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North Korea at it again

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2 hours ago, waveshaper said:

-  Another way to send a serious "symbolic" message to North Korea would be for the USAF to start staging/launching our long range, nuclear capable bombers (B-2/B-52), from "Tinian Airfield" . We will probably need to add a couple thousand feet to the runway before we start launching these saber ratting/show of force missions from this airfield. Tinian would become "once again" the home of the "509th" Expeditionary Bomb Squadron/Group/Wing. (Sarcasm, I think).

 

Agreed. I took a short field arrestment at Tinian a few years ago and it was awfully small, even for a fighter.

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13 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Another good article from WOR:

https://warontherocks.com/2017/08/deterring-north-korea-the-next-nuclear-tailoring-agenda/

Just my two cents but in this one particular security threat to the world, our nation and allies we should carve out an exception to our/their policies and treaty obligations (NPT) and allow for a small scale development and deployment of a limited, regionally aligned and declared tactical nuclear military deterrent.  This would be for SK and Japan to organically deter NK.

- Delivery systems only built to limited range, in this case about 225 NM to not threaten China.  SK would be land based, Japan would build a sea based deterrence system.

- Limited deployment, at most, 30 missiles per SK and Japan. 

- Very limited warhead yield, 5 kiloton maximum yield.  Target intention is for deployed formations of conventional forces or static military / industrial installations.  

- Develop and share Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator technology for deeply bunkered targets.

- Targeting policy of no civilian population centers, only military / political installations.  Reduces deterrence capability and could be stymied by human shielding but philosophically it is to be considered a necessary evil with every intention of only holding military targets at risk.

- No first strike policy.  Reduces deterrence again but a philosophical statement of defensive and deterrent capability only.

The Army is already developing Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) to replace the MGM-140 ATACMS which SK already has, develop a nuclear capable variant with a new small yield warhead and keep the DPRK at bay.  If nothing, this will light a fire under China to change the behavior of NK as this would take sometime to develop, train and deploy and the only way for them to stop SK and Japan from attaining a nuclear deterrence capability is to eliminate the reason for their attaining it.

Not sure that SK and Japan would get along all that well without the US Leviathan...domestic politics could very easily resort to jingoism, especially under the potential of Chinese info-ops.  Now you have historical enemies with nukes.

In any case, we need to shape the situation in advance by assuring China of no US ground troops north of DMZ either during or after offensive ops.

Edited by Weezer
Added info

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14 hours ago, Weezer said:

Not sure that SK and Japan would get along all that well without the US Leviathan...domestic politics could very easily resort to jingoism, especially under the potential of Chinese info-ops.  Now you have historical enemies with nukes.

In any case, we need to shape the situation in advance by assuring China of no US ground troops north of DMZ either during or after offensive ops.

True - this could require rapprochement between SK and Japan prior to development but if nothing changes in the overall strategic situation then nothing will ever change.

+1 for your idea of no American boots north of the 38th in the event of things going loud/kinetic but it might need to be caveated for no permanent or occupation forces, not sure if the ROK could generate their reserves fast enough to do the job(s) without direct American / Coalition forces, just my guess so worth what you paid for it.

19 hours ago, waveshaper said:

^IMHO, this might be a bridge to far^.

Knowledge...

Copy and it might be, good stuff on how the Share a Nuke program works with the NATO partners.

If really want to send a signal that we are serious, start sending dependents home to the CONUS.  Coordinate some evacuation of towns nearest the DMZ, bolster defenses in Seoul (air raid shelters, ROK Army checkpoints, etc...) and deploy more BMD.

Then offer a cooling off period followed by no pre-conditioned negotiations with all parties present, they will never agree to certain pre-conditions and neither will we so why keep demanding something we or them will never get.

Edited by Clark Griswold
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Article from The Atlantic on NK:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-worst-problem-on-earth/528717/

BLUF:  Four ways to deal with NK (quoted from article) 

1. Prevention: A crushing U.S. military strike to eliminate Pyongyang’s arsenals of mass destruction, take out its leadership, and destroy its military. It would end North Korea’s standoff with the United States and South Korea, as well as the Kim dynasty, once and for all.

2. Turning the screws: A limited conventional military attack—or more likely a continuing series of such attacks—using aerial and naval assets, and possibly including narrowly targeted Special Forces operations. These would have to be punishing enough to significantly damage North Korea’s capability—but small enough to avoid being perceived as the beginning of a preventive strike. The goal would be to leave Kim Jong Un in power, but force him to abandon his pursuit of nuclear ICBMs.

3. Decapitation: Removing Kim and his inner circle, most likely by assassination, and replacing the leadership with a more moderate regime willing to open North Korea to the rest of the world.

