Thursday, November 25, 2010

How would an actual shooting war on the Korean Peninsula play out?


   This month's arty exchanges on the Korean peninsula had me loading up the microwave with popcorn. Sure I've said before that this war will never happen but what do I know? Military history is steeped in examples of shit getting way out of hand for no good reason. I'm thinking Franz Ferdinand eating a bullet in Sarajevo and 37 million people dying because of it. War is never supposed to make sense. If it did, there would be no fighting in the first place.

   So the North Koreans whipped out their dicks again. Instead of sinking a ship, this time they laid down some indirect on a South Korean island. Interestingly, 20 of those shells were duds and gave SK investigators a chance to examine them. Turns out they're a new type of shell (new for the North Koreans anyway), a thermobaric type warhead, you know, a fuel-air bomb, the type the US were going to use to blow Bin Laden out of his non existent mountain fortress. Turns out they're pretty good against concrete too and they also come in quite handy when you'd like to start a lot of fires and watch the world burn.

   That got me thinking.

   Where could North Korean ordinance like that really act as a clusterfuck multiplier?

   Obviously, it's Seoul. Everyone with even a passing interest in war knows the North Koreans have thousands of artillery pieces pointed at Seoul, a mere 35 miles from the DMZ. So supposing this shit were to go live, how would it play out? For fun, lets suppose some doc tells Kim Jong he's got two months to live and he decides to take the world down with him just for lulz. How would he go about it?

   First off, what's he got?

   Interestingly, the North is only ranked 20th in world military strength, that's eight places behind the South. This is mainly due to the glut of Soviet era equipment in the North's arsenal all of it inherited from the 'glory days' of the Cold War. Shitty Warsaw Pact tanks (T-62s, T- 54s, would you believe they even have 200 T-34s, you know, those legendary beauties that routed the Wehrmacht at Kursk in '43). All of this equipment was proven obsolete when Saddam fielded it in Gulf War I when it made nice missile fodder for US Apaches and A10s. None of it is equipped with night vision or infra red, stabilization of the main gun for firing on the move and all of it wields old school steel armor that you could cut open these days with a shaped charge fart.

    The North's air force is equally laughable, consisting of Vietnam era fighters like MIG-17s, 19s and 23s. All that would be like fielding a bunch of World War I Sopwith Camels versus a squadron of P-51 Mustangs. As a SK or US pilot, you wouldn't be able to pull the trigger fast enough while laughing manically in your cockpit and jizzing profusely into your G pants. The South Koreans and US Navy would have a wankfest engaging that force if the North Koreans ever attempted to fly it.

    So the only thing Kim Jong and his Hennessy bottle have left to throw realistically at the South is their million man infantry (4 million in reserve) and their arty which they've got a decent amount of. Oh, and a possible nuke. Probably not because their recent attempts fizzled and got laughed off the Richter scale when detonated underground and measured by the Americans. Still, I have this fantasy that they've got a viable warhead they could air burst 10 miles up over Seoul which would act as an EMP device and knock out all the electronics in the capital. That's a lot of angry Starcraft players rioting on your streets.

   So it all comes down to the arty.

   The North launches everything they've got at Seoul and causes mega casualties. That's the threat, their ace in the hole. That is the reason why nobody in the South or the US wants this shit to go live. How many people will die in that initial barrage? That's the awful question that makes the South Koreans swallow a ship sinking and an artillery barrage on their own territory. A rich modern industrial nation can do without a war with a sick neighbor throwing a tantrum.

   Despite the mega casualties, South Korea will win. The US and SK will lay waste the North in a month. And that's where China comes in. That's why they don't want this war to happen either. North Korea is their buffer zone against capitalism. LOL seriously! China still has this hard on for the memory of Chairman Mao and any reminder on their border of the fact that they are actually a 'police-state-centrally-controlled-capitalistic-mega zone' pisses them off majorly. It offends their ideological image of themselves as 'communists'. They're a lot like the US in that respect... where the reality of themselves today fails to live up to the dream of themselves written in their founding books long ago.

