Here’s what war with North Korea would look like
Sep 06, · A war with North Korea would probably be a combination of both types of conflict, played out in phases, according to former generals who Author: Robin Wright. Feb 08, · What follows is a guide to what a conflict with North Korea might look like. War is inherently unpredictable: It’s possible Kim would use every type of weapon of mass destruction he possesses, and Author: Yochi Dreazen.
Over the past half century, the United States has fought only one big war—in Kuwait, in —that was a conventional conflict. Operation Desert Storm launched a U. Fewer than a hundred and fifty Americans died in battle. In each, asymmetric conflicts stymied the United States.
Wars dragged on for years. Death tolls were in the thousands—in Vietnam, tens of what would a war with north korea look like. The aftermath—and unintended consequences—were far messier and bloodier.
The price tags were in the trillions of dollars. A war with North Korea would probably be a combination of both types of conflict, played out in phases, according to former what would a war with north korea look like who served in Korea and military specialists. The first phase, they say, would be a conventional war pitting North Korea against American and South Korean forces.
In the first scenario, the United States could engage in what is known as a left-of-launch strike just before a North Korean missile liftoffor in the first seconds of its flight. The regime of Kim Jong Un has already conducted eighteen missile tests this year. South Korea reported this week that Pyongyang may test another intercontinental ballistic missile within days. If the Trump Administration chose to thwart a missile test now or in the future, former generals and military analysts told me, North Korea is likely to retaliate, possibly escalating tensions into open warfare and unleashing weaponry Pyongyang feared it might otherwise lose in U.
The second possible scenario would be North Korea initiating military action because of fears or signals that the United States is close to an attack. The signals could range from small steps, such as Washington pulling out diplomatic dependents from South Korea, to major actions, such as deploying more military aircraft, equipment, personnel, or even nuclear weapons in the South.
Fiery rhetoric from both sides has escalated tensions over the past month. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. The only deal Kim might now consider is a freeze—and at a heavy price from the West, which the White House seems unwilling to negotiate. If war erupted, the first phase would likely play out for at least a month, and possibly many weeks more. Luck, the former commander of both U. North Korea how to cheat online games almost 1.
Partly because there is still no formal end to the last Korean War, only an armistice, the United States has about twenty-eight thousand troops deployed in South Korea, with tens of thousands more in the U. Pacific Command. In the end, North Korea would lose a war, the generals and military analysts say.
The regime of Kim Jong Un would probably collapse. But the Second Korean War could be deadly—producing tens of thousands of deaths just in Seoul, and possibly a million casualties in the South alone. It would almost certainly be devastating physically in both the North and South, military experts say. During the first Korean War, between andthe United States lost more than thirty thousand troops in battle.
South Korea lost almost a quarter million troops and a million civilians. In North Korea, just over a million troops and civilians are estimated to have died. There are twenty-five million people in South Korea within artillery range of North Korea.
As bad as the scenario for the first phase seems, the second phase could then get worse. A what is an apr rate on mortgages conflict could then devolve into the now familiar kind of insurgency that U.
Loyalists to the Kim regime might fight on in covert cells and costly guerrilla attacks. Numerous war games have analyzed what it would take to eliminate the regime and its weaponry, he noted, but little has been done to study what might happen afterward.
The same problem plagued military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan: they achieved their initial goals only to get sucked into open-ended quagmire. Marks, the retired general, compared U. One of the big unknowns is what What would a war with north korea look like would do if war were to break out in the neighboring Korean Peninsula.
Beijing does not want North Korea to have nuclear weapons. The latest U. Beijing views North Korea as a buffer to prevent Western influence along its border. It does not want reunification of the peninsula. And China would be just as concerned as the United States would be if another country came that close to U. And if the United States and China are belligerents, everything is up for grabs.
The dire predictions about what a possible war with North Korea would look like are among the many reasons that current and former military officials strongly favor more diplomatic outreach—whatever President Trump says publicly. Talking is not how to make pastry sheets answer! Nobody wants another war in Korea.
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy What are some natural resources in virginia. Tammy Ki m. By Amy Davidson Sorki n. Raffi Khatchadourian on Colonel James S. Robin Wrighta contributing writer and columnist, has written for The New Yorker since Read More.
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Analysis: What would war with North Korea look like?
