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Author Topic: North Korea  (Read 4510 times)

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Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #50 on: May 26, 2010, 01:31:03 AM »
If I were to guess, it would turn out a lot like Iraq (the war itself, not the occupation). Kim is even more of a dick than Saddam was, and he will be perfectly happy to dump chemicals all over the place, wreaking as much environmental havoc as he could. His military would fold like a paper tiger, and it's very probable that propaganda would make the fight itself a short battle, but he and his highest ranking officers will make South Korea, Japan and the US pay however they can.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea
« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2010, 12:02:38 PM »
Korean has the 4th largest standing army in the world @ 1.2 million with something like 3 million reserve units and the ability to call up something like an additional 4 million citizens (where they start to lose against the south who could THEORETICALLY call up four times that). It is noted as being one of the most militarized nations in the world (if not THE most militarized).

To assume they would simply dry up and blow away as a paper tiger is a mistake. Would he win in the end? No. 

Do I see Seoul being habitable after his forces are crushed at a terrible cost? Oh no, not in our lifetimes. He would take pages from Stalin and with the knowledge he has on how to sour the enviroment it would be truly terrifying what he'd do to his lands, the South and Japan. I expect toxic events at the least if not something like North Korea joining the so far exclusive club of nuking another country. (Which is just us right now)

And here is a scary picture of how developed the others around them are compared to them. 


Offline mystictiger

Re: North Korea
« Reply #52 on: May 26, 2010, 02:45:09 PM »
I suspect that the torpedo attack was either a desperate move by an aging KJI in order to reassert control over his government, or a move by his military that thinks he's gotten too soft. And of course the line that they'll feed their people is that this is Western Imperialist Aggression and Lies.

ANd just a quick note about size of forces:

North Korea is number 4.

Offline mystictiger

Re: North Korea
« Reply #53 on: May 26, 2010, 03:10:59 PM »
The surface-to-surface missiles shot down during Operation Iraqi Freedom were mostly Al-Samoud 2s (basically a baby-Scud) that's half a surface-to-air missile.

What the PAC3 batteries was particularly good at was shooting down RAF fighters!

Any land war in Korea will be a horribly horribly bloody affair. Thousands of Americans will die, not to mention South Koreans and various allied countries. How long will American public opinion support a loss rate 10 or 100 times higher than what is currently going on in Vietnam?

Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #54 on: May 26, 2010, 04:18:43 PM »
Korean has the 4th largest standing army in the world @ 1.2 million with something like 3 million reserve units and the ability to call up something like an additional 4 million citizens (where they start to lose against the south who could THEORETICALLY call up four times that). It is noted as being one of the most militarized nations in the world (if not THE most militarized).

To assume they would simply dry up and blow away as a paper tiger is a mistake. Would he win in the end? No.

Who had the fourth largest army in the world before the Norks did? We were outnumbered 4:1 in that war, too.

Quote
Do I see Seoul being habitable after his forces are crushed at a terrible cost? Oh no, not in our lifetimes. He would take pages from Stalin and with the knowledge he has on how to sour the enviroment it would be truly terrifying what he'd do to his lands, the South and Japan. I expect toxic events at the least if not something like North Korea joining the so far exclusive club of nuking another country. (Which is just us right now)

Seoul is comparatively safe. As you can clearly see, the area north of it would be easy to secure. It's the rest of the border that's a problem.

The most important thing to remember, in all of this, is that this is not America's fight. We have no need to solve South Korea's problem for them. America has promised aid, and would no doubt give a great deal of air and sea support, but any war would be conducted according to South Korea's desires. They are not where they were sixty years ago.

Offline Brandon

Re: North Korea
« Reply #55 on: May 26, 2010, 07:02:26 PM »
Who had the fourth largest army in the world before the Norks did? We were outnumbered 4:1 in that war, too.

Seoul is comparatively safe. As you can clearly see, the area north of it would be easy to secure. It's the rest of the border that's a problem.

