Debunking The Myths About An Attack On North Korea

Submitted by The Saker,

First, the bragging dummies

Trump and Haley are still at it.  They want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea “into their hands” if China refuses to comply.  Haley said, “But to be clear, China can do more, (…) and we’re putting as much pressure on them as we can. The last time they completely cut off the oil, North Korea came to the table. And so we’ve told China they’ve got to do more. If they don’t do more, we’re going to take it into our own hands and then we’ll start to deal with secondary sanctions.”

First, let’s reset this scene in a kindergarten and replay it.

Kid A has a fight with Kid B.  Kid A threatens to beat up Kid B.  Kid B then tells Kid A to go screw himself.  Kid A does nothing, but issues more threats.  Kid B keeps laughing.  And then Kid A comes up with a brilliant plan: he threatens Kid C (who is much much bigger than Kid B and much much stronger too!) by telling him "if you don’t make Kid B comply with my demands, I will take the issue in my own hands!".  The entire schoolyard erupts in hysterical laughter.

Question: how would you the gauge the intelligence of Kid A? Anyway...

This would all be really funny if this was a comedy show.  But what this all is in reality is a slow but steady progression towards war.  What makes this even worse is the media’s obsession with the range of North Korean missiles and whether they can reach Guam or even the USA.  With all due respect for the imperial “only we matter” (and nevermind the "gooks"), there are ways “we”, i.e. the American people can suffer terrible consequences from a war in the Korean Peninsula which have nothing to do with missile strikes on Guam or the USA.


Image via The Saker

The lucrative target: Japan

This summer I mentioned one of the most overlooked potential consequences of a war with the DPRK and I want to revisit this issue again.  First, the relevant excerpt from the past article:

While I personally believe that Kim Jong-un is not insane and that the main objective of the North Korean leadership is to avoid a war at all costs, what if I am wrong?  What if those who say that the North Korean leaders are totally insane are right? Or, which I think is much more likely, what if Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leaders came to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, that the Americans are going to kill them all, along with their families and friends?  What could they, in theory, do if truly desperate?  Well, let me tell you: forget about Guam; think Tokyo!  Indeed, while the DPRK could devastate Seoul with old fashioned artillery systems, DPRK missiles are probably capable of striking Tokyo or the Keihanshin region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe including the key industries of the Hanshin Industrial Region.  The Greater Tokyo area (Kanto region) and the Keihanshin region are very densely populated (37 and 20 million people respectively) and contain an immense number of industries, many of which would produce an ecological disaster of immense proportions if hit by missiles.  Not only that, but a strike on the key economic and financial nodes of Japan would probably result in a 9-11 kind of international economic collapse.  So if the North Koreans wanted to really, really hurt the Americans what they could do is strike Seoul, and key cities in Japan resulting in a huge political crisis for the entire planet.  During the Cold War we used to study the consequences of a Soviet strike against Japan and the conclusion was always the same: Japan cannot afford a war of any kind.  The Japanese landmass is too small, too densely populated, to rich in lucrative targets and a war would lay waste to the entire country. This is still true today, only more so.  And just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles!  The South Koreans have already made their position unambiguously clear, by the way. As for the Japanese, they are officially placing their hopes in missiles (as if technology could mitigate the consequences of insanity!).  So yeah, the DPRK is plenty dangerous and pushing them into their last resort is totally irresponsible indeed, nukes or no nukes.

Yet, for some reason, the western media rarely mentions Japan or the possible global economic consequences on a strike against Japan.  Very few people know for sure whether the North Koreans truly have developed a usable nuclear weapon (warhead and missile) or whether the North Korean ballistic missile truly can reach Guam or the USA.  But I don’t think that there is any doubt whatsoever that North Korean missile can easily cover the roughly 1000km (600 miles) to reach the heart of Japan.  In fact, the DPRK has already lobbed missiles over Japan in the past.  Some red blooded US Americans will, no doubt, explain to use that the US THAAD system can, and will, protect South Korea and Japan from such missile strikes.  Others, however, will disagree.  We won’t know until we find out, but judging by the absolutely dismal performance of the vaunted US Patriot system in the Gulf War,  I sure would not place my trust in any US made ABM system.  Last, but not least, the North Koreans could place a nuclear device (not even a real nuclear warhead) on a regular commercial ship or even a submarine, bring it to the coast of Japan and detonate it.  The subsequent panic and chaos might end up costing even more lives and money than the explosion itself.

Then there is Seoul, of course.  US analyst Anthony Cordesman put is very simply “A battle near the DMZ, directed at a target like Seoul, could rapidly escalate to the point at which it threatened the ROK’s entire economyeven if no major invasion took place."

[Sidebar: Cordesman being Cordesman, he proceeds to hallucinate about the effects of a DPRK invasion of the ROK and comes up with sentences such as “Problems drive any assessment of the outcome of a major DPRK invasion of the ROK, even if one only focuses on DPRK- ROK forces. The DPRK has far larger ground forces, but the outcome of what would today be an air – land battle driven heavily by the overall mobility of DPRK land forces and their ability to concentrate along given lines of advance relative to the attrition technically superior ROK land and air forces could inflict is impossible to calculate with any confidence, as is the actual mix of forces both sides could deploy in a given area and scenario“.  Yup, the man is seriously discussing AirLand battle concepts in the context of a DPRK invasion of the South!  He might as well be discussing the use of Follow-on-Forces Attack concept in the context of a Martian invasion of earth (or an equally likely Russian invasion of the Baltic statelets!).  It is funny and pathetic how a country with a totally offensive national strategy, military doctrine and force posture still feels the need to hallucinate some defensive scenarios to deal with the cognitive dissonance resulting from clearly being the bad guy.]