Apr 10, · North Korea is the geopolitical equivalent of the drunken uncle at a wedding. What if the world tried to kick out the drunk uncle and take the fight to North Korea? The good news is North Korea would almost certainly lose. The bad news is everything else. Here's what war with the DPRK might look like. In North Korea, U.S. troops would be working with their South Korean counterparts and might not be needed to work with North Korean forces after the initial "direct action" phase, he said. Since the end of the Korean War, the North has developed asymmetric capabilities in areas such as biological, chemical, and cyber. Some estimates indicate that North Korea possesses 2, to 5, metric tons of chemical weapons including nerve agents like sarin and VX. Biological weapons such as small pox and anthrax may also play a role.
Subscriber Account active since. In a secret underground base, Command Post Tango, the combined headquarters of the U. North Korean artillery has pummeled sites around Seoul, leaving thousands of South Korean and American civilians and service members dead.
A toxic combination of North Korean provocations and U. As the generals fill an auditorium-sized sand-table battlefield showing the disposition of friendly forces and the extent of likely follow-up attacks, hundreds of thousands of South Koreans are displaced in and around Seoul, seeking shelter and safety. Army intelligence officer in South Korea, I helped prepare for various war scenarios by testing assumptions and refining war plans in several theaterwide exercises.
A guard post is seen near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, August 14, We can expect a massive humanitarian crisis, enormous loss of life, and economic disaster. What could provoke North Korea to start such a conflict? And the belligerent rhetoric of North Korean propaganda, with its talk of triumph and total war, could leave its own leaders mistakenly convinced that they would win such a conflict, just as the sloppy toughness coming out of the White House might leave them convinced that the United States is about to strike anyway.
Whatever the prompt, once the decision is made to attack, North Korea will move swiftly to accomplish its war objectives — either to seize all of its southern neighbor and make itself de facto master of the peninsula or to execute a limited attack to remind the world of its teeth. From the beginning, the North will operate on a ticking clock. The logistical capabilities of the North Korean military, assuming only limited wartime assistance from China at best, will only last for a few days before the country runs out of food, ammunition, fuel, and water.
Some units may be able to operate for as long as a few weeks, but maintaining supply lines across mountainous terrain will be an almost impossible task. The North will most likely lose its major command-and-control infrastructure in the first few hours, crippling its ability to communicate across the battlefield.
That will leave the North with only a brief window to entertain dreams of victory. That means a massive barrage in the first few hours of the conflict, targeting the largest U. Other targets could include air and naval bases in the South, and possibly Japan, to prevent an allied counterattack and soften defenses for a possible entry by the North Korean military along the DMZ or via small-scale amphibious landings in the east and west.
Although estimates vary, some figures indicate that North Korea has approximately 1, missiles positioned across the country and most of them within reach of Seoul. To put that in context, each would be enough to annihilate anything in one to two city blocks. Since the end of the Korean War, the North has developed asymmetric capabilities in areas such as biological, chemical, and cyber.
Some estimates indicate that North Korea possesses 2, to 5, metric tons of chemical weapons including nerve agents like sarin and VX. Biological weapons such as small pox and anthrax may also play a role. In the event of a war, North Korea will not hesitate to launch chemical and biological weapons at South Korean and U.
A biologically or chemically contaminated site would have to be treated with special care, requiring all forces in the area to don protective gear and severely disrupting South Korean and U. Delivering these payloads would not be challenging, as North Korean missiles are capable of carrying chemical and biological weapons in place of conventional explosives. Decentralized attacks could also be in the cards, as North Korea has reportedly recruited hundreds of spies across the world to conduct various missions.
Those agents would likely be blended into the larger North Korean population and could be activated to carry out attacks using weapons of mass destruction in the South. The secretive Bureau participates in offensive cyber-operations and has establishments across the world that could ensure that there will be no interruption of cyberattacks even in the event of heavy South Korean and U.
Another attack could shut down the energy grid in the Seoul region. Food would turn bad, patients would struggle to survive as medical equipment failed, and personal communications would collapse. The South Korean and U. Whether confined to conventional artillery or supplemented by unconventional warfare, within the first few hours of the conflict, tens of thousands of people will be dead and large swaths of Seoul in smoldering ruins. The South Korean capital is one of the most densely populated places in the world; some 43, people live in each square mile of the city.
The United States will quickly activate its evacuation plan to gather all U. Millions of Seoul residents will attempt to flee their homes; however, the frequent artillery attacks, patchy gas supplies, and blocked roads will make any escape from the city challenging.
