it's going very likely fall on the US to go and intervene.

It will likely be all of NATO, all of ANZUS and quite a few other regional partners.

The way I see it is that if they want a fight with the US we should just give them one.

Current theory is not that they want a fight, but that they are trying to A-shore up internal security by provision of an external threats and B- Attempting to 'win the peace' by portraying themselves as a credible regional power in order to create a more favourable atmosphere for negotiations. The concern is that in attempting to do so they will escalate the situation beyond the point of no return. Saying that they 'want a fight' is grossly oversimplifying it.

We should go over there with the full force and might of the US military and be done with them in a matter of days.

Considering the size and defensively geared nature of the KPA, it will likely be more a matter of weeks or months than days for the end of high intensity conventional operations.

The one thing I don't want to see done is to see North Korea handled with the same kid gloves we have handled Afghanistan and Iraq with.

The fact that you think OIF and OEF were 'kid gloves' shows a worrying disregard for both the lives of civilians and the reality of the situation in both nations.

I'd much rather see it ended quickly and in such a fashion that it makes any other third world Hell hole with a dictator too big for their britches think twice before they start shit with the US.

The thing is, relying solely on military force as a method of securing diplomatic legitimacy will lead to your nation becoming an international pariah, as well as the attitude that an opposing nation is simply 'too big for its britches' and needs to be 'put in its place'. More likely this will lead to nations seeking an alternate power to hitch their wagon too, China, Russia or India most likely.

I would very much support going over there unleashing hell then go back home a couple weeks or months later.

That would be very bad for the region, but more on that in a tick.

None of the nation building garbage

Nation building being the only thing keeping the west's reputation somewhat intact

just a good old fashion war

Lets look at two 'good old fashioned wars' one which ran from 1914-1918 and the allies did no nation building and one from 1938-1945 where we did do some. Good old fashioned wars are old fashioned because they do not serve the required purpose in today's world.

where we go over and blow up a whole bunch of shit then go home while the people of whatever country we just blew up pray to whatever gods they think might help them that we don't come back, ever.

First off, people are fucking stupid, they will not think 'that plane killed my kids, I better do as it said, they will think 'they killed my kids, I will dedicate my life to fucking over the enemy'.

Secondly just south of the DPRK is the ROK, and just to the east is Japan. Further South is Indonesia and then my own sunburnt country. Just fucking and running will lead to a massive wave of refugees to Japan and the ROK and to a lesser extent, Indonesia. The economies of the ROK and Japan will be fucked by this, no question. From there, we will see a massive secondary wave of economic refugees out to the US, Aus and the UK and EU. In addition Indonesia will do what it always does and pass refugees straight through to AUS. So just fucking and running has fucked over most of SE Asia, ripe for another power (The PRC/India) sweeping through and 'fixing' everything.

Thirdly, the normal people of the DPRK bear no blame for the policies of the man with the boot on their neck. Killing them en mass and then refusing to help clean up the rubble is morally repugnant. It is acceptable in pursuit of an objective that serves the greater good, but you seem to want to do it just for pride.

fourthly, leaving the DPRK in rubble and running away will lead to the ideal conditions for a re-emergence of a Kim style regime.

However, that's probably a pipe dream as the US has grown soft over the past few decades.

as opposed to what, the marshall plan?

What will more likely happen is that we will go over there and pussy foot around for a decade or more making little if any difference like we have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You seem to be of the mind that hearts and minds is interrupting your heavy handed theories, when it is actually the opposite. The lack of 'pussy footing' severely undermines any attempt to win the trust of the populace and is a, if you follow what actually is happening, is a source of constant friction between the US and her partners.

All of this is not to say that I am some peacenik anti-war type, I think that most likely war is the only viable solution to the problems on the peninsula. I just think that your ideas to going about the war would be morally repugnant and worse than that, ineffective.

the clockmaker:
Major snip

I utterly agree with what you have said, but there is one quite important factor that has been overlooked:

If another nation (nominally the USA, given the post of the person you were responding to) went for a "first strike" approach, or even worse did so with nuclear armaments (an assumption from the mention of B-2s) then China would most definitely get involved.

Yes, China is sick of North Korea's antics, and it has been revealed desires a reunification under South Korean control (because who wouldn't want a growing, modern economy on their doorstep versus a backwards hell-hole). China also does not want open warfare as that would mean an awful lot of incredibly poor refugees flooding over its borders from North Korea, which would have severe economic impact. However, it still wants a buffer against Western-centric power. A policy of unwarranted aggression (and uttering threats does not count in my opinion, when talking about global politics) would mean that China would not only want to, but also be obliged by treaty, to aid North Korea in the fight. If nuclear arms were used then that means a response in kind. China also does not want open warfare as that would mean an awful lot of incredibly poor refugees flooding over its borders from North Korea, which would have severe economic impact.