The most important thing to remember, in all of this, is that this is not America's fight. We have no need to solve South Korea's problem for them. America has promised aid, and would no doubt give a great deal of air and sea support, but any war would be conducted according to South Korea's desires. They are not where they were sixty years ago.

I would agree that this isnt our war but unfortunately as arrogant as our society is I have no doubts in my mind that it will become our war when (not if, when) we get involved. You see America can never just be involved in something, in our society we have to frame the narrative of history and do enough so that it seems like were the only country that can save the day or the only reason it needs saving.


Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea
« Reply #56 on: May 26, 2010, 07:07:24 PM »
I would agree that this isnt our war but unfortunately as arrogant as our society is I have no doubts in my mind that it will become our war when (not if, when) we get involved. You see America can never just be involved in something, in our society we have to frame the narrative of history and do enough so that it seems like were the only country that can save the day or the only reason it needs saving.

Don't forget if they launch on Japan, we're required by treaty to render aid to the Japanese.  Of course I'm sure some folks think we should forego that since it was only a promise made at the end of a massive war and all that. Thing is there is a dozen ways we can be pulled into the conflict.

(The one that scares me is that his missiles CAN reach the US, he'll take a shot at the West Coast as well)

Offline Archivist

Re: North Korea
« Reply #57 on: May 26, 2010, 07:19:18 PM »
To interject a somewhat more hopeful note into this: http://www.newsweek.com/id/238457

Quote
By all appearances, the Korean peninsula is a tinderbox: since South Korea blamed its northern neighbor for sinking the warship Cheonan  in March, the countries have ratcheted up the rhetoric, threatened to blast propaganda across the border, cut off trade, and tried to draw allies like Washington and Beijing to their side. North Korea has put on a show of denial and intransigence. Its National Defense Commission claimed the investigation was a "farce" and threatened an "all-out war" if Seoul and the international community slap sanctions on the North; in fact, four North Korean submarines have been missing from a naval base since Monday, putting the Southern navy on high alert.

But this isn't quite the meltdown it appears to be. While Kim is publicly holding firm, behind the scenes his government seems to be trying to find a way out of the fracas. Its language has become more moderate, it may be contemplating an apology, and it may already have punished a naval commander in connection with the torpedo attack. That means the crisis is likely to fall far short of the "all-out war" the North initially promised. The softer side of Kim Jong-il's regime, it seems, wants out of this crisis, stat.

I won't lie... I have a vested interest in this given that someone close to me might soon be going to Seoul, and I have to hope with all my heart that this is true.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 07:20:28 PM by Archivist »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2010, 07:27:00 PM »
Also keep in mind that South Korea makes up like 38% of their export business with only China being more (@ 42%)

That's courtesy of the World Fact Book

Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2010, 07:28:11 PM »
News outlets can spin it however they want. One of them sued for and won the right to lie to its audience, about a major company poisoning their audience's groundwater.

Their legal right to lie, however, does not change reality. Fundamentally speaking: America can want to call the shots in Korea. That does not make it capable of doing so.

Sure, we will get involved, and provide a great deal of aid. But it will be the South Korean army that wins the war, on South Korean schedules according to South Korean goals, at best backed up by American naval, air, and space superiority, with American political clout keeping China from getting too testy.



And yeah. The North knows a military conflict would be quick, brutal, not the slightest in its favor. That is assuming that everything functions as well for the North as it hopes it does.

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Re: North Korea
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2010, 07:46:01 PM »
For the right price, North Korea could be taken care of certainly. Why put up with the bullshit of war any longer? Diplomacy has worn out long ago with many countries. Forget nukes, just take them out a good old fashion hunt.

Offline mystictiger

Re: North Korea
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2010, 02:25:09 AM »
News outlets can spin it however they want. One of them sued for and won the right to lie to its audience, about a major company poisoning their audience's groundwater.

Their legal right to lie, however, does not change reality. Fundamentally speaking: America can want to call the shots in Korea. That does not make it capable of doing so.