4. Acceptance: The hardest pill to swallow—acquiescing to Kim’s developing the weapons he wants, while continuing efforts to contain his ambition.

Call me naive and crazy but if a military solution is not possible, if a standard diplomatic proposal(s) of sanctions / relief from sanctions are not really breaking the ice then something needs to come from left field and let's face it, the current POTUS is likely the only politician willing / capable of throwing something like that into the ring.  

What is needed (IMO) is a new option / proposal that:

Changes the situation on the ground, gives the NK regime something, the SK government something and the people of Korea something and moves slowly and steadily away from the current situation of cessation of hostilities by armistice rather than treaty, with borders that encourage military tension and lack of robust engagement (economic and cultural).  

The NK regime has no interest in opening up their nation to the world but we need to have the world believe that the democracies led by the SK & US want to end the Korean situation not just this latest flare up in tensions, peacefully & productively.  Therefore, propose not full unification but partial unification, a jointly governed Korean province to replace the DMZ at the 38th parallel with a 25 km area north and south, to be codified in a Korean War peace treaty to replace the 1953 armistice agreement.

The new province would have:

- No military forces from either North or South stationed in its territory, no heavy military forces within 10 km in the respective sovereign nations of North / South Korea bordering it.  Only police with up to light arms from either side are allowed.

- UN sponsored stabilization force for 30 years assisting North & South governments, composition to be equally matched by requests from North and South.

- No military air traffic allowed over the unified province, civilian traffic allowed only thru dedicated corridors.

- Any Korean is allowed to visit and live in the province but no Korean may emigrate to the other Korean nation thru the unified province, integration is the objective.

- All international trade and investment in the unified province is tax free of North / South Korean duties for the first 30 years of founding.

- North and South Korean leaders would be required once a year to meet physically in the unified province for a summit to plan, negotiate and coordinate.

Pie in the sky but something has to change, articles on unification:

http://www.newsmax.com/International/north-korea-donald-trump-trump-missile/2017/01/22/id/769850/

https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/05/korea-opportunities

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Some official entity needs to characterize the rhetoric being spouted by both NK and the USA into something that simple minded folks like "me" can understand and prepare for. Maybe the JCS or the US Unified/Specified Combatant Commands can characterize these official statements from least severe to most catastrophic. Also, the rumor is that the folks in Guam are being advised to start practicing "Covfefe" drills (Covfefe = new code word for "Duck and Cover" drills). I recommend starting Covfefe drills NLT the Double Dog Dare phase (DEFCON 3). Something like this might work for this particular AO (USPACOM);

- DEFCON 5 = "Simple/Basic Dare".

- DEFCON 4 = "Double Dare".

- DEFCON 3 = "Double Dog Dare".

- DEFCON 2 = "Triple Dare".

- DEFCON 1 = "Triple Dog Dare". This is the coup de gras of all dares and means Nuclear War is imminent.

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At this point I'd be totally ok with China just annexing North Korea and taking the head off the wild dog living in their yard barking at the neighbors.

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23 minutes ago, Lawman said:

At this point I'd be totally ok with China just annexing North Korea and taking the head off the wild dog living in their yard barking at the neighbors.

China doesn't want to deal with the ensuing refugee problem

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Yeah, China has no interest in taking over an impoverished dumpster fire. They had enough of that in the Mao years.

The PRCs real interest is that they don't want (in their eyes) a US-backed puppet state unifying the peninsula. They saw how that fared for the Russians re: Germany. So long as the US supports South Korea, China will feel obligated to support North Korea, to some degree.

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3 hours ago, waveshaper said:

Some official entity needs to characterize the rhetoric being spouted by both NK and the USA into something that simple minded folks like "me" can understand and prepare for. Maybe the JCS or the US Unified/Specified Combatant Commands can characterize these official statements from least severe to most catastrophic. Also, the rumor is that the folks in Guam are being advised to start practicing "Covfefe" drills (Covfefe = new code word for "Duck and Cover" drills). I recommend starting Covfefe drills NLT the Double Dog Dare phase (DEFCON 3). Something like this might work for this particular AO (USPACOM);

- DEFCON 5 = "Simple/Basic Dare".

- DEFCON 4 = "Double Dare".

- DEFCON 3 = "Double Dog Dare".

- DEFCON 2 = "Triple Dare".

- DEFCON 1 = "Triple Dog Dare". This is the coup de gras of all dares and means Nuclear War is imminent.

Loyd, you can't triple stamp a double stamp. 

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3 hours ago, AZwildcat said:

China doesn't want to deal with the ensuing refugee problem

NK has 25m people. China has 1389m people. They may care based on principle (One Child and all that), but they'd hardly notice.