Why does Cordesman say that?  Because according to a South Korean specialist “DPRK artillery pieces of calibers 170mm and 240mm “could fire 10,000 rounds per minute to Seoul and its environs.”   During the war in Bosnia the western press spoke of “massive Serbian artillery strikes on Sarajevo” when the actual rate of fire was about 1 artillery shell per minute.  It just makes me wonder what they would call 10,000 rounds per minute.

The bottom line is this: you cannot expect your enemy to act in a way which suits you; in fact you should very much assume that he is going to do what you do not expect and what is the worst possible for you.  And, in this context, the DPRK has many more options than shooting an ICBM at Guam or the USA.  The nutcases in the Administration might not want to mention it, but an attack on the DPRK risks bringing down both the South Korean and the Japanese economies with immediate and global consequences: considering that rather shaky and vulnerable nature of the international financial and economic system, I very much doubt that a major crisis in Asia would not result in the collapse of the US economy (which is fragile anyway).

We should also consider the political consequences of a war on the Korean Peninsula, especially if, as is most likely, South Korea and Japan suffer catastrophic damage.  This situation could well result in such an explosion of anti-US feelings that the US would have to pack and leave from the region entirely.

How do you think the PRC feels about such a prospect?  Exactly.  And might this not explain why the Chinese are more than happy to let the USA deal with the North Korean problem knowing full well that one way or another the USA will lose without the Chinese having to fire a single shot?

The terrain

Next I want to re-visit a threat which is discussed much more often: North Korean artillery and special forces.  But first, I ask you to take a close look at the following three maps of North Korea:

These full-size maps can be downloaded from here.

What I want you to see is that the terrain in North Korea is what the military call “mixed terrain”.  The topography of North Korea article in Wikipedia actually explains this very well:

The terrain consists mostly of hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east.  Early European visitors to Korea remarked that the country resembled “a sea in a heavy gale” because of the many successive mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula. Some 80 percent of North Korea’s land area is composed of mountains and uplands, with all of the peninsula’s mountains with elevations of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) or more located in North Korea. The great majority of the population lives in the plains and lowlands.

Being from Switzerland I know this kind of terrain very well (it’s what you would see in the Alpine foothills called “Oberland” or “Préalpes”) and I want to add the following: dense vegetation, forests, rivers and creek with steep banks and rapid currents.  Small villages and *a lot* of deep, underground tunnels. There are also flat areas in North Korea, of course, but, unlike Switzerland, they are composed mostly of rice fields and marshes.  In military terms this all translates into one simple and absolutely terrifying word: infantry.

Why should the word infantry scare so much? Because infantry means on foot (or horses) with very little airpower (AA and MANPADS), satellites (can’t see much), armor (can’t move around), gunships, submarines or cruise missiles can do.  Because infantry means “no lucrative targets” but small, dispersed and very well hidden forces.  Company and even platoon-level warfare.  Because infantry in mixed terrains means the kind of warfare the US Americans fear most.

The adversary

And with that in mind, let’s repeat that besides its huge regular armed forces (about a million soldiers plus another 5 million plus in paramilitary organizations) the DPRK also has 200,000 special forces.   Let’s assume that the Western propaganda is, for once, saying the truth and that the regular armed forces are poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly commanded and even hungry and demotivated (I am not at all sure that this is a fair assumption, but bear with me).  But spreading that amount of soldiers all over the combat area would still represent a huge headache, even for “the best and most powerful armed forces in history” especially if you add 200,000 well-trained and highly motivated special forces to the mix (I hope that we can all agree that assuming that special forces are also demotivated would be rather irresponsible).  How would you go about finding out who is who and where the biggest threat comes from? And consider this: it would extremely naive to expect the North Korean special forces to show up in some clearly marked DPRK uniforms.  I bet you that a lot of them will show up in South Korean uniforms, and others in civilians clothes.  Can you imagine the chaos of trying to fight them?

You might say that the North Koreans have 1950's era weapons.  So what?  That is exactly what you need to fight the kind of warfare we are talking about: infantry in mixed terrains.  Even WWII gear would do just fine.  Now is time to bring in the North Korean artillery.  We are talking about 8,600 artillery guns, and over 4,800 multiple rocket launchers (source).  Anthony Cordesman estimates that there are 20,000 pieces in the “surrounding areas” of Seoul.  That way is more than the US has worldwide (5,312 according to the 2017 “Military Balance”, including mortars).  And keep in mind that we are not talking about batteries nicely arranged in a flat desert, but thousands of simple but very effective artillery pieces spread all over the “mixed terrain” filled with millions of roaming men in arms, including 200,000 special forces.  And a lot of that artillery can reach Seoul, plenty enough to create a mass panic and exodus.

Think total, abject and bloody chaos

So when you think of a war against North Korea, don’t think “Hunt for Red October” or “Top Gun”.  Think total, abject and bloody chaos.  Think instant full-scale FUBAR.  And that is just for the first couple of days, then things will get worse, much worse.  Why?

Because by that time I expect the North Korean Navy and Air Force to have been completely wiped-off, waves after waves of cruise missiles will have hit an X number of facilities (with no way whatsoever to evaluate the impact of these strikes, but nevermind that) and the US military commanders will be looking at the President with no follow-up plan to offer.  As for the North Koreans, by then they will just be settling in for some serious warfare, infantry-style.

There is a better than average that a good part of the DPRK elites will be dead.   What is sure is that the command and control of the General Staff Department over many of its forces will be if not lost, then severely compromised.  But everybody will know that they have been attacked and by whom.  You don’t need much command and control when you are in a defensive posture in the kind of terrain were movement is hard to begin with.  In fact, this is the kind of warfare where “high command” usually means a captain or a major, not some faraway general.

You might ask about logistics?  What logistics I ask you? The ammo is stored nearby in ammo dumps, food you can always get yourself and, besides, its your home turf, the civilians will help.

