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Author Topic: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia  (Read 2429 times)

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Offline consortium11

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2013, 02:13:26 AM »
I know what it sounds like, but "All servicepersons and people will become human bullets and bombs." is actually brilliant.  It's got this jaunty syncopated chorus and the verse is just pure funk.  Slap bass bridge, then back into the chorus.  Man, I'm gonna be singing that to myself all day now.

Aint got nothing on the Moranbong Band...

North Korean Music Video "Without a break" "단숨에" - Moranbong Band

I was surprised to admit that when I first heard it I actually quite liked it. Can imagine it in a weird alternate-universe European Song contest... albeit I'm not sure songs essentially glorifying missiles are quite what the Eurovision organisers have in mind...

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2013, 07:09:10 AM »
Ephiral's point about maintenanc s a very gd one.  yes,  cannon artillery is very robust compared to Missiles.  But thee is the ammunition to consider.  Do the NKs everytrow anything away?  A  chunk of their  ammo stockpile will dat back to the 1950's.  How reliable is the proppellant, the fuses, the payload charges themselves?

But with 10,000 tubes in range of Seoul, they  could still deliver up to one kiloton of high explosive to the city per hour.

here's a chilling thought:

Most people seem to think that a new round of fighting will be a repeat of 1950, with the North Korean Peoples Army blasing across the border en masse.

What if they have something more subtle in mind?

Here is my personal worst-case scenarios - and I did not come up with this, I got this from a talking head on TV some years ago:

At midnight of the appointed day, they open up on Seoul with everything they think can reach it.

And then they sit tight.  Well, except for their Special Forces units.  Which are not that special by Western standards, according to sites like Strategypage.com, their "special" forces are no better trained than "regular" Unites States Army Infantry.  Which means the NKPA regular troops are basicaly cannon fodder.

But back to the plan:

1.  They start shooting, their Speical forces lunge into South Korean rear areas to raise hell - and there are something like 110,000 of them, so some will get through and a lot of hell will be raised.

2.  The South Korean and American armies attack.  They have to, they have to, to stop that artillery barrage.  Those guns, many of them seem to be very well dug in, destroying them will take time and, well, one kiloton per hour and all that.  Yes, as guns are destroyed the bombardment will ease... but asking South Korean civilians to gut it out and take it will not be an option, really it will not.

3. The NKPA rides out the attack, lets the enemy smash itself on the border defenses - then counterpunches with a general counteroffensive - and this time they keep an eye on places like Inchon.

That may be their plan, anyway.  I think once the NKPA offers actual battle in the field, it will be be very quickly ground into mincemeat and iron filings  even if Allied airpower is preoccupied with silencing the guns bombarding Seoul.  And as to NK fortifications, well, the Allies know how to deal with those, they will not be impenetrable.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 07:11:19 AM by Healergirl »

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2013, 07:33:57 AM »
Talking of jaunty songs, I bet Kim would appreciate this cult anthem for no less a guy than Stalin. It was recorded twenty years after the Father of Peoples had passed on, and not in Russia, for sure, but in - Sweden, at the height of the left-wing swing of the seventies. The choir here are called Clenched Fists, and they formed within a very small left-wing sect party (who had no real influence on politics for sure).

Sången om Stalin

I've heard this one executed as a party trick by conservative student friends of mine. The singing is too cute, and this is...um, within a few years of "Mamma Mia". :) Hope the video isn't blocked in America.

The first few verses run:

We're singing a song resounding 'round the world
To a free republic, to the realm of the oppressor
Calling a name that shall hold us together
the song is of Stalin, our comrade and friend!

How it exults the struggle towards victory
Rebellion and class struggle it pushes to the fore.
Its sweet words resound with the working classes
raising repressed nations and peoples

We fear not death, restrictions or cannon
as our song storms the rickety walls of the patrons
Urging every man who is stepped on and robbed
join up as a soldier in our Revolution!

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2013, 07:38:22 AM »
It wasn't blocked for me.  Stalinists are to the left as Royalists are to the Right.