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7 hours ago, Lawman said:

At this point I'd be totally ok with China just annexing North Korea and taking the head off the wild dog living in their yard barking at the neighbors.

We act like NK does not get a say in their outcome. Let us all step back from thinking that China has some magic pill that will solve everyone's NK problems.

BL: there is no such Chinese pill!

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A lot of focus on the Nukes and Missiles but that is not the issue, at least in my pea brain.

With moderate effort we could take out his nuclear sites and the missiles, it is the 18,000 artillery pieces with in close proximity of Seoul (a city of 10 million), that is the real tactical problem.  I would love to be the parked in a SCAR orbit just south of the 38th coordinating with dumb trucks full of SDB and CBU pushing through every five minutes.

 

ord_cbu97_blu108s_detonating_lg.jpg

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2 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

With moderate effort we could take out his nuclear sites and the missiles, it is the 18,000 artillery pieces with in close proximity of Seoul (a city of 10 million), that is the real tactical problem.  I would love to be the parked in a SCAR orbit just south of the 38th coordinating with dumb trucks full of SDB and CBU pushing through every five minutes.

I can bring you 16 CBUs and 8 JDAM to boot... Got to use those CBU-103s and 104s while they're still street legal.

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19 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Article from The Atlantic on NK:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-worst-problem-on-earth/528717/

BLUF:  Four ways to deal with NK (quoted from article) 

1. Prevention: A crushing U.S. military strike to eliminate Pyongyang’s arsenals of mass destruction, take out its leadership, and destroy its military. It would end North Korea’s standoff with the United States and South Korea, as well as the Kim dynasty, once and for all.

2. Turning the screws: A limited conventional military attack—or more likely a continuing series of such attacks—using aerial and naval assets, and possibly including narrowly targeted Special Forces operations. These would have to be punishing enough to significantly damage North Korea’s capability—but small enough to avoid being perceived as the beginning of a preventive strike. The goal would be to leave Kim Jong Un in power, but force him to abandon his pursuit of nuclear ICBMs.

^Clueless fools^

IMHO, if we have a full blown war on the Korean peninsula again we are looking at 1 million plus casualties in the first 30 days alone and this is without "Nukes". This would be like Iwo Jima X 10,000. Both sides have been digging in and getting ready for this showdown since the 1950's.

- When the Korean War started there were 150,000 North Korean Troops and 100,000 South Korean Troops. Note; Peak strength for North Korean forces (mostly Chinese troops) reached 1,600,000 late in the war and the peak strength of US/Korean/other friendly forces eventually reached 900,000 troops.

- Casualties during the Korean War; Troop Casualties on our side = 777,000 plus. Troop casualties on their side = 1,540,000. Civilian Casualties from both sides = 2,500,000. Total casualties for all sides = over 4,800,000 Killed/Wounded/Missing.

- Today North Korea has 1,190,000 Active Duty troops and 5,889,000 Reserve forces for a total of over 7,000,000 troops ready to go on short notice (48 hours max). South Korea has 625,000 active duty troops and 3,100,000 Reserve forces for a total of over 3,700,000 troops ready to go on short notice (48 hours max). After all this death/destruction we all took a timeout in 1953, basically along the same lines where it all started in 1950 and 64 years later it's still a stalemate.
Note; I'm somewhat familiar with the military situation in Korea (it's kind of a family tradition). My dad did three tours in Korea (Oct 1950 thru 1954/Infantry) I did three tours in Korea, and my brother did two tours in Korea.

- Today they also have way more then enough weapon systems with reach/mines/subs etc to cause lots of death/damage/destruction on land and much further offshore then they did during the Korean War. During the Korean War the Norks basically had no Navy but these 5th rate pipsqueaks still managed to sink or damage 100 ships belonging to "The Worlds Greatest Navy". Never underestimate your enemy.

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3 hours ago, waveshaper said:

^Clueless fools^

IMHO, if we have a full blown war on the Korean peninsula again we are looking at 1 million plus casualties in the first 30 days alone and this is without "Nukes". This would be like Iwo Jima X 10,000. Both sides have been digging in and getting ready for this showdown since the 1950's.

- When the Korean War started there were 150,000 North Korean Troops and 100,000 South Korean Troops. Note; Peak strength for North Korean forces (mostly Chinese troops) reached 1,600,000 late in the war and the peak strength of US/Korean/other friendly forces eventually reached 900,000 troops.

- Casualties during the Korean War; Troop Casualties on our side = 777,000 plus. Troop casualties on their side = 1,540,000. Civilian Casualties from both sides = 2,500,000. Total casualties for all sides = over 4,800,000 Killed/Wounded/Missing.