Again, no maneuver warfare, no advanced communications, no heavy logistical train – we are talking about a kind of war which is much closer to WWII or even WWI than Desert Storm.

[Sidebar: as somebody who did a lot of interesting stuff with the Swiss military, let me add this: this kind of terrain is a battlefield were a single company can stop and hold an entire regiment; this is the kind of terrain where trying to accurately triangulate the position of an enemy radio is extremely hard; this is the kind of terrain where only horses and donkeys can carry heavy gear over narrow, zig-zagging, steep paths;  entire hospitals can be hidden underground with their entrance hidden by a barn or a shed; artillery guns are dug in underground and fire when a thick reinforced concrete hatch is moved to the side, then they hide; counter-battery radar hardly works due to bouncing signals; radio signals have a short range due to vegetation and terrain; weapon caches and even company size forces camps can only be detected by literally stepping on them; underground bunkers have numerous exits; air-assault operations are hindered by the very high risk of anti-aircraft gunfire or shoulder-fired missiles which can be hidden and come from any direction.  I could go on and on but I will just say this: if you want to defeat your adversary in such a terrain there is only one technique which works: you do what the Russians did in the mountains in southern Chechnia during the second Chechen war – you send in your special forces, small units on foot, and you fight the enemy on his own turf.  That is an extremely brutal, dangerous and difficult kind of warfare which I really don’t see the Americans doing.  The South Koreans, yes, maybe. But here is where the number game also kicks in: in Chechnia the Russians Spetsnaz operated in a relatively small combat zone and they had the numbers.  Now look at a map of North Korea and the number of North Korean special forces and tell me – do the South Koreans have the manpower for that kind of offensive operations?  One more thing: the typical US American reaction to such arguments would be “so what, we will just nuke them!".  Wrong.  Nuke them you can, but nukes are not very effective in that kind of terrain, finding a target is hard to begin with, enemy forces will be mostly hidden underground and, finally, you are going to use nukes to deal with company or platoon size units?!  Won’t work.]

If you think that I am trying to scare you, you are absolutely correct. I am.  You ought to be scared.  And notice that I did not even mention nukes.  No, not nuclear warheads in missiles.  Basic nuclear devices driven around in common army trucks.  Driven down near the DMZ in peacetime amongst thousands of other army trucks and then buried somewhere, ready to explode at the right time.  Can you imagine what the effect of a “no-warning” “where did it come from?” nuke might be on advancing US or South Korean forces?  Can you imagine how urgent the question “are there any more?” will become?  And, again, for that the North Koreans don’t even need a real nuclear weapon.  A primitive nuclear device will be plenty.

I can already hear the die-hard “rah-rah-rah we are number 1!” flag-wavers dismissing it all saying “ha! and you don’t think that the CIA already knows all that?”.  Maybe they do and maybe they don’t – but the problem is that the CIA, and the rest of the US intelligence community, has been so hopelessly politicized that it can do nothing against perceived political imperatives.  And, frankly, when I see that the US is trying to scare the North Koreans with B-1B and F-22s I wonder if anybody at the Pentagon, or at Langely, is still in touch with reality.  Besides, there is intelligence and then there is actionable intelligence. And in this case knowing what the Koreans could do does not at all mean know what to do about it.

Speaking of chaos – do you know what the Chinese specifically said about it?

Can you guess?

That they will “not allow chaos and war on the peninsula."

Enter the Chinese

Let’s talk about the Chinese now.  They made their position very clear: “If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government China will stop them."  Since there is no chance at all of a unprovoked North Korean attack on the South or the USA, especially with this threat by the Chinese to remain neutral if the DPRK attacks first, let’s focus on the 2nd part of the warning.

What could the Chinese do if the US decides to attack North Korea?  There basic options depend on the nature of the attack:

  1. If the US limits itself to a combination of missile and airstrikes and the DPRK retaliates (or not), then the Chinese can simply provide technical, economic and humanitarian aid to the DPRK and denounce the US on a political level.
  2. If the USA follow up with a land invasion of some kind or if the DPRK decides to retaliate in a manner which would force the USA into a land invasion of some kind, then the Chinese could not only offer directly military aid, including military personnel, but they could also wait for the chaos to get total in Korea before opening a 2nd front against US forces (including, possibly, Taiwan).

That second scenario would create a dangerous situation for China, of course, but it would be even far more dangerous for US forces in Asia who would find themselves stretched very thin over a very large area with no good means to force either adversary to yield or stop.  Finally, just as China cannot allow the USA to crush North Korea, Russia cannot allow the USA to crush China.  Does that dynamic sound familiar?  It should as it is similar to what we have been observing in the Middle-East recently:

  1. Russia->Iran->Hezbollah->Syria
  2. Russia->China->DPRK

This is a very flexible and effective force posture where the smallest element is at the forefront of the line-up and the most powerful one most removed and at the back because it forces the other side to primarily focus on that frontline adversary while maximizing the risks of any possibly success because that success is likely to draw in the next, bigger and more powerful adversary.