Sure, we will get involved, and provide a great deal of aid. But it will be the South Korean army that wins the war, on South Korean schedules according to South Korean goals, at best backed up by American naval, air, and space superiority, with American political clout keeping China from getting too testy.



And yeah. The North knows a military conflict would be quick, brutal, not the slightest in its favor. That is assuming that everything functions as well for the North as it hopes it does.

Look at what happened in the US-led Kosovo intervention - the much vaunted US superiority led to a grand total of  14 tanks being destroyed (as opposed to the US estimate of 120). When a county has been preparing for generations to fight a numerically and technologically superior foe, it will find ways to blunt advantages.

Look at what happened in the invasions of Iraq - more British troops have died since than during. And they were people who -hated- their leader.

As for the first Korean War: peak unit strengths on both sides were approximately equal. Granted, those 44 Luxembourgers probably didn't do all that much of any use, but the UN force had 1.2m while the Communists had about the same.

The final comment is probably more accurately referred to as:

And yeah. The North is gambling on the fact that any military conflict will result in horrific casualties, and that an over-stretched America is going to be unwilling to fight it, and therefore be able to extort more concessions from the South. In the end, a war on the Korean peninsula could well plunge the world back into recession as a fairly decent supply of manufactured and tech goods gets turned into rubble.

Armed conflicts are never short unless you're fighting in the middle of nowhere and outnumber the enemy at least 10 to one.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 02:34:10 AM by mystictiger »

Offline Asuras

Re: North Korea
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2010, 02:54:34 AM »
Quote from: Vekseid
No they won't. I you are talking about nuclear arms, they don't even have a working warhead yet.

Actually, that's a good point. Maybe they don't have warheads. But that's a point for me I think.

They've tested nuclear weapons - no one disputes that. If they haven't been able to make warheads out of them, then that only means that it's a few years out before they do have them. That doesn't affect my point; in fact it supports it since if they don't have warheads they still don't have the capability to throw nukes at Japan. They can still be stopped before that's possible.

Quote from: Vekseid
If you are talking about missiles, they're breaking their economy to support their currently ridiculous level of militarization.

Ridiculous as it is, they've been doing that for more than a half-century so I don't why they'll be stalled now.

Quote from: Vekseid
Nine out of nine shot down in Operation Iraqi LiberationFreedom. Their track record for 1:1 kills against tests on more modern systems is poorer, yes, but
1) Expecting a 1:1 kill ratio is ludicrously stupid. Not just in terms of practicality, but when dealing with a nuclear or chemical warhead, it is economical to have 10:1 ratios.
2) North Korea does not have access to the latest, or best, missile technology. Its tech is a lot more like Iraq's in this regard.
3) ABM technology is demonstrably progressive faster than BM tech.
4) A single ballistic missile costs multiple orders of magnitude more than an ABM, after R&D is out of the way. It's easy to dismiss the amount of R&D we put into ballistic missiles in the first place when looking at this.

Every missile Iraq fired in OIF was shot down. The ratio was around 2:1.

Shooting down a tactical ballistic missile is completely different from shooting down an ICBM which flies at a far higher altitude and a far higher speed. Compare the Taepodong-2 to what Iraq threw at us.

Quote from: Callie del Noire
We don't have the ground forces in place to counter any offensive. Even if we did we don't have the MOPP gear to protect our forces (much less South Korea and Japan.

We invaded Iraq with 300,000 men; we only have 90,000 there now. I think that the notion that our resources are overstretched is...overstretched. But I'm also not saying that this is something we can do with just a flick of the wrist.

Additionally, the South Koreans - who are extremely well equipped - have some 3.6 million men including reservists against 5 or 6 million North Korean soldiers who are very poorly equipped. Our air force certainly isn't tied up so we can certainly provide massive air support. The whole reason that the North Koreans have built up artillery around Seoul is because they know the South could beat them alone.

Quote from: Callie del Noire
And so long as he THREATENS but doesn't do.. he's walking that thing line that says he can be bought. Toss a missile over the Japan main islands.. he's hinting that he can be bought.. drop one in downtown Tokyo.. you've just pulled a 9/11 and the US/Japan won't come to the table till he's out of power.