   After the initial flurry of steel rain on Seoul, refugees heading South, fires burning, possibly street battles in Seoul between SK troops and the North's special forces who could possibly infiltrate the capital through tunnel networks that may or may not be viable. Still, without armor this force will mostly be a futile dick waving exercise so Kim Jong can feel good about being the mighty victor to his brainwashed zombie population in Pyongyang.

   The US and South Koreans will probably begin a co ordinated air campaign next, targeting North Korean radar sites initially and also going after as much of that arty North of Seoul as they can. I can see that being a turkey shoot of epic proportions for the US and South Korean pilots. That along with counter battery fire from the South should quieten the North's artillery to a manageable level (mobile potshots from self propelled arty hiding under bridges and in tunnels excepted). Interestingly, this might be the time Kim decides to break out the chemical or biological weaponry and lay down a plague on Seoul. Holy shit things would get interesting then.

    Next up for the South, Pyongyang. I can't see any scenario where regime change in the North doesn't become the primary objective. That'll involve a shock and awe bombing campaign going after Kim and his government administration. Pyongyang has a hornet's nest of AA but again a lot of that is going to be Soviet era shit. There'll be a lot of spray and pray and triple A rounds lighting up the sky like Baghdad in 1990.

   The interesting part here is the land war. It's going to take time for the South to break through the DMZ. If the North have any brains they've probably got every square metre mined to fuck. Plus they'll have hundreds of hardened bunkers with AT weapons of all kinds. I wonder will we see another cool Inchon type amphibious landing like MacArthur pulled in 1950. Such a strategy skirting the DMZ would have its merits.

   I'll have run out of popcorn by this stage.

   When the North starts getting the shit kicked out of it it'll be interesting to see what China's next move will be. That's really where this thing has the chance to go global and shit starts getting real scary real fast. Obviously no one wants this and if the US/SK can kill Kim Jong fast and get some rational actor in there who agrees to a surrender in return for some Marshall type rebuilding plan, I can see things ending nicely for all parties.

   Of course that's the optimistic scenario. And I'm never optimistic when it comes to war. Us bi pedal apes always manage to break out the crazy when the dogs of war are let loose so I can see all kinds of escalation events triggering. That's why I still say that this shit is never going to happen. It's just too risky for the US and China and the world...

   So I say that popcorn is safe in my pantry.

   For now.


  1. that's what i am, a retard. Cool post!

  2. You think that maybe this is just some big huge posturing gesture to get Kim Jong-Un favor with the Northern military? Kim Jong-Il is desperately trying to legitimize his son...maybe this is all just fluff for that purpose?


  4. North Korea is best Korea.

  5. Indeed I think it is a manufactured crisis meant to put pressure on internal threats to the regime. By reminding everyone that he is in power, Kim Jong-Il is setting up a stable situation he can hand over to Kim Jong-Un.

  6. I'm concerned that Kim Jong-Il is just gonna say fuck it, I'm not gonna be leader or even alive for much longer so let's go out in style. That said it looks unlikely that China will intervene, they are apparently growing increasingly frustrated with North Korea. Why the government decided not to relocate the people of Seoul after the Korean War is ridiculous.

  7. Kim Jong-Il is doing everything a 10 year old with a hard-on for playing war would do if in charge of a nation, and I have to say I respect him out of his unbelievably absent (or genius, time will tell) political tact and gigantic balls. I'd probably have converted half of North Korea into a laser-zone and required all able bodies to play. I'd be unkillable, of course.

  8. What if China invaded the North, deposed Jong Il and then unified Korea?

    Or would they stay there, in the North?

    1. Who says the North wants nukes 'only' because they worry about the ROK and US? China isn't really a country most nations would want on their border.

  9. I'm convinced this is just a big show for the sake of his son. He (was) just made general, now he's got to flex his muscles a bit, prove that he inherited his father's balls.
    Either that or Kim is getting ready to retire (in fact, he might well be dead already) and they need a good old patriotic frenzy to prevent any mayhem or sedition during the power transfer.
    In any case it's nothing to worry about, NK pulls this shit every fucking time the peasants start whining about their empty stomachs.