Conclusion: preparing for genocide

The US has exactly a zero chance of disarming or, even less so, regime changing the DPRK by only missile and airstrikes.  To seriously and meaningfully take the DPRK “in their hands” the US leaders would need to approve of a land invasion.  However, even if that is not the plan, if the DPRK decides to use its immense, if relatively antiquated, firepower to strike at Seoul, the US will have no choice to move in ground forces across the DMZ.  If that happens about 500,000 ROK troops backed by 30,000 US military personnel will face about 1 million North Korea soldiers backed by 5 million paramilitaries and 200,000 special forces on a mix terrain battlefield which will require an infantry-heavy almost WWII kind of military operations.  By definition, if the USA attacks the DPRK to try to destroy its nuclear program such an attack will begin by missile and air strikes on DPRK facilities meaning that the USA will immediately strike at the most valuable targets (from the point of view of the North Koreans of course).  This means that following such an attack the US will have little or no dissuasive capabilities left and that means that following such an attack the DPRK will have no incentive left to show any kind of restraint.  In sharp contrast, even if the DPRK decides to begin with an artillery barrage across the DMZ, including the Seoul metropolitan area, they will still have the ability to further escalate by either attacking Japan or by setting off a nuclear device.  Should that happen there is an extremely high probability that the USA will either have to “declare victory and leave” (a time-honored US military tradition) or begin using numerous tactical nuclear strikes.  Tactical nuclear strikes, by the way, have a very limited effectiveness on prepared defensive position in mixed terrain, especially narrow valleys.  Besides, targets for such strikes are hard to find.  At the end of the day, the last and only option left to the USA is what they always eventually resort to would be to directly and deliberately engage in the mass murder of civilians to “break the enemy’s will to fight” and destroy the “regime support infrastructure” of the enemy’s forces (another time-honored US military tradition stretching back to the Indian wars and which was used during the Korean war and, more recently, in Yugoslavia).  Here I want to quote an article by Darien Cavanaugh in War is Boring:

On a per-capita basis, the Korean War was one of the deadliest wars in modern history, especially for the civilian population of North Korea. The scale of the devastation shocked and disgusted the American military personnel who witnessed it, including some who had fought in the most horrific battles of World War II (…).  These are staggering numbers, and the death rate during the Korean War was comparable to what occurred in the hardest hit countries of World War II. (…)  In fact, by the end of the war, the United States and its allies had dropped more bombs on the Korean Peninsula, the overwhelming majority of them on North Korea, than they had in the entire Pacific Theater of World War II.

“The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating U.N. forces,” historian Charles K. Armstrong wrote in an essay for the Asia-Pacific Journal.  “The U.S. Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the U.S. had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others. American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea—that is, essentially on North Korea—including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to 503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II.”  As Armstrong explains, this resulted in almost unparalleled devastation.  “The number of Korean dead, injured or missing by war’s end approached three million, ten percent of the overall population. The majority of those killed were in the North, which had half of the population of the South; although the DPRK does not have official figures, possibly twelve to fifteen percent of the population was killed in the war, a figure close to or surpassing the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II.”

 

Twelve to fifteen percent of the entire population was murdered by US forces in Korea during the last war (compare these figures to the so-called ‘genocide’ of Srebrenica!).  That is what Nikki Haley and the psychopaths in Washington DC are really threatening to do when they speak of taking the situation “in their own hands” or, even better, when Trump threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea.  What Trump and his generals forget is that we are not in the 1950's but in 2017 and that while the Korean War and a negligible economic impact on the rest of the planet, a war the middle of Far East Asia today would have huge economic consequences.  Furthermore, in the 1950's the total US control over the mass media, at least in the so-called “free world” made it relatively easy to hide out the murderous rampage by US-lead forces, something completely impossible nowadays.  The modern reality is that irrespective of the actual military outcome on the ground, any US attack on the DPRK would result is such a massive loss of face for the USA that it would probably mark the end of the US presence in Asia and a massive international financial shock probably resulting in a crash of the currently already fragile US economy.  In contrast, China would come out as the big winner and the uncontested Asian superpower.

All the threats coming out of US politicians are nothing more than delusional hot air.  A country which has not won a single meaningful war since the war in the Pacific and whose Army is gradually being filled with semi-literate, gender-fluid and often conviction or unemployment avoiding soldiers is in no condition whatsoever to threaten a country with the wide choice of retaliatory options North Korea has.  The current barrage of US threats to engage in yet another genocidal war are both illegal under international law and politically counter-productive.  The fact is that the USA is unlikely to be able to politically survive a war against the DPRK and that it now has no other option than to either sit down and seriously negotiate with the North Koreans or accept that the DPRK has become an official nuclear power.

 

Comments

Verniercaliper Dec 18, 2017 10:45 AM Permalink

SakerThe reality is, NK is a house of cards, in a far weaker position militarily relative to the South than in 1950, when they were the industrial power and the South was dirt-poor. The worst outcome for the North may not be war, but massive infiltration of SK black ops teams that assassinate local political and military leaders, sabotage critical infrastructure and create chaos. They may create a false local Marxist resistance organization, or simulate a military coup to create even more chaos. That could be followed by airstrikes that devastate the North's infrastructure. The NK military is based on loyalty to Kim, not the nation...and there will be a great incentive to eliminate Kim if war starts. For generals, the promise of a renewed career as a general in the new unified Korean military and a secure retirement would be pretty compelling, compared to death or a war crimes trial.  

Snout the First Dec 17, 2017 7:57 PM Permalink

I wonder if anybody at the Pentagon, or at Langely, is still in touch with reality.No one in Washington is in touch with reality when it comes to economic or social policy. Why would you expect them to for military policy either?

MK ULTRA Alpha Dec 17, 2017 7:19 PM Permalink

Saker says he was in the Swiss Army. I was in the US Army, honor graduate of artillery school. I calculated an Honest John strike on the DMZ at night in 1976. The year 1976 was called Invasion Year because North Korea was invading because of the fall of Vietnam. In 2002 defector reports were released, a North Korean Major stated we called off the invasion because the US was going to use tactical nuclear weapons. The only tactical nuclear weapon in South Korea was the Honest John artillery rocket system. I was FDC, Fire Direction and Control. I completed three tours of duty in South Korea, on my second tour, I was in a warhead detachment. We were too close to the DMZ, I was shot at by a North Korean soldier. The bullet went across my face and another soldier turned in shocked amazement, I said, “Follow me”.