- Today North Korea has 1,190,000 Active Duty troops and 5,889,000 Reserve forces for a total of over 7,000,000 troops ready to go on short notice (48 hours max). South Korea has 625,000 active duty troops and 3,100,000 Reserve forces for a total of over 3,700,000 troops ready to go on short notice (48 hours max). After all this death/destruction we all took a timeout in 1953, basically along the same lines where it all started in 1950 and 64 years later it's still a stalemate.
Note; I'm somewhat familiar with the military situation in Korea (it's kind of a family tradition). My dad did three tours in Korea (Oct 1950 thru 1954/Infantry) I did three tours in Korea, and my brother did two tours in Korea.

- Today they also have way more then enough weapon systems with reach/mines/subs etc to cause lots of death/damage/destruction on land and much further offshore then they did during the Korean War. During the Korean War the Norks basically had no Navy but these 5th rate pipsqueaks still managed to sink or damage 100 ships belonging to "The Worlds Greatest Navy". Never underestimate your enemy.

Ouch.

That is why I am not becoming dove on NK but no longer exactly a hawk either.  

The window for a military solution (pre-emptive first strike followed by regime change and military occupation) is either closed or rapidly closing.  The cost is too high in casualties, the military mission risky of expansion involving the PRC and the best outcome is a long term occupation, trillion+ nation building process fraught with known and unknown problems.  The conclusion of (occupation/rebuilding) is uncertain and the US is unlikely to ever be thanked for. 

My humble conclusion is that in starting a new war with NK, there is nothing to be won so why start one.  Not respond and win if attacked first but there is nothing to win in first strike.

I have no wish to see the NK people further enslaved and used cruelly by a despot and his evil cohorts but ultimately, given our values, the cost and the military facts of the situation, deposing him and company thru an offensive military solution is not a realistic option.

But tolerating the current and legacy situation is not an option either, just how to change that is the question hence my belief that it will take something completely different than what we have currently been thinking of for the past decades.

Credible conventional military deterrence in theater &  Strategic Capability and Retaliation assured against aggression - couple that sword and shield to a new diplomatic effort that proposes partial unification, a formal peace treaty and a trade engagement plan.  Everything has built up to a crescendo, the resolution needs to be something other than the first shot fired.

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4 hours ago, waveshaper said:

 My dad did three tours in Korea (Oct 1950 thru 1954/Infantry) I did three tours in Korea, and my brother did two tours in Korea.

Tell your brother to get his shit together and start pulling his weight for the family!

 

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9 hours ago, ClearedHot said:

A lot of focus on the Nukes and Missiles but that is not the issue, at least in my pea brain.

With moderate effort we could take out his nuclear sites and the missiles, it is the 18,000 artillery pieces with in close proximity of Seoul (a city of 10 million), that is the real tactical problem.  I would love to be the parked in a SCAR orbit just south of the 38th coordinating with dumb trucks full of SDB and CBU pushing through every five minutes.

I do wonder if the conventional artillery threat is perhaps a bit overblown. Seems like since the Somme people have tended to overestimate the effect of artillery. When the Soviets took Berlin in 1945 they had 40,000+ artillery pieces, likely of comparable quality but with far better trained crews, and literally took the city apart street by street over three weeks, and civilian losses only hit ~100,000. Obviously a Best Korea bombardment of Seoul will be terrible, but most of their pieces are limited to the suburbs and presumably South Korea would be evacuating civilians rather than forcing them to stay put as happened in Berlin.

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40 minutes ago, sforron said:

I do wonder if the conventional artillery threat is perhaps a bit overblown. Seems like since the Somme people have tended to overestimate the effect of artillery. When the Soviets took Berlin in 1945 they had 40,000+ artillery pieces, likely of comparable quality but with far better trained crews, and literally took the city apart street by street over three weeks, and civilian losses only hit ~100,000. Obviously a Best Korea bombardment of Seoul will be terrible, but most of their pieces are limited to the suburbs and presumably South Korea would be evacuating civilians rather than forcing them to stay put as happened in Berlin.

100,000 sounds about right for civilian casualties but the total casualty count was much higher;  The Battle of Berlin is #2 on the list of bloodiest battles of WWII ( Battle of Berlin, 16 April–2 May 1945: 1,298,745 casualties).

http://www.militaryeducation.org/10-bloodiest-battles-of-world-war-ii/

Also, don't forget that the US, Brits, and USSR bombed the crap out of Berlin, which resulted in this; In 1943, the Germans decided to start the evacuation of non-essential people from Berlin. By 1944 1.2 million people, 790,000 of them women and children, about a quarter of the city's population, had been evacuated to rural areas. On the flip side, in 1945 the city filled back up again with refugees fleeing the USSR advance pushing west.