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2013, 07:47:00 AM »
It wasn't blocked for me.  Stalinists are to the left as Royalists are to the Right.

Good! Well, can't argue with the cheery brightness of the singing, can you?  ;)


(Looking it up on Swedish WP, I notice that it was translated from an older East German song. I'd always thought it was an original.)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 07:53:33 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2013, 08:04:56 AM »
Good Lord, no!  I'm brainwormed by the tune.  I'm humming it unless I catch myself, and I despise Stalinists!

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2013, 08:14:53 AM »
They can also be heard on a live record (together with a bunch of other bands) with the wonderful title Listen to the Song of the Machines. A mostly acoustic gig.  ;D

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2013, 08:44:31 AM »
Oh, get thee behind me, temptress!  I will have to acquire that.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2013, 09:16:18 AM »
I've always been partial to Der heimliche Aufmarsch, as propaganda anthems go. It's a bit of an earworm, and... well, it's got spirit. I can totally see how people could've been True Believers even in the worst days of Stalin, after hearing this.

Erich Weinert, Ernst Busch - Der Heimliche Aufmarsch (My translation in Russian)

Offline Oniya

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2013, 09:25:09 AM »
Aww, look at the cute little capitalist baddies!

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2013, 09:36:40 AM »
Ephiral,

I understand why people embrace Sainism, I even feel the tug myself on occasion.

But the problem with Stalinism is that you get people like Stalin running things, not people like Lincoln.

And yes Lincoln was demonstrably ruthless when he felt he needed to be.

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2013, 09:41:10 AM »
I like the fact that one of Kim Jong Il's sons, the crown prince, tried to defect to Japan because he wanted to visit the Disneyland theme park there.  :D


Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2013, 09:44:28 AM »
Im not surprised by tht.  Capitalism and it's hedonistic blandishments are so insidious, even the most ideologically pure are not safe.

Offline Neysha

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2013, 09:48:01 AM »
A lot of the artillery is of the sub 170mm variety and thus cannot hit Seoul unless forward deployed. The larger artillery pieces can hit Northern Seoul as can almost all of their rocket and missile artillery. In response Seoul and much of the area close to the DMZ has extensive shelters for civiluans. Still in a first strike, you can expect the casualties, almost all civilian, in Seoul, to reach upwards of the tens of thousands. Which is actually a considerable improvement over earlier estimates.

The Us and South Korea actually have a bit of an advantage in that as the war goes on, NK capability will degrade and the US/SK will simply grow stronger as thr conflict goes on. The artillery aimed at Seoul is the main conventional concern. But unless its combined with a general offensive, the US/SK can eventually silence them by and large with their own air support and artillery. Then what will follow is Pattons old adage of why fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man.

North Korea has very elaborate defenses and their air defense network is as advanced as say Libyas or Serbias. Libya got trashed but Serbias was able to give NATO serious headaches. One of the semi known truths is that Serbia was able to still operate despite the NATO air campaign through the use of decoys and cami and in one exceptional case, the shootdown of a F117 stealth plane more due to excellent intelligence and poor NATO planning then technological flaws. North Korea has a air defense network far more elaborate then Serbias though it might not be as good quality wise.

Also keep in mind, Serbia was able to continue operations against a guerrila force, not a first rate military. Also while Serbias mikitary suffered light casualties, their air force was practically eliminated or suppressed and eventually the Serbs realized the NATO air csmpaign was going to keep blowing up depots and garrisons and whatnot and cause logistical collapse. And if NATO ground forces did invade, the Serbs woukd either have to flee or fight in the open. Plus they fired over 400 of their best missiles and managed like three kills. Those missiles are expensive and cannot be replaced quickly.

North Korea is like Serbia on steroids in air defense. The North Korean air force is a joke and will likely be dropped in an aerial turkey shoot. This isn't because NKs are bad pilots.  Its because they only have 25 hours of flight time possibly due to fuel shortages. Still it'll take hundreds of planes and thousands of bombs and missiles to gain air superiority since unlike Iraqis or Libyans, North Koreans are likely better at deception and disguising air defense so it can't be so easily wiped out. Still, even with all that, the US/SK can probably reduce North Korean air defense south of Pyongyang in like a week. If not by blowing it uo, then because the North Koreans will have literally run out of missiles to fire. (Don't laugh, that's what happened to North Vietnam in 1973) And US pilots have become very good at evading missiles and have been for decades.