I returned to South Korea as a Business Consultant for Hyundai in the 90's. I'm fluent in Korean and Japanese. I worked hard to build a strong ally, the South Koreans. There is no doubt in my mind, South Korea can take Pyongyang, the capitol of North Korea.

North Korea lobbied a missile over Japan while the Japanese Prime Minister was asking the US for help. The US has a defense treaty with Japan, a lawful obligation. The Japanese have worked behind the scenes to help the US in many conflicts ie. Refueling warships in the Indian ocean for the Afghanistan mission. Now, the Japanese are being threatened and are actively engaged.

Japan is working with India to build new military equipment. The Chinese are building up on Doklam plateau and another mountain pass Chumbi Valley. China is intent on using proxy Pakistan in a flanking war with India to secure the mineral and oil treasure house of east India. At the same time, the Chinese are aggressively building island bases in the South China sea. An indication of intent was the Chinese reaction to 6 Australian Navy ships in the South China sea. The Chinese called it a provocation for war and made a media circus out of it for domestic consumption.

If the Chinese economy goes belly up, then expect war. The Chinese Communist Party must divert attention away from economic failure. This is why they keep the pot boiling just in case.

Taiwan is critical because it is the main CCP political platform. An unsuccessful invasion of Taiwan will crack the foundation of the communist party.

The Chinese have over 200,000 intelligence agents working in the US. Universities, companies, even in the government. The Chinese are stealing US technology at an unprecedented rate.

Unfortunately, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Jewish oligarchs and mafia in Russia robbed Russia blind. Putin had to step up and take the wealth back for Russians. This is why US foreign policy was aimed at destroying Russia. The neo-con Zionist are controlled by Jews in the US, thus, US foreign policy was directed by them against Russia. This was a great geopolitical miscalculation to satisfy the Jews. Russia was pushed, shoved, cornered into a closer and closer alliance with China. We now have an organized block opposing the US politically, economically and militarily

We have a new cold war developing, the key is not the Russians, but the Chinese. A loss of the China/US trade in which China enjoys a nearly $400 billion annual trade deficit will be the main input for a greater war. CCP must divert attention from famines or the CCP will be over thrown.

On here, we have many foreign anti-Americas. It clouds their judgment. It is infinitely unfortunate Hillary Clinton was in control of US foreign policy working to prove to the Jews she would be a good president for them. The Obama governments activities in the Ukraine and Middle East were wrong. But the US actions in North East Asia is something the US must do to survive. A strong well armed Japan is an outcome and the US needs strong Japanese alliance in the Asian theater. These aren't the Saudis manipulating US foreign policy through rogue elements like former CIA director Brennan. This isn't Council on Foreign Relations, the Jew shadow government based in NYC manipulating US Middle East policy for Israel. Iran has always been a target of the CFR neo-cons. It isn't about the petro-dollar as we are led to believe. It is all about Israel and the plan to create a Greater Israel. We are manipulated by both Israel and Saudi Arabia. We won the war to free Kuwait, but we lost the Bush II/Obama I war to restructure Iraq. It is now a hostile pro-Iranian Shia led country in which the US has little influence. Again, Japan is vital to the national security of the US.

Dr. Bonzo MK ULTRA Alpha Dec 18, 2017 2:24 AM Permalink

Kudos brother. That's a good write-up. I'd second everything you say. Glad to see the thoughtful replies from fellow Korea vets on this thread. This Saker dumbfuck irritates the shit out of me. Typical fucking Swiss. And they think Americans are arrogant. Analysis by Wikipedia and Google maps. No problem for the fanboys. SMFH.... My favorite of his was comparing the Taebaek mountains to the Alps and then casually proclaiming, well I' m Swiss, so I know mountains....Sweet fucking mercy...............................

In reply to by MK ULTRA Alpha

Groucho Dec 17, 2017 4:19 PM Permalink

Anyone interested in a serious discussion of this article should go to the Saker's blog. That blog is well moderated so you avoid the ZH adolescents with chips on their shoulders and very little in the way of intelligent perspective.The article contains a lot of very good analysis by someone who knows what he's talking about. The bottom line is that there is no acceptable military solution to this problem and the risk of an accident is rapidly escalating as the US is seen by NK to be preparing for an attack. Some of the salient points;1. NK has significant conventional capability. Even if their equipment is old it would be highly effective in this kind of conflict. Some comments have said that the US would destroy NK capabilities which is true but I suspect not before a huge amount of damage was done to SK and Japan causing potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths. The terrain in NK will make it very difficult to locate and eliminate NK's artillery as will the fact that they have been digging in for 70 years. The US couldn't subdue the Vietnamese in a conflict that lasted for years in arguably far less difficult geography.2. NK does not require missile technology to use a nuclear device. As Saker pointed out there could be devices on vehicles at the DMZ which, if used would make Seoul (populatioin 25 million) uninhabitable. Japan would also be vulnerable to short range missiles.3. China has stated that if the US attacks NK it will intervene on NK's behalf. I read several comments dismissing this as hyperbole. This demonstrates the classic stupidity of underestimating your adversary. Should China come to NK's aid it's anti-ship missile technology will quickly demonstrate that aircraft carriers are a 20th century platform operating in a 21st century conflict. The US cannot win a conventional conflict with China in Asia. This means that the US either leaves in defeat or escalates the conflict to a nuclear exchange. Hopefully no one is enough of a moral reprobate to see a nuclear strike as a solution.4. Any conflict here will have profound economic and geopolitical consequences. This is true for the US as well as Asia. It will result in a total collapse of a very fragile world economy as the effects on SK and Japan will reverberate around the world. It will also very likely be the end of the US empire as Asian allies having paid the price for US instigated belligerence will realign with China/ Russia. The ensuing economic collapse in the US will lead to the kind of social upheaval not seen since the 1930s.NK's belligerence has consistently been in the context of a response to US aggression. They are not threatening the coast of New Jersey or California. Russian proposals for deescalating - NK to suspend testing and US/ SK stop military exercises have been summarily rebuffed by the Trump Administration. Even Tillerson's comment that the US is willing to engage without precondition was contradicted by the White House.The bottom line is that the US is the aggressor in this conflict and will bear primary responsibility should a conflict erupt.