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Article on effectiveness of a DPRK attack on the ROK.  Artillery attack Seoul metropolitan area, logistics required, attrition rates (combat and operational attrition) examined.  Long but worth a skim for the big points.

http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/mind-the-gap-between-rhetoric-and-reality/

Some highlights:

Table 1: Summary of Effects

IMPORTANT CAVEATS:

1) No indications there are plans for these events;

2) Assumes most people are at home or in an office i.e. more protection than standing outside in an open field.

Scenario Possible Casualties Weapons
Surprise Volley (Primarily counter-force i.e. barracks, military  bases) ~2,881 initial volley; mainly soldiers 240 MM MRL170 MM KOKSAN
Surprise Volley (Countervalue and a-strategic i.e. firing directly into population centers) ~29,661 Civilian; likely~790 Foreign nationals~605 Chinese 240 MM MRL170 MM KOKSAN
Counterbattery and counterforcemissions.Very few 240 MM or 170 MM KOKSAN would exist after 1 week. Expect DPRK to lose these weapons at 1%/hour based on historical rates. 467 ROK aircraft; Possibly 1,200 U.S. aircraft 2,660 Main Battle tanks 1,538 Multiple Rocket Launchers Note: These forces already exist on Korea, or come from Guam and from Carrier Strike Groups in international waters.  No need to ask third country permission.
KPA would likely run out of fuel/ammunition within two weeks. NOTE: another study projects KPA can last up to two months.  The point is, once started there is very finite amount of fuel and therefore time left.

DPRK needs to drive approximately 2,500 soft-skinned vehicles per day to supply a southward invasion in order to sustain themselves – or spare ROK fuel stores and scavenge from ROK

Conventional Artillery Attack of Seoul

Here is the summarized table of results and what follows below the table is a more detailed description of deriving these numbers.

Table B-1: Conventional Artillery Attack

Scenario Possible Casualties Artillery
KPA primarily counter-force ~ 2,811 fatalities initial volley.~ 64,000 first day (majority in first three hours)~ 80,000 one week. Very few KOKSAN and 240 MM MRL last more than one week 2/3 of batteries firing max rate for 5 minutes from likely positions between 5 and 10 km north of DMZ and then sustained rate for ½ of batteries for 24 hours.  Batteries destroyed by direct, indirect and counter-battery fire at about 1%/hour.  Unrealistic assumption of unlimited ammunition and 100% maintenance rate.
KPA counter-valueLikely indicates KPA desperation ~29,661 fatalities initial volley.Within the range of a previous study by Bennet, Bruce [20] 2/3 of batteries firing indiscriminately intoSeoulfrom DMZ trace.  Most residents at home or office.

Lots of data and looks reasonable, well cited. 

And a Time article on evacuation of non-combatants:

http://nation.time.com/2013/04/05/fleeing-imminent-incoming-north-korean-rockets/

There are different accounts of how long the DPRK war machine could operate (fuel, ammunition, attrition absorbance, supplies, etc...) but methinks they could probably operate for a month without resupply from China/Russia.  That probably gives the DPRK a few days of advantage (if it generated all of its forces and poured its entire national resources into the attack) before the first waves of the Coalition begin to augment KFOR and begin the push back.

Destroy the ports, airfields and basically all telecommunications as you invade SK and you might be able to stymie a data-dependent force with a high logistical footprint.

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I do wonder if the conventional artillery threat is perhaps a bit overblown. Seems like since the Somme people have tended to overestimate the effect of artillery. When the Soviets took Berlin in 1945 they had 40,000+ artillery pieces, likely of comparable quality but with far better trained crews, and literally took the city apart street by street over three weeks, and civilian losses only hit ~100,000. Obviously a Best Korea bombardment of Seoul will be terrible, but most of their pieces are limited to the suburbs and presumably South Korea would be evacuating civilians rather than forcing them to stay put as happened in Berlin.

 Comparing artillery effects from pre-1950s to now would be like comparing military effects of strategic bombing from pre jet age to now. 

The stuff assembled prior to the modern era didn't have anywhere near the lethality of current systems. Also most of those historic numbers of thousands of artillery pieces are inflated with dozens of separate sized field guns, direct fire short range howitzers, carriage guns of modern equivalence, and mobile carriage mortar systems being part of the count. By comparison the Army of today has 2 artillery calibers with 105 and 155 respectively and 3 mortar calibers ranging from 60 to 120.

 

We have simplified to the number of systems most generally effective for their role. So have they. Gone are the super heavy railroad guns etc designed to reduce ground works or entrenched defenses. Gone or replaced with man portable missiles are the field guns like the 75mm or 88mm which was good for a pillbox or tank but not sustained battery fire. Tens of thousands of modern artillery pieces and MLRS pointed at Seoul is a city sitting underneath and umbrella of fire that is the total equivalent of what the Soviets planned to attack across most of Europe with.