He's a bandit king with modern weapons. He wants to get something from us, concessions, trade options and some form of empowerment. You show you CAN do something..the bigger power will negotiate. You DO IT.. they won't stop till you personally are dead, locked up but most assuredly out of power.

Right, well let's consider things ten years out. Say that he has a few dozen deliverable nuclear weapons and he is, like you say, a bandit king out for ransom.

In 2020, he throws a nuke at Nagoya to demonstrate he's capable of it, and announces that he has a second one to throw at Tokyo if anyone bothers to do anything about it. That is consistent with the "bandit king" logic, right?

Now it seems extremely important to avoid such a situation.

Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2010, 06:11:04 AM »
Actually, that's a good point. Maybe they don't have warheads. But that's a point for me I think.

I'm not sure what you're referring to, exactly. Until he tests a non-dud, he is capable of doing far more damage with his conventional and chemical stocks. That's why there has been no progression.

Quote
They've tested nuclear weapons - no one disputes that. If they haven't been able to make warheads out of them, then that only means that it's a few years out before they do have them. That doesn't affect my point; in fact it supports it since if they don't have warheads they still don't have the capability to throw nukes at Japan. They can still be stopped before that's possible.

They've tested a pair of duds, and there weren't any radioisotopes detected from the second - though that doesn't mean too much.

Quote
Ridiculous as it is, they've been doing that for more than a half-century so I don't why they'll be stalled now.

You seemed to be suggesting that they will somehow manage to develop a missile fleet of ten thousand or more.

Quote
Shooting down a tactical ballistic missile is completely different from shooting down an ICBM which flies at a far higher altitude and a far higher speed. Compare the Taepodong-2 to what Iraq threw at us.

And with yet more warning time. It is still a ballistic trajectory.

Quote
Right, well let's consider things ten years out. Say that he has a few dozen deliverable nuclear weapons and he is, like you say, a bandit king out for ransom.

In 2020, he throws a nuke at Nagoya to demonstrate he's capable of it, and announces that he has a second one to throw at Tokyo if anyone bothers to do anything about it. That is consistent with the "bandit king" logic, right?

Kim could detonate a nuke in Japanese territorial waters, killing no one, and it would not matter. Japan's treaty with the United States includes a guarantee that if Japan is struck with a nuclear weapon, America will respond in kind. The United States had to remind China of this sort of thing regarding its "Nuclear EMP" plan in one of its Taiwan reclamation strategies.

This, of course, is assuming that the missile defense systems in place are ineffective at that time, and that North Korea actually manages to get a working ballistics program and finish the development of a missile-deployable warhead. And even then, despite that, it is questionable whether or not your hypothetical situation puts more lives at risk than a war with South Korea now.

Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2010, 06:28:29 AM »
To add another point, North Korea couldn't build missiles as accurate as ours if we gave them the factories, the personnel and the raw materials to build them.

A non-prize for whoever guesses why, but it's really just an illustration - a lot goes into building a nuke, and a lot goes into building a long-range missile, and some of the things required are not immediately obvious.


Offline Phaia

Re: North Korea
« Reply #65 on: May 27, 2010, 12:21:56 PM »
To add another point, North Korea couldn't build missiles as accurate as ours if we gave them the factories, the personnel and the raw materials to build them.

I really hate to disagree with you but this report is very telling!
Authored by http://www.securityaffairs.org/issues/2009/16/kueter.php
"The Journal of International Security Affairs"
Yes It would be considered a conservative think tank but then that term is badly used these days!

The following in red is quoted from their section on the growing threat of missiles world wide.
1]""The drawdown in missile arsenals by the U.S. and the Soviet Union/Russia may have reduced the total of ballistic missiles worldwide since the end of the Cold War, but the number of countries fielding some type of ballistic missile capability has increased substantially. Today, some 28 countries are estimated to be capable of fielding ballistic missiles of various varieties.[9] Part of this increase is attributable to the Soviet Union's fragmentation into many independent states, some of which (e.g., Belarus and Kazakhstan) maintained the arsenals stationed on their territories during Soviet times. Yet, many countries, particularly in the Middle East, are also acquiring longer-range and more powerful missiles through indigenous development or purchase from China, Russia, and North Korea.""
So even if you think that North Korea's missile technology is poor other countries do not and in fact a large amount of North Korea's cash inflow comes from selling missiles.