No, it is far better to beef up military presence and preparations in the area to swiftly respond to outright acts of aggression rather than opt for a first-strike policy. China really is the sleeping dragon in this conflict, even though it would quite want rid of the North Korean regime. It is highly likely that China would be supportive of international action against North Korea if North Korea opened the hostilities, and it seems utterly asinine to throw away such valuable support simply for flag-waving and a desire to have "the rabid dog put down" (which is horrifically offensive and insensitive to the civilians of the country who have no part of the Leadership's decision making outside of brainwashing).

Mind you, there has been a strong sentiment (from certain demographics) that the US should just throw nukes about like candy - I have heard calls online for Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and now North Korea to be nuked, either to fix a stalemate and "avenge our glorious losses" or as a pre-emptive measure. I mean it is not like humans matter, they're just rabid animals, right?

Superbeast:
words

Oh yes, the PRC would actively take part in a DPRK initiated UN supported conflict, because they would need to stem the tide of refugees and to exert some measure of influence over the new state in its formative years. Maybe even have a garrison of 'peacekeepers' so long as they stayed north of the old border. Attempting to do any of this without boots on the ground during the actual conflict will likely lead western forces to point out that they had not 'earned' the right of participation in the reconstruction efforts.

As for a PRC response to a US nuclear first strike, I honestly don't know, it is like saying how would the PRC respond to the US president marrying a horse, the initiating act is so insane that it does not merit thought except by a few niche proponents.

Glasgow:
China has the nuclear deterrent as well,

Not that much of one, China has about 300 warheads. Roughly the same amount as the UK and less than nations like France, in a nuclear exchange many missiles would be shot down. Each missile shot down destroys several warheads, individual warheads would also be destroyed in the terminal phase and before impact. Strategic missile defense can have a success rate of anything up to 80%, if those statistics hold out it could leave China with only 60 warheads on target.

The US alone has around 10,000 warheads and China does not have a ballistic missile defense system as extensive as the one the US and Nato use. To fight a nuclear war China would have to have Russia along for the ride, Russia has around 8,000 warheads.

J Tyran:

Glasgow:
China has the nuclear deterrent as well,

Not that much of one, China has about 300 warheads. Roughly the same amount as the UK and less than nations like France, in a nuclear exchange many missiles would be shot down. Each missile shot down destroys several warheads, individual warheads would also be destroyed in the terminal phase and before impact. Strategic missile defense can have a success rate of anything up to 80%, if those statistics hold out it could leave China with only 60 warheads on target.

The US alone has around 10,000 warheads and China does not have a ballistic missile defense system as extensive as the one the US and Nato use. To fight a nuclear war China would have to have Russia along for the ride, Russia has around 8,000 warheads.

Even given that (one missile doesn't necessarily mean multiple warheads, though), that's still a deterrent. Nobody wants even 60 warheads on target in their nation.

Glasgow:

If someone says that China will not support N. Korea - you're wrong.

No, you're wrong. If you think China values North Korea's poverty, corruption and brainwashing more than it values its entire existence in its trade partnership with the United States - you're insane.

Without the USA, China would be hurting very bad. Vice versa. China wouldn't back North Korea at all, in fact they are plainly telling them at the moment that if they start anything - China isn't helping.

Glasgow:
They had already supported N. Korea for a long time financially and militarily.

Only when it has been convenient to do so.

Glasgow:
If a war happens the North will definitely win - they are much, much, much more militarized and the South will be utterly crushed. A nuclear strike is in grey area because the North has some tiny nuclear arsenal - but I think that the North isn't ready for a showdown. They need more tie-breaking munitions before they go to war and we will see how the stability of the administration will be in the future. Sanctions won't go away but the new administration seems more open than the previous, which could possibly lead to the Gorbachev effect.

This whole paragraph is useless because you've created a strawman. North Korea and South Korean aren't just going to duke it out - South Korea will have to entire free world behind them, namely the USA. North Korea's military wouldn't last more than three days. They'd have to resort to guerrilla fighting, because conventionally they'd be squashed.

Guerrilla fighting wouldn't work to well for the north.

1) They are dependent on foreign aid for food. (Cut that off and watch them either surrender or start eating each other)

2) We (The US) really don't care about the north. With the caveats of wanting to locate all their bombs, securing the north isnt a priority. They start firing mortars we send an airstrike.

Only way I see North Korea being a problem is they try and blitz the south. Shear numbers might overwhelm any defenders before any western powers could intervene. Or if they decide to nuke the south.