There are some other options. Seoul residents have subway stations, tunnels, and bomb shelters where they could seek cover from the artillery barrage, as they have repeatedly drilled for.
Several stations can hold thousands of people and were dug deep underground with a dual-use purpose. Some even have backup generators and water facilities. The South Korean government will attempt to establish makeshift camps, away from the intense fighting, to provide basic necessities, but the feasibility of such a system is uncertain.
What is certain is that it would trigger one of the greatest humanitarian crises in recent history, leaving millions of Koreans internally displaced refugees. After the first day, a significant number of the original 28, U. The remainder will form the core of the U. Reinforcements and supplies from Japan, Australia, and the mainland would begin pre-deployment procedures to arrive on the peninsula in a few days.
At the same time, the vast U. Dozens of jets will stream across the peninsula, destroying North Korean bases and troop formations along the DMZ. Hundreds of Tomahawk missiles will light up the sky destined for targets deep in North Korea. Almost all the countries in the world will condemn the conventional attack.
The United Nations will call for an emergency meeting to work a cease-fire among all warring parties. If that proves to be the case, this would ensure significant pressure against North Korea to stop all offensive operations.
The chief diplomatic objective would be to avoid the disaster of a nuclear response. The negotiations will be incredibly challenging. That might restrain the United States from a full-throated assault into the North itself, wary of triggering a suicidal response from a regime about to topple — and with the generals aware of the danger of prompting a response from China.
Beijing might not like Pyongyang, but U. However, the United States would move the entire world to ban almost all trade and aid with North Korea immediately to force the regime to cooperate and possibly accept an unconditional surrender. But with South Korean and U. While chaos rages around Seoul, North Korea could use submarines , as it has in the past, to slip into South Korea special forces capable of conducting guerrilla operations and disrupting U.
North Korean special forces and regular troops could also enter the South through several underground tunnels across the DMZ. The North has made digging tunnels a priority, and, since , South Korea has been discovering infiltration routes into its territory. Although just four tunnels are known to the public, more than 20 tunnels are estimated to have been dug, from as close to the surface as just a meter to meters underground.
In some of the more elaborate tunnels , mechanical fans provided ventilation, electric lines were wired throughout, and mining carts could ferry materials back and forth. Some figures suggest that up to 8, troops per tunnel could move into South Korea every hour, amassing a formidable North Korean force within the space of a few hours to march south. The United States would have several options to counter the North Korean underground movements, given years of fighting experience against insurgents in Afghanistan; its main weapon would likely be bunker-buster bombs to destroy the tunnels and anything in them.
But North Korean forces are already — more figuratively — underground in the South. The guerrilla tactics adopted by the North Korean forces in South Korea include assassinating key South Korean leaders, sabotaging military and paramilitary efforts, and intimidating citizens to side with North Korea.
The actual makeshift war bases are unknown, but the massive Olympic Stadium could be selected as one of the bases due to its cultural significance and vast facilities. This would offer the opportunity for the North Korean forces to carry out a massive attack, perhaps with an improvised explosive device, from inside the stadium.
The North Koreans would be aided by their shared ethnic and linguistic heritage with their southern neighbors. At an opportune time, North Korean special forces in the stadium could detonate explosives and quickly follow up with an attack to target fleeing reservists and first responders.
Snipers positioned a few hundred yards away would have a great vantage point across the parking lot and into the stadium. The ensuing commotion would be played on loop in North Korea, showing how the heroic North Korean forces were winning the war and would soon return home victorious.
South Korean and U. The deaths of thousands of U. After all the North Korean strikes and allied counterstrikes, South Korea and the United States will eventually prevail in toppling the Kim regime after a bloody, pyrrhic war. Even a couple of weeks of fighting will leave behind sights more suited to Stalingrad than Seoul, a ruined city marked by small-arms fire, annihilating missiles, and unexploded ordnance.
Sites such as the Blue House and the U. Embassy will be destroyed, neighborhoods will be razed, and thousands of military and paramilitary forces will blanket the South. Corpses will litter the streets, and many people will lose their entire families.
The Kim dynasty will be expunged, leaving North Koreans to face a far more difficult situation than the famine in the s. China will face a humanitarian crisis on its border as North Koreans migrate north in search of food and water. The United States, Japan, and other developed countries will be under significant pressure to adopt tens of thousands of refugees from both sides. The death toll due to the hostilities could total in the hundreds of thousands , but the humanitarian crisis on the peninsula will result in far more through disease and malnutrition and could take decades to heal.
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