Dr. Bonzo Groucho Dec 18, 2017 2:47 AM Permalink

Anyone interested in a serious discussion of this article should go to the Saker's blog.You guys still don't get it. I've counted at least a dozen replies from US military veterans from different eras and backgrounds on this thread and nearly all with time on the ground in Korea, and several of us who have served ON the goddamned DMZ, invested a CONSIDERABLE amount of our lives in Korea and Asia, speak Asian languages, but no.... you fucking cunts want to cling to your Saker fucktard because he brands himself as a one-time Swiss Army intel weenie. You know why we refer to intel people as weenies? Figure it out.All military projections seem to assume a Total War scenario, which is of course an absolute disaster for all involved. The Nork regime isn't going to be taken out nearly as easily as anyone believes, including the E-Ring fucktards in the Pentagon, but most of us realize that.The Nork regime doesn't need to be taken out. The Norks just need to be kneecapped. THAT is what should have been done in the 90s, but spilled milk etcetera. This is in itself a considerable problem, but it's manageable problem.The chief threat from the North at the moment is the not inconsiderable threat their artillery poses to the roughly 7 million people in the larger Seoul metropolitan area north of the Han River. BUT, you know what... even that's a manageable threat if the attack is conducted properly. That could only be accomplished if the Russians and Chinese are on board. If the US signals it has absolutely ZERO interest in a "regime change" scenario the Chinese would be a LOT more accommodating than some of you fucking monkeys realize. In that case the Norks lose a considerable amount of strategic intel and the opportunities for the combined ROK-PACAF to conduct MASSIVE aerial neutering of #1 Nork strategic missile sites and #2 Nork arty whch will be infinitely easier. One the Norks are properly neutered, well fuck them too.MY personal preference? The US simply abandons the Mutual Defense Treaty with the ROK and let the South Koreans and their backwardass fucktard "Sunshine Policy" horseshit stew in their own diarrhea and all US military assets are comfortably returned home to Texas storage depots where they belong. 

In reply to by Groucho

patriotinCalif Dec 17, 2017 3:30 PM Permalink

"because infantry in mixed terrain is the war the us fears the most."  The author is an idiot. The US military fears no terrain and has fought in it all. I stopped reading after this bonehead statement.

gcjohns1971 Dec 17, 2017 1:22 PM Permalink

This guy has a cartoonish understanding of military matters.The primary value of this article is as doom propaganda.He compares military sizes but downplays the delta in military materiel as technological in nature.It is  technological, logistic, and political.Most of the DPRK's military have never shot real bullets.If DPRK launches attacks against Japan, Japan will re-militarize.  Is it more valuable to China to have a DPRK? Or to have a demilitarized Japan?The US is not the main force on the Penninsula.  ROK is.The US is only insurance against what happened 70 years ago, overwhelming attack by DPRK ground forces planned by Russia, equipped by Russia,  air supported by Russia, and backed by the whole chinese Army.An attack by DPRK will NEVER happen, the author says.If so it would be the first year WITHOUT a DPRK attack since 1951.  Most recently the DPRK sank a ROK coast-guard ship in international waters.  Before that they flattened a ROK village on an island in the Yellow sea. Before that it was a village south of the DMZ. Russia has provided the missile and bomb designs.  China has used her might to guarantee no one will answer DPRK attacks short of an existential threat.Russia is now racing to expand its arsenal, betting that if Kim launches the US will abandon ROK rather than risk Global Nuclear war, but seeking to ensure the stakes are existential.Guess what?  The whole strategy already makes the stakes existential. There's no reason NOT to launch.We will all die together for our elite's greed and stupidity.ORReciprocate the strategy nuclearly arm Japan and ROK.

IronForge Dec 17, 2017 12:04 PM Permalink

Amature Hour by the Saker. Not bad, though - guess SYR and Donbass Readership headcount may be tanking on his site.He's way out of his elements; and already miscounted PRK Troop estimates by 50%. He's not a fan of Mr.Putin, IIRC; and his railings against him reveal a Snowflake-esque Worldview.

Urizen Dec 17, 2017 11:37 AM Permalink

The issue with these articles that i see are the assumptions made.1. We know everything the government knows2. We know all the tech avalible to usWere not on the inside and given this its all speculation at best.

Boogity Dec 17, 2017 11:14 AM Permalink

The USA military talks a lot of smack but the fact is, with the notable exception of Ronny Raygun's heroic invasion of mighty Grenada, it hasn't won a war since WW2.

Dark star Dec 17, 2017 11:11 AM Permalink

Were the USA to attack NK with a massive first use of nuclear weapons; one has to seriously consider the nature of the response from the rest of the World.The question on the lips of every Country on the planet is "Who's next?"China and Russia both would be forced to consider whether either of them would be next on the list of US targets.There would be a great deal of dicussion among the Chinese and Russians as to whether a joint nuclear strike on the USA becomes a necessity for self preservation. I expect those discussions to be ongoing, and I wouldn't dare to be sufficiently presumptious to second guess their answer.Regarding de-escalation by diplomacy, one has to remember that promises made by the USA are manifestly worthless, this limits the options available.The whole world would turn against the USA if it went nuclear in a first strike.Any agreement reached with the North Koreans needs guarantors other than the USA in order to be credible.

redmudhooch Dec 17, 2017 10:21 AM Permalink

Fuck Nimrata Randhawa aka Nikki Haley, zio-whore on steroids, female version of Ted Cruz........Again, when has N Korea attacked us? Or Iran?Israel killed thousands on 9/11, 50+ in Vegas, USS Liberty, JFK, the list goes on and on...They're our allies according to these money worshiping sellout fucktards.Sad!Incontrovertible - New 9/11 Documentary by Tony Rookehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5UyynjxAywDonald Trump interview 2 days after 9/11 at ground zerohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNodh9OlTrQ

ConnectingTheDots Dec 17, 2017 10:18 AM Permalink

The US military has not won a war since the first Korean War.Yes, they have won practically all of the battles, but they keep losing the wars.Why is this? It is an abject failure of the ruling and political classes. US foreign policy is in the hands of totally incompetent people. And now these same people think we should try again in Korea. (This time will be different)Those who fail to learn  history are doomed to repeat it.