 

 

Look at it this way, throughout the later half of the 20th century air power has carried most of the fight with artillery being left in favor of high mobility and rapid movement by ground forces. Even so, if you could up historical casualty numbers despite the unquestionable increase in effectiveness and depth to attack undefended targets in the enemy's support zone vs artillery working against defended targets and the fact that by eastern doctrine they mass 3x the amount of arty we do by comparison in combined arms maneuver.... Artillery still has air power and even direct combat casualties beat for production of loss in the 20th century. Not by much, but still.

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Article on effectiveness of a DPRK attack on the ROK.  Artillery attack Seoul metropolitan area, logistics required, attrition rates (combat and operational attrition) examined.  Long but worth a skim for the big points.

http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/mind-the-gap-between-rhetoric-and-reality/

Some highlights:

Table 1: Summary of Effects

IMPORTANT CAVEATS:

1) No indications there are plans for these events;

2) Assumes most people are at home or in an office i.e. more protection than standing outside in an open field.

Scenario Possible Casualties Weapons
Surprise Volley (Primarily counter-force i.e. barracks, military  bases) ~2,881 initial volley; mainly soldiers 240 MM MRL170 MM KOKSAN
Surprise Volley (Countervalue and a-strategic i.e. firing directly into population centers) ~29,661 Civilian; likely~790 Foreign nationals~605 Chinese 240 MM MRL170 MM KOKSAN
Counterbattery and counterforcemissions.Very few 240 MM or 170 MM KOKSAN would exist after 1 week. Expect DPRK to lose these weapons at 1%/hour based on historical rates. 467 ROK aircraft; Possibly 1,200 U.S. aircraft 2,660 Main Battle tanks 1,538 Multiple Rocket Launchers Note: These forces already exist on Korea, or come from Guam and from Carrier Strike Groups in international waters.  No need to ask third country permission.
KPA would likely run out of fuel/ammunition within two weeks. NOTE: another study projects KPA can last up to two months.  The point is, once started there is very finite amount of fuel and therefore time left.

DPRK needs to drive approximately 2,500 soft-skinned vehicles per day to supply a southward invasion in order to sustain themselves – or spare ROK fuel stores and scavenge from ROK

Conventional Artillery Attack of Seoul

Here is the summarized table of results and what follows below the table is a more detailed description of deriving these numbers.

Table B-1: Conventional Artillery Attack

Scenario Possible Casualties Artillery
KPA primarily counter-force ~ 2,811 fatalities initial volley.~ 64,000 first day (majority in first three hours)~ 80,000 one week. Very few KOKSAN and 240 MM MRL last more than one week 2/3 of batteries firing max rate for 5 minutes from likely positions between 5 and 10 km north of DMZ and then sustained rate for ½ of batteries for 24 hours.  Batteries destroyed by direct, indirect and counter-battery fire at about 1%/hour.  Unrealistic assumption of unlimited ammunition and 100% maintenance rate.
KPA counter-valueLikely indicates KPA desperation ~29,661 fatalities initial volley.Within the range of a previous study by Bennet, Bruce [20] 2/3 of batteries firing indiscriminately intoSeoulfrom DMZ trace.  Most residents at home or office.

Lots of data and looks reasonable, well cited. 

And a Time article on evacuation of non-combatants:

http://nation.time.com/2013/04/05/fleeing-imminent-incoming-north-korean-rockets/

There are different accounts of how long the DPRK war machine could operate (fuel, ammunition, attrition absorbance, supplies, etc...) but methinks they could probably operate for a month without resupply from China/Russia.  That probably gives the DPRK a few days of advantage (if it generated all of its forces and poured its entire national resources into the attack) before the first waves of the Coalition begin to augment KFOR and begin the push back.

Destroy the ports, airfields and basically all telecommunications as you invade SK and you might be able to stymie a data-dependent force with a high logistical footprint.

Good info. There are some tidbits of info contained in this analysis that I never really considered. I'm sure the Chinese are factoring this stuff into what decisions they will make based on who spanks who first, etc.

The Tidbits (fuzzy math on my part); This info doesn't include larger rockets system/other weapons systems/special forces/infantry, etc that will also be causing a butt load of casualties in Seoul and elsewhere.

- 70% of foreigners in Seoul are PRC citizens (216,532 PRC citizens live in Seoul). There are a total of 780,000 PRC citizen in South Korea. North Korea only has an estimated population of 10,000 PRC citizens and most are located in Pyongyang or the area near the Chinese border.

-- 170mm/240mm surprise salvo on Seoul (day one) will kill 29,661 civilians which includes 605 PRC citizen. The casualty rate for PRC citizens living in Seoul is 2.039% of those killed (note; the vast majority of PRC citizens living in Seoul are located "North" of the Han river). 