J Tyran:

Not that much of one, China has about 300 warheads. Roughly the same amount as the UK and less than nations like France, in a nuclear exchange many missiles would be shot down. Each missile shot down destroys several warheads, individual warheads would also be destroyed in the terminal phase and before impact. Strategic missile defense can have a success rate of anything up to 80%, if those statistics hold out it could leave China with only 60 warheads on target.

The US alone has around 10,000 warheads and China does not have a ballistic missile defense system as extensive as the one the US and Nato use. To fight a nuclear war China would have to have Russia along for the ride, Russia has around 8,000 warheads.

Let's say 3 warheads each drop on the USA's 20 largest cities (if there's redundancy). At a stroke it would destroy maybe 20 million people, 20% of GDP, tens of trillions of dollars in assets, much of its elites in nearly all fields. Long term, there'd be a refugee crisis, long-term health problems, pollution, a huge recession due to loss of skilled workers and infrastructure, financial crisis, massive loss of living standards, and so on.

The USA would undoubtedly survive. However, what emerged at the far end would be such a pale shadow of before that nuclear war is simply not a realistic option.

mavkiel:
Guerrilla fighting wouldn't work to well for the north.

1) They are dependent on foreign aid for food. (Cut that off and watch them either surrender or start eating each other)

2) We (The US) really don't care about the north. With the caveats of wanting to locate all their bombs, securing the north isnt a priority. They start firing mortars we send an airstrike.

Only way I see North Korea being a problem is they try and blitz the south. Shear numbers might overwhelm any defenders before any western powers could intervene. Or if they decide to nuke the south.

a blitz attack is a serious concern not to mention how many possible north korean sleeper agents are waiting to cause as much trouble as possible in the south and other countries.

long term the north koreans cant hold out, western technological superiority would eventually win out. which assumes of course the war stops completely conventional. they can however make it extremely costly for western nations with huge losses.

you simply dont know how they will react when their backs are against the war with the potential for nukes, chemical and biological weapons being used

Agema:

J Tyran:

Not that much of one, China has about 300 warheads. Roughly the same amount as the UK and less than nations like France, in a nuclear exchange many missiles would be shot down. Each missile shot down destroys several warheads, individual warheads would also be destroyed in the terminal phase and before impact. Strategic missile defense can have a success rate of anything up to 80%, if those statistics hold out it could leave China with only 60 warheads on target.

The US alone has around 10,000 warheads and China does not have a ballistic missile defense system as extensive as the one the US and Nato use. To fight a nuclear war China would have to have Russia along for the ride, Russia has around 8,000 warheads.

Let's say 3 warheads each drop on the USA's 20 largest cities (if there's redundancy). At a stroke it would destroy maybe 20 million people, 20% of GDP, tens of trillions of dollars in assets, much of its elites in nearly all fields. Long term, there'd be a refugee crisis, long-term health problems, pollution, a huge recession due to loss of skilled workers and infrastructure, financial crisis, massive loss of living standards, and so on.

The USA would undoubtedly survive. However, what emerged at the far end would be such a pale shadow of before that nuclear war is simply not a realistic option.

Thats the problem the Chinese face and the one that prevents them from really considering a nuclear war. They could either attempt to destroy some Cities and leave the US military almost entirely intact, still facing a retaliatory strike. Or they could try and wipe out as many of the critical conventional US assets leaving the nation and a bulk if its reserve materiel and manpower intact and still face a retaliatory strike.

The US would never choose to face it but they are far more prepared to step over the line if forced upon them than many people would realize, some of the Cold War doctrine proves that. The US could go on after such a war with China, China would be finished and likely uninhabitable for many millenia.

I don't think anyone is arguing about who would ultimately win in a fight between North Korea and the Entire World.

What people worry about is the massive casualties that would inevitably come from it.

J Tyran:

Thats the problem the Chinese face and the one that prevents them from really considering a nuclear war. They could either attempt to destroy some Cities and leave the US military almost entirely intact, still facing a retaliatory strike. Or they could try and wipe out as many of the critical conventional US assets leaving the nation and a bulk if its reserve materiel and manpower intact and still face a retaliatory strike.

The US would never choose to face it but they are far more prepared to step over the line if forced upon them than many people would realize, some of the Cold War doctrine proves that. The US could go on after such a war with China, China would be finished and likely uninhabitable for many millenia.

China would not initiate nuclear war against the USA for the same reason the USA would not do the same to China. You need an ideological obsessive, madman or intolerable threat to start a nuclear war, and a leader would need to be forced into the last of those three. There's no good evidence that China's leadership are anything less than pragmatic.

The point being that for either country, it's nothing but a huge lose-lose for everyone involved. That China would be even more devastated than the USA is besides the point.

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