Thus after a week, those fixed defenses would then come under such a horrible barrage of guided munitions, you'll see Pattons statement finally coming true. Fixed and static defenses have almost literally become obsolete tactically for the time being.

And even if North Korea still keeps the skies clear after a week, which is possible, US/SK artillery has advanced as well with orecision guided surface to surface missiles, GPS guided super munitions, UAVs and stealth aircraft that even without air support, North Korean artillery can be mitigated without directly assaulting their defenses prematurely.

The thing is... tens of thousands of South Koreans will likely still be killed or wounded regardless before they reach their shelters or head south and out if range.

And despite all of the coolness of US/SK tech, Iraq and Serbia and Libya are likely cakewalks compared to fighting North Korea and in every probable scenario, the casualties on both sides will reflect that.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2013, 12:48:01 PM »
A couple of thoughts and concerns I've had after studying the conflict/situation...

1) I don't think China will stand by and let a U.S controlled state suddenly appear at their border. This is probably one of the trickiest things about the situation. While China doesn't necessarily support NK's current positioning, they do support NK. If push comes to shove I don't think China will back down from the U.S.

2) The scary part is that the people of NK fanatically support their country. This isn't a country divided. 
If you read news and watch documentaries on NK and it's people you'll see that they do not feel oppressed and they absolutely do love their leaders. In NK culture, the leaders and elders are revered as saviors and elevated to a status that might be considered a bit like the Pope of the Catholic church (2nd only to God.) Short of genocide there is almost no way to win a war against them.

Best case scenario if an all out conflict/war were to occur, is that the U.S. and it's allies could crush the NK military's ability to wage full scale war but they'll never be able to take control of NK.

Maybe but highly unlikely, they might be able to convince NK to become a Chinese state and what's the likelihood that anyone in the US government would even consider that as an option?

Thoughts/opinions?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:50:01 PM by Moraline »

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2013, 12:54:27 PM »
Keep in mind that the NK propaganda machine makes Stalinist Russia look like a supermarket tabloid. Nothing gets published or written within North Korea without the approval of their Ministry of Truth (or whatever it's called), even as far as foreign news agencies go. The last thing they'll allow is evidence of public unhappiness - so while I very much doubt the NK internal security has let any actual subversive activity escape, I would be very surprised if there are not pockets of discontent intermixed with the generational brainwashing. There are still families split across the DMZ, after all.

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2013, 01:09:57 PM »
Lots of peole do seem to try to NK/Chnese border as well, which indicates that there is qute a bit of unhappines in dreamland.

Moraline...

China is between a rock and a hard place.

They know, probably better than anyone, just how nuts the NK leadership is.

 They know the NK state is dying.

They don't want Korea to be unified as an American ally. 

They don't want NK to simply collapse, people will flood into China as well as  SK.

China gives conflicting signals as to how it will react to well, anything that happens to NK.

I think these are the public writhing of a government that simply does not know what to do.

And If they don't know what they are going to do, nobody else can.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2013, 01:15:35 PM »
Interesting notes from:  http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2013/04/01-north-korea-oh

Chinese position on NK
Quote
During my visit to China in November 2012, young Chinese intellectuals and party cadres expressed to me their unhappiness with the Kim regime, although they know better than to directly contradict official Chinese policy. “The ‘First Fat,’ Kim Il-sung, was sort of a comrade to us, fighting against the colonial Japanese. The ‘Second Fat,’ his son Kim Jong-il, was disliked by most Chinese but we continued to support North Korea. Now this ‘Third Fat,’ Kim Jong-un, seems to be the worst of the lot.” China’s new leadership may continue with its traditional “noninterference policy” for a while, but the young Chinese elites have already lost patience with their troublesome neighbor, a fact that Kim Jong-un and his supporters must surely be aware of.



Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #43 on: April 04, 2013, 01:24:37 PM »
adding another interesting quote that comes with a caution:  http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/100804/The-Hidden-Stories-of-North-Korea.aspx

On life in NK from the eyes of Defectors...
Quote
Defectors: Journalists covering North Korea rely heavily on defectors. More than 4,000 defectors now live in South Korea and many more live in China. They are a gold mine of information about what life is really like outside the showcase city of Pyongyang. Away from North Korean minders and informants, they tell of eating bark and bugs to survive during the years of famine and of faking tears at the funeral of North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung to feign loyalty to a despised regime. A retired chemist told me recently about watching political prisoners gassed to death with a cyanide compound as part of an experiment with chemical weapons. Others have told us about youth leagues enlisted to grow opium poppies for North Korea’s illicit drug trade. In these interviews, which often last for hours and involve considerable shedding of tears, one gets a glimpse of the flesh-and-blood people behind the caricatures.

The difficulty is that it is often hard to substantiate the claims of defectors. Desperate to win asylum, they have a powerful incentive to embellish. The unfortunate custom among some South Korean and Japanese journalists of paying for interviews adds another incentive for them to make up stories. Another problem is that defectors are not really representative of the North Korean population. As with any other refugee population, they tend to be the people who were most disenchanted with life in their home country. A disproportionate number come from a single province, North Hamgyong, at the Chinese border.

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2013, 01:25:34 PM »
reading the Brookings article now, thanks Moraline!  Will start on the second soon.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2013, 01:45:08 PM »
I stumbled on this a while back, too. Thin on details, but still rather revealing. They've polished perestroika to an art form the Soviets never dreamed of, there.

Offline Neysha

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2013, 06:09:57 PM »
Well the other worrying thing is that North Korea is almost known to have considerable stockpiles of chemical weapons. Estimates of upwards of five thousand tons of various chemical weapons, including Sarin and VX nerve gas as well as considerable amounts of various blister agents (which gas masks are largely useless against) like mustard and phosgene gas and blood agents like hydrogen cyanide. It's possible though that their chemical warfare capability has been mitigated a great deal and the stockpiles they have hopefully have degraded a great deal in quantity and quality due to the economic malaise and decline occurring in North Korea, and the lack of importation of chemical compounds into North Korea over the past several decades. Also South Korea has distributed literally hundreds of thousands of gasmasks to the civilian population or has them available and many shelters have been or are being renovated for that contingency.

And of course, any chemical attack of this nature is considered justification by the United States for responding with Nuclear, Biological or Chemical attacks of their own. But since the US doesn't deploy biological or chemical weapons anymore, that narrows down the response a fair bit, if such a response is chosen, which isn't necessarily bound to happen.

Offline Healergirl

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2013, 07:33:45 PM »
Neysha,

That is the joker in the deck.  But chemical weapons do have a shelf life and from all indications, NK maintenance and stockpile turnover is crap.

In addition... the chinese are becoming quite sensitive to how the world perceives them.  If NK does use chemical weapons, Chinese support will be iffy, to say the least.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2013, 07:38:06 PM »
Neysha,

That is the joker in the deck.  But chemical weapons do have a shelf life and from all indications, NK maintenance and stockpile turnover is crap.

In addition... the chinese are becoming quite sensitive to how the world perceives them.  If NK does use chemical weapons, Chinese support will be iffy, to say the least.
The same can be said if NK launches a war of aggression at all. China hasn't much liked NK for quite a while now, and I don't see it letting itself get dragged into a potentially ugly war with the US because NK did something dumb.

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2013, 09:50:23 PM »
Saw this one on the BBC two years ago; it speaks volumes of the intolerable conditions inside North Korea when women try to wade through a fierce, icy river as here, only to risk being sent back by China if they are caught, sent most likely to torture, labor camp or death. Heartrending.


Escaping North Korea part 1- BBC documentary (English Subs)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 09:52:29 PM by gaggedLouise »