2]""North Korea not only poses a threat to U.S. interests and allies in East Asia, such as Japan and South Korea, but to the continental U.S. itself. Its role as a key cog in the international marketplace for missile technology lends it additional importance. On July 4, 2006, North Korea tested the Taepo Dong 2, with the capability of hitting the west coast of the U.S. (3,500-5,500-kilometer range).[19] Despite the missile's failure 40 seconds after launch, U.S. officials say, “North Korea’s engineers probably learned enough to make modifications, not only to its long-range ballistic missiles, but also to its shorter-range systems.” As of this writing, North Korea reportedly is preparing for another round of missile tests. ""
Even failure teaches you something so assuming they do not have the capability is honestly not very smart!

3]""North Korea possesses an increasingly capable arsenal of SRBMs and MRBMs in addition to its Taepo Dong 2 program. Its short-range ballistic missiles are variants on the basic SCUD design. It purchased approximately 100 Hwasong 5 (300-kilometer range) road-mobile SCUD-B missiles and indigenously produced around 100 Hwasong 6 and 7 (500- and 700-kilometer ranges, respectively) missiles.[21] The Hwasong 6 and 7s give Pyongyang the ability to “bombard all targets in South Korea critical to a Communist invasion.”"

""North Korea’s operational medium-range No Dong (1,300-kilometer range) missiles are single-stage, liquid-fueled missiles derived from SCUD technology. No Dong research and development in the 1980s produced the Taepo Dong programs. The Taepo Dong 1 is a medium-range missile (1,500-2,000-kilometer range) carrying a 1,000-1,500-kilogram warhead to target. Pyongyang tested the Taepo Dong 1 over the Sea of Japan on August 31, 1998, generating a political firestorm in Japan and the U.S.[23] In total, North Korea is estimated to have deployed at least 750 ballistic missiles, including between 600-800 SCUDs, 150-2,000 No Dongs, and 10-20 Taepo Dong 1s.[24]""


If you read closely the estimates range from at least 750 to close to 3000 missiles! To just with a wave of the hand dismiss North Korea's missile threat and blandly state they couldn't build them even if we gave them the factories actually flies in the face of the data!


A non-prize for whoever guesses why, but it's really just an illustration - a lot goes into building a nuke, and a lot goes into building a long-range missile, and some of the things required are not immediately obvious.

http://www.cdi.org/nuclear/nk-fact-sheet.cfm
This group is a bit more liberal leaning and the report is from 2003 and in there they have some very serious data.

quoting from their report!

''"On Oct. 16, 2002, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush disclosed that North Korea had admitted to having a program to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons. ""
...
""North Korea began nuclear research in 1964, when Kim Il Sung, the father of the current leader, Kim Jong Il, ordered construction of an atomic energy research complex in Yongbyon, 60 miles north of Pyongyang. In the 1970s, North Korea modernized the facility and began work on a second reactor nearby""
...
""In 1989, North Korea shut down its working reactor for two months — probably to remove the nuclear fuel rods, from which plutonium is reprocessed. 10   U.S. intelligence reports generally estimate that North Korea extracted 12-14 kilograms of plutonium from the rods, enough for one or two nuclear weapons. Japanese and South Korean intelligence estimates claim North Korea may have extracted more plutonium during reactor slowdowns in 1990 and 1991, giving the country up to 24 kilograms of plutonium""
...
""In 1994, the administration of President Bill Clinton had begun preparations for military action against North Korea when former President Jimmy Carter traveled to North Korea in June and extracted a promise from Kim Jong Il to freeze nuclear production. 1   The Agreed Framework was signed on Oct. 21, 1994""
...
""The Yongbyon facility today houses 3,000 scientists and researchers, many of whom studied nuclear technology in the Soviet Union, China and Pakistan. The military runs the nuclear weapons program along with the intelligence service — under the direct supervision of President Kim Jong-Il."'
...