-- Conventional Artillery Attack on Seoul (day one) will kill 64,000 people which would include 1,304 PRC citizens (based on a 2.039% casualty rate).

-- Total PRC citizen killed in Seoul on day one = 1,909.

 

Edited by waveshaper

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1 hour ago, waveshaper said:

Good info. There are some tidbits of info contained in this analysis that I never really considered. I'm sure the Chinese are factoring this stuff into what decisions they will make based on who spanks who first, etc.

The Tidbits (fuzzy math on my part); This info doesn't include larger rockets system/other weapons systems/special forces/infantry, etc that will also be causing a butt load of casualties in Seoul and elsewhere.

- 70% of foreigners in Seoul are PRC citizens (216,532 PRC citizens live in Seoul). There are a total of 1.1 million PRC citizen in South Korea. North Korea only has an estimated population of 10,000 PRC citizens and most are located in Pyongyang or the area near the Chinese border.

-- 170mm/240mm surprise salvo on Seoul (day one) will kill 29,661 civilians which includes 605 PRC citizen. The casualty rate for PRC citizens living in Seoul is 2.039% of those killed (note; the vast majority of PRC citizens living in Seoul are located "North" of the Han river). 

-- Conventional Artillery Attack on Seoul (day one) will kill 64,000 people which would include 1,304 PRC citizens (based on a 2.039% casualty rate).

-- Total PRC citizen killed in Seoul on day one = 1,909.

Ditto.

Thinking a bit on this, SK and POTUS should be as insistent as the Young General and demand removal of all or most of the artillery concentration just north of the DMZ.  The DPRK demands the cessation of large scale military activities between the ROK and US forces, ok fine, then you remove every last artillery piece from within 50 nm of the DMZ.  

north-korea-artillery.jpg

Fat chance but it if they want something we get something in return.  We focus on the WMD and that's logical but the conventional situation deserves some time on the front burner.

- No artillery within 50 nm of the DMZ.  

- Declaration and decommission of all clandestine tunnels under and thru the DMZ 

- No formations of troops or vehicles greater than 2,000 and associated vehicles / equipment (brigade size) within 50 nm of the DMZ.  No more than 3 at any one time within 50 nm.

Just some ideas off the cuff but the point would be to move forces further back so that if the DPRK did or was planning aggression, then the telegraphing actions prior to attack would be more detectable and would lower tension overall.  

Focusing on WMDs is fine just don't forget about what they have actually used (recently in fact) to attack the ROK and US forces.

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4 hours ago, Lawman said:

 Comparing artillery effects from pre-1950s to now would be like comparing military effects of strategic bombing from pre jet age to now. 

The stuff assembled prior to the modern era didn't have anywhere near the lethality of current systems. Also most of those historic numbers of thousands of artillery pieces are inflated with dozens of separate sized field guns, direct fire short range howitzers, carriage guns of modern equivalence, and mobile carriage mortar systems being part of the count. By comparison the Army of today has 2 artillery calibers with 105 and 155 respectively and 3 mortar calibers ranging from 60 to 120.

I wonder how different the North Korean arsenal is from what Zhukov had at the gates of Berlin. Most of heavy equipment given to the North Koreans would have been PRC surplus in the Mao years (which means it was likely Soviet surplus the Chinese gave away when they replaced it with more modern stuff). My guess is that it's something like the situation we faced vs. Iraqi T-72s in 1991, where in theory the weapon system could be extremely effective, but defects in application due to it being a crappy locally made copy / ill-prepared crews / lack of ammunition for live-fire exercises / half-charges of propellant in the shells means they aren't worth much in a real fight.

Again, not arguing that the humanitarian cost of North Korea firing 10,000 artillery pieces in the direction of Seoul wouldn't be disastrous, but I am highly doubtful of the "Sea of Fire / Seoul will be leveled / millions will die" histrionics.

EDIT: Here's an article that sums up what I'm trying to say: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/4/25/1656090/-North-Korean-artillery-and-the-concept-of-flattening-Seoul-a-breakdown

Just judging from the NK island bombardment a few years ago, they attacked a 2 square mile island from 7.5 miles away, and only half their shells hit the island. Of those that did, a quarter were duds.

Edited by sforron

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22 hours ago, sforron said:

EDIT: Here's an article that sums up what I'm trying to say: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/4/25/1656090/-North-Korean-artillery-and-the-concept-of-flattening-Seoul-a-breakdown

Just judging from the NK island bombardment a few years ago, they attacked a 2 square mile island from 7.5 miles away, and only half their shells hit the island. Of those that did, a quarter were duds.