Le_Zabroso Dec 17, 2017 10:15 AM Permalink

The Chinese have had it with the Kims, they are not making anybody any money. Look for a joint US & China double donging some time in early 2018.

Son of Captain Nemo Le_Zabroso Dec 17, 2017 11:11 AM Permalink

"The Chinese have had it with the Kims, they are not making anybody any money. Look for a joint US & China double donging some time in early 2018."

"Double Donging"?... You mean like this one that isn't for YOU or ME (https://www.rt.com/op-edge/408006-china-oil-petro-yuan-russia/)???.... By the way... That's not a "MAYBE" anymore but a "SHALL BE"... And it is the single reason for the U.S. picking on China and Russia's neighbor!

You live in a fantasy World!

In reply to by Le_Zabroso

Son of Captain Nemo Dec 17, 2017 10:08 AM Permalink

For the record in our 9/11 (http://www.ae911truth.org/) apocalyptic "plausible deniability" "going down with the ship mindset" this should be plastered on every MSM news organization in the U.S. and EU!... Fork "tender" and DONE (https://southfront.org/implausible-denials-crime-jabal-al-tharda-us-led…)!

After reading ALL OF IT... Ask yourself the question "WHY" every single member of the UN outside of the MC, Israel and U.K. haven't walked off the "reservation" since September 17, 2016?...

The money $$$ is certainly NO GOOD ANYMORE. And they keep spending more of it $$$ to LOSE further?... The only reasonable assumption you can deliver on that observation is that when this traitor uttered these words (http://www.weeklystandard.com/obama-im-concerned-about-a-nuke-being-det…) he wasn't kidding in the context of all the partners in the "shadows" that are in it's cross hairs including "itself" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Option).

But then again?... What good does it do telling a pathological liar and psychopath that he is both of those???!!!....

If the United States were building the tallest building out of lies deceit and murder we are NO DOUBT the THE ALL TIME CHAMPIONS of being the worst of the worst that WILL NEVER be trusted which is why an attack on North Korea will have to be a SUICIDE PACT for the U.S., South Korea and Japan in order for it to "WORK". ...

GAME OVER MAN!!!

NuYawkFrankie Dec 17, 2017 10:08 AM Permalink

RELAX America! With Trump The Idiot & Nicky The Nutjob steering the ZOG-USSA Ship of Fools there is NOTHING to fear…  but Deprivation, Destitution & Death!

Fireman Dec 17, 2017 9:15 AM Permalink

The adults on the planet are sick of Pox Amerikana and the "exorbitant privilege" reserve currency Al Capone soup kitchen gig as the Pentacon mob fizzles out in a swamp of corruption a la Fat Leonard and crashing rusted maxed out dreadnoughts not to mention their gender retarded tranny sailors "in the navy" drugged to the gills. China's Korea and China's "big, beautiful" South China Sea "resort" islands are bristling with big sticks and USSA can do NOTHING, and the rest of humanity knows it and enjoys watching the snaggle-toothed, drug-addled, big mouth dumb a$$ mutt get kicked in the face. Meanwhile Chump's "armada" splashes around China's backyard paid for by Chinese credit and waiting to get "containered" as China's very own version of Nudelman's Porky Poroshenko in Pyongyang thumbs his nose and plays with his nukes freaking the rabid khazarian mongrel neocons even more than Novorossiya's de facto independence. Quite simply the warmongering USSA has killed all the Koreans it is ever going to kill...with impunity. By all means blow up the planet to save the IOU Saudi Mercan petroscrip toilet paper dollah, if you dare. But we all know deep down that the chosenite bluster is just that and even the lumpen Goy tax cattle still have a basic sense of survival even through the opioid haze.Onward to the Third World   https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/17/the-problem-is-washington-not-no... Karma is a bitch and when the free lunch Pentacon protection racket ends, watch Slumville implode!

jmack Dec 17, 2017 8:42 AM Permalink

    The strawman argument that the saker puts forth, demeaning the US for turning to China to control North Korea really discredits this analysis.    DPRK exists for one reason and one reason only, because of Soviet and Chinese support.       In the grand geopolitical chessboard, DPRK is the pawn that will trigger the US when China is ready to begin it's endgame to become the reigning world superpower.  I forsee it as whatever tinpot dictator is "in charge" of DPRK at the time will fire off a nuke or two, the US will respond,  x number of devastation and death ensues, China plays primary role in "ending" the conflict to a peaceful resolution, once the US has been sufficiently bled and weakened, which wont take much by the time China sets off the DPRK trigger.   China will come out as the benevolent peacemakers who also happen to be the largest hegemony with the most stable monetary and economic system, and by default become the world reserve currency and reigning superpower.     Of Course the US could convince india to join them and a world wide nuclear exchange ensues...who knows.

rejected jmack Dec 17, 2017 11:03 AM Permalink

I foresee it as whatever tinpot dictator is "in charge" of DPRK at the time will fire off a nuke Repeating government mantra. Can anyone come up with a name on there own or are we dumbed down that far.Country A has 3.5 million square miles,,, population of 330 million. Country B has 46,000 square miles,,, population of 25 million.Sooo the one with the smallest population and size is threatening the innocent and loving larger nation? Which one has used nukes on civilians?Which one has destroyed the Middle East? North Africa? Ukraine? Yugoslavia? Half of the nations in South and Central America?The US claims China is a monetary threat.Which one has monetary sanctions on Russia, China, Iran and NKChina has been here since 221 BC. Russia since 882 AD. Iran (Persia) since 550 BC. The US from 1776.They have out lasted the Ottomans, the Brits, the French, the Spanish and every other shitbox empire wannabee.The US now has 65 Genders. Major topics are bathrooms for each, marriage and soon bestiality. It now allows sex changes of its children as young as 5 years old.