This sounds like a country intent on gaining nuclear weapons and to dismiss their ability is honestly like burying your head in the sand!\

Read the reports and also other data out there! even the 'lying' news agency have reported on North Korea's nuclear testing.


Phaia

Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2010, 07:48:22 PM »
No one is saying that their missiles aren't a threat. Rather the opposite, I am saying that their missiles are more of a threat now - especially to South Korea - than people like Asuras are giving them credit for, and those missiles, many of them loaded with chemicals, would make life miserable for millions of South Koreans in the event of an invasion.

However, it's far for feasible for the South to acquire several thousand ABM batteries over the next decade than it is for the North to be able to multiply its stock by a factor of ten to a hundred.

Offline mystictiger

Re: North Korea
« Reply #67 on: May 28, 2010, 02:56:40 AM »
And what about artillery shells with NBC warheads?

Seoul is -already- in range. No patriot missile will be able to stop those.

Offline Vekseid

Re: North Korea
« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2010, 04:25:45 AM »
Right now shooting down artillery is somewhat fanciful as an idea (especially the self-guided munitions I did work on in a former life) - but it's still a ballistics problem. Something goes up, intercepting it is a matter of spotting it and calculating the trajectory fast enough.

And as I mentioned - that stuff is exactly why the South does not just roll into North Korea. They have chemical weapons, and tens of thousands of artillery bunkers aimed at South Korean cities all along the border. It would take a lot of very obvious buildup to counter that.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 04:27:13 AM by Vekseid »

Offline BCdan

Re: North Korea
« Reply #69 on: May 29, 2010, 01:23:52 PM »
Not to mention the possibility of nuclear weapons.  North Korea knows that it would lose a war, so it compensates by making any war far too costly to declare and by introducing a lot of unstable elements into the equation. 


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Re: North Korea
« Reply #70 on: May 30, 2010, 11:43:41 AM »
According to what I could dredge up from various sources, I've found out the following.

North Korea has two possible nukes.  Possible in terms of them being untested but they do have the material and possibly the know-how to muster that much.  Even if the things don't detonate, the result of a conventional explosion scattering that much weapons grade uranium over a wide area is something I don't wish to contemplate.  And then that leaves out the possibility of chemical and biological weapons.

Their missiles are low-tech in comparison to the missiles the West can field, being similar in sophistication to the V1 missiles devised by von Braun in the forties.  Given the problems these caused in Britain, I would not cite their lack of sophistication as being cause for disregarding them.  Indeed, that lack of sophistication is an issue, as the things are not as predictable in their trajectories as more advanced missiles; their guidance systems are too prone to malfunction.  So the missile defence systems that were quietly installed in neighbouring countries last Winter may be hard pressed to deal with them.  Or they may find the North Korean missiles ridiculously easy to shoot out of the sky.  The trouble is, we won't know unless push comes to shove.

Lastly, it is debatable how much of this is actually down to Kim Jong-Il's policy anyway.  I'm not sure how potent a leader a 68 (or 69, if you trust the Russian records) year old suffering from diabetes, the effects of at least two strokes and pancreatic cancer can be.  My guess is that the situation in North Korea is that the various possible successors are all jockeying to gain an advantage over the others in the current power vacuum while they all wait for when Kim finally pops his clogs.  Consequently, North Korean foreign policy depends on which of the five possible successors (three sons, one son-in-law and a general) has the ascendancy. The result of this is that what the N Koreans will do is unpredictable and, given the testosterone fuelled nature of this power-struggle, the only thing we can be sure of is that whatever the response, it will be bellicose.  If any of them even looks to be weak (i.e. likely to back down to international pressure) they're out of the running and the personal consequences of that would probably be fatal.

All in all it's a damn nasty situation.