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North Korea at it again

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North Korea is about to get rekt. 

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I'm a little surprised that social issues are still snagging the top headlines while the wolf howls at our door.

Tell that to Neville Chamberlain
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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.

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12 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.

 

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

We could possibly do something like in NATO, where we "Share" US Nukes with a few non-nuclear NATO countries. I'm not sure what the ramifications would be if we did something like this with SK and Japan. I'm sure it would rattle the cages of the other big boys in that AO and the Norks.

Short example of how this works in NATO;
- Under the NATO umbrella the US has a Nuclear Sharing Agreement with Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey (hopefully we have removed the nukes from Turkey by now). As part of this nuclear sharing arrangement, the participating countries carry out consultations and take common decisions on nuclear weapons policy, maintain technical equipment required for the use of nuclear weapons (including warplanes capable of delivering them), and store nuclear weapons on their territory.

In peacetime, the nuclear weapons stored in these non-nuclear countries are guarded by USAF personnel; the Permissive Action Link codes required for arming them remain under American control. In case of war, the weapons are to be mounted on the participating countries' warplanes and then; "it's the end of the world as we know it".

-  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 rattling/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).

original.jpg

Edited by waveshaper

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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
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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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