This little ROK/Nork artillery/rocket dual has been a wee bit mischaracterized. Getting in the weeds/more detailed info;

- Yeonpyeong island is mostly forested and has a small population of civilians (1,780). The main population center (small town) is located on the southern end of the Island. These ROK civilian folks are well trained/experienced and have bunkers to take cover in when there's an attack (this was the 3rd Battle of Yeonpyeong since 1999). Also, right next to the this small town is a small ROK military base that supports six K9 155mm SP artillery pieces. These six K9 155mm SP artillery pieces are housed in hardened emplacements (right on the southern coast of the Island) and these artillery pieces/emplacements are only about a 1/4 mile (maybe less) from this small town (main civilian population center on the Island).

- The Norks first salvo was at 1434 locale; They launched 150 to 170 rocket and artillery rounds. Most of the rounds fired in this first salvo were 122mm rockets (BM-21's were the launch vehicles). This was a poor choice of weapons to utilize on the first salvo if the Norks were trying to take out the ROK's K9 155mm artillery pieces/emplacements. Most of the 122mm rockets overshot the southern end of the island and landed in the drink. The 122mm rockets caused most (maybe all) of the "limited" civilian casualties and started numerous forest fires on the southern portion of the islands.

- The Norks second salvo at 1512 local appeared to be more effective. They only fired 20 Artillery rounds and they all hit their target/landed on the Island.

- 50% of the ROK's K9 155mm SP artillery pieces were taken out of action for various reasons. Two ROK K9 155mm artillery pieces took hits from Nork artillery rounds and were disabled due to damage to their firing control systems. One K9 155mm artillery piece was temporarily taken out of action (early in the game) due to a round jammed in its breach/barrel. Only three out of the six units (initially) were able to provide return/counterbattery fire on the Nork positions. Eventually (late in the game), the howitzer that had the jammed round joined the counterattack after receiving field repairs.

- On a positive note the Norks didn't target/hit the local Chinese restaurant or Catholic Church.

 

- The ROK K9 155mm SP artillery return/counterbattery fire total was 80 rounds.

-- 35 of the ROK rounds landed in the drink (sea) while 45 others reached North Korean land.

-- Shoot and Scoot; North Korean artillery/MLRS systems slid into tunnels after firing their salvos. The Norks accomplished this movement before the ROK artillery returned fire. Not a single ROK round hit a Nork target.

-- Of the ROK rounds that hit the mainland, only 14 got relatively close to the North's artillery/MLRS positions. These 14 rounds impacted in rice paddies near the Norks "former positions". There was no damage to Nork artillery/MLRS systems, it appears the only damage was to the Norks food supply.

-- The ROK National Intelligence Service director Won Sei-Hoon was directed to carry out a thorough investigation.

-- The ROK defense minister resigned over this incident.
 

- 122mm Rocket impact point, Yeonpyeong island;

an-unexploded-shell-fired-from-north-kor

 

- Concrete structure in the K-9 Marine artillery base on Yeonpyeong Island bears marks from North Korea's attack;

 

A+concrete+structure+in+the+K-9+Marine+a440px-2010.11.25_%ED%95%B4%EB%B3%91%EB%8

 

 

 

- Timeline;

08:20: North sends a message requesting a halt to the South's artillery training exercise.
10:00: South starts the artillery training exercise.
14:30: North deploys five MiG-23ML fighters from the 60th Regiment at Pukchang.
14:34: North starts firing shells (150 to170 122mm rockets, of which about 60 land on Yeonpyeong)
14:38: South conducts emergency sorties with two KF-16 fighters.
14:40: South deploys four F-15K fighters.
14:46: South conducts additional emergency sorties with two KF-16 fighters.
14:47: South fires back with the first round of K-9 howitzers (50 shells).
14:50: South issues a 'Jindogae Hana (Jindo Dog 1)' alert, the highest military alert given for a local provocation.
14:55: North stops firing temporarily.
15:12: North starts firing for the second time (20 artillery shells, all of which landed on the island).
15:25: South resumes firing back with K-9 howitzers (30 shells).
15:30: South telexes the North's military general level talk representative requesting an immediate halt to artillery shelling.
15:40 – 16:00: The South's JCS Han Min-gu and USFK Commander have a video conference (a review of cooperative crisis management).
15:41: North stops firing.
16:30: First military casualty reported.
16:35 – 21:50: Foreign and National Security representatives have a meeting.
16:42: South stops firing.
18:40: Lee Hong-gi, the South's Joint Chief of Staff Director of Operations, holds a press briefing.
19:00: North Korea's Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army releases a statement labelled "Our Army is Making No Empty Talk" publicized through KCNA.
20:35 – 21:10: South Korean President meets with his Joint Chief of Staff.

 

 

Edited by waveshaper
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