In reply to by jmack

arrowrod Dec 17, 2017 8:42 AM Permalink

????I looked at the calendar.  Noticed 2018 is coming.What nitwit would invade with any country with human beings.  50 million drones, controlled by 10 million 12 y.o. Americans.  Daily prize for most kills.Just like a video game.Why do you think children rebel against their parents.  They are preparing for their future, not our past.

Golden Phoenix Dec 17, 2017 8:13 AM Permalink

It's a quandary. On the one hand a forced draft violatates constitutional prohibitions on involuntary servitude. On the other it'd clean up the SJWLGBTQWERTYs in a hurry.

Grimaldus Dec 17, 2017 7:52 AM Permalink

Well lookie here. This author appears to be another progressive complaining about---yeah you guessed it---progressives!There are too many bloody leftists on both sides here. Too many everywhere for that matter.The intent of this article and the bias is obvious. The author fails to mention even once that North Korea invaded the south June 25 1950 moving tanks and troops across the 38th parallel or the role Stalin had in it.But despite all the bloody leftists, I think this one gets resolved without warfare.      Grimaldus  

rejected Grimaldus Dec 17, 2017 11:21 AM Permalink

The author fails to mention even once that North Korea invaded the south June 25 1950 It was a civil war.... a little different yes?Did the US invade the CSA? Yes.Did the US tell other nations to stay out of it? Yes.Does the US practice what it preaches? No.So why did the US involve itself in NK?  Commies and the bullshit Domino Theory. Same reason why it lied to the world about the Gulf of Tonkin. Lost it's ass to N. Vietnam (another civil war) and now US cheapskates buy tons of good from them. What happened to the Domino Theory?It's amazing,,, You claim a country that invades one other country needs erradicated. But you live in a country that has invaded AND destroyed multiple nations and have no problems with that. As for invading, bombing, attacking, regime changing other nations, I think we can all agree on who holds that honor.Personally if I were you, I would be more worried about your wonderful loving government in Washington DC than any of the other percieved threats.

In reply to by Grimaldus

MK ULTRA Alpha Dec 17, 2017 7:36 AM Permalink

The distance from Seoul to the DMZ is 35 miles, the DMZ is 2.5 miles wide. That is 37.5 miles from North Korea. Lets estimate around 2 miles back for dug in hardened artillery batteries. That's 39.5 miles to the edge of Seoul. This is a straight line of nearly 40 miles, any sites at an angle to fire would be a longer distance. The only artillery which can reach Seoul would be the 170mm self propelled gun, of which North Korea has 500. And the other weapon is the 240mm and 300 mm multiple rocket launchers. And lets not forget mobile SCUD clones.

The author wrote of a 240mm gun or howitzer. There is no such weapon, it is a Soviet 240mm mortar with a limited range which can't hit Seoul. Most of North Korea's nearly 9000 guns and howitzers can't reach Seoul. Not even the 130mm gun can reach Seoul from their hardened T formation bunkers on the DMZ.

The artillery barrage on Seoul will be heavy in the first few days but after that, most of the North Korean artillery within range of Seoul will be destroyed. And again, only the 170mm gun, 240mm and 300 mm multiple rocket launchers can reach Seoul.

The author doesn't realize, North Korean ICBM and intermediate range ballistic missiles are targeted. There will be no ICBM or IRBM strikes on Japan or South Korea. But the easier to conceal 240 mm and 300 mm MRL, and SCUD clones will pose a serious threat.

And the author doesn't realize, a large portion of South Korea's population came from North Korea as refugees. A good example is Chairman Chung, the founder of Hyundai. A war will repeat the mass exodus of North Koreans to South Korea.

The South Koreans, Japanese and the Americans have the military advantage. Chinese intervention would be economic suicide. The end of the China trade with the US will end the Chinese economic advance and most likely lead to massive starvation. The Chinese have a much larger population than the past and the reason for the population increase was because of the opening of trade paid for grain imports. If the grain is not imported, then a percentage of the nearly 1.5 billion people will begin to starve.

The author also included Taiwan as a Chinese option. Over a million dead Chinese in the Taiwan Strait will crack the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party. The risk of a cross strait invasion is too great for China because of the US /Japan air umbrella over the Taiwan Strait.

A war with China is coming, it is better to strengthen South Korea and Japan for eventual war with a Korean war which at this time, our side has the advantage. Even if it is a stalemate, that's what we have now. A ground war will have limited objectives, not like the Chosin Reservoir march to the Yalu river. Objectives like the North Korean Capitol would be enough to break the back of North Korea.

east of eden MK ULTRA Alpha Dec 17, 2017 7:58 AM Permalink

You will be crushed, and annihilated.You conveniently 'omit' the effects of hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Russian troops pouring over the North Korean border, from the north east, north and north west. They are mobile. They have the best weapon systems on the planet, and compared to the crap that you would have to fight with, they can easily neutralize you, in days, not weeks or months.

In reply to by MK ULTRA Alpha