  10. It's obvious this is just a play internally to stabilize succession for his son, since everyone pretty much agrees that his son is completely out of his depth and wasn't even remotely the first choice. It's pretty bad when the first choice is deported for trying to sneak into Disney World, real manly image that presents.

    That said, given concerns over China's intervention or at least assistance to the Norks, instead of an Inchon landing I would consider a pincer move to land on both sides of Korea along the Chinese border and move to the center. This would establish a friendly "wall" between China and the Nork Army, and we could then mop up at our leisure.

    But realistically, any engagement would be tempered against the realization that the people there are slaves and should be treated as trauma victims rather than enemy agents. It may be Gulf War surrenders on an epic scale.

    Then again, they just might be as fanatical as Kimmy claims, and that would be fucking bad.

  11. "That's a lot of angry Starcraft players rioting on your streets"

    My hangover and amphetamine binge from last night has been made slightly easier after such humorous shit.

    I think I love you.

  12. I think NK's artillery has been way overrated, at least when it comes to their ability to hit Seoul with conventional munitions.

  13. 35 KM is out of range for conventional 152mm rounds. Reality is they will be 40KM away or so - if they want to survive a few hours...

    That means sub-caliber or boosted ammo. That means significantly less warhead, and a lot more wear and tear on 70 yr old tubes....

  14. Well I guess it's another Kim Jong now.

    If the shit hit the fat, probably the best thing for the US would be to tell China that once the fighting is over the US is out of there.

  15. Please do an update!! What if NK attacks SK today and they have a nuke?

  16. Sounds like the Matinee movie is about to begin... The DPRK vs the World may be the prelude to the Far East version of WW3.

    Popcorn n microwaves...

  17. Would love to hear an update too! China may be willing to shift a bit from their previously attitude.

  18. Hey would the arty get carpet bombed or picked off slowly by precision weapons. What about a load of Thermobaric bombs would that help the job? That word said slowly excites me. Thermobaric, just say it.

  19. They would be picket off relatively fast by precision weapons from land, sea and air. further more China has told the U.S that if NK launches any type of nuclear attack against the U.S or her allies (lol) that they will not get involved. So there goes NK only real allied which opens up a full scale invasion into NK. But here is a hypothetical situation for anybody who would like to indulge me in this conversation. Lets say that the NK people are not as fanatical towards there beloved leader like we all think, but instead scared shitless of the government. Due to the fact that anybody who has apposed them have either been killed, tortured, sent to person camps, or other wised been eliminated from the population and further more the lack of food has left many starving. So instead of a war between the two Korea's i Propose this.

    Lets say that a small group of special forces or agents from a country or multiple country's were able to get into NK without being detected but instead of going after the government, a VIP, military installations,or weapons, they were to try and get people and members of the military who would be willing to do a revolution of sorts, and all while being able to keep this from the government. Now do to they fear of their own government most people would refuse because they have not been able to do anything about it. But now we are presenting them with the ability and training them a lot of people join this resistance,like we saw in the American revolution the majority would be willing to fight. lets also say that some military officials were willing to help with this and they in turn got their subordinates to follow them. At this point we are gaining good ground, and because this is being funded by multiple country, we are able to smuggle in food and weapons to help this resistance.

    Now here comes the big part, After this pile up of weapons and ammo as well as food, this resistance hit fast and it hits hard, taking key air bases and installations thanks to the Military group members, which then can be used to provide air support to the resistance and armor support. these bases would be along the DMZ and in the outlining area behind the NK side of the DMZ thus making a buffer zone. once this is done Lets say that the remaining loyalist forces of the NK government attack once they have figured out what was happening, but like i said the resistance captured air fields and a small coastal area, which would give the U.S and SK places to land amphibious troops and aircraft to land effectively letting them hop over the DMZ and reinforce the resistance force and then pushing up thorough the country side aided by modern air support and armor which would in theory wipe the floor with NK obsolete military. But I would also have a pincer movement from an amphibious assault near the boarder of china cutting off any aid they might give. Making the NK fight on two fronts with outdated weapons. all the while letting the navy and air force do precision strikes on missile silos and installations.

    After all is said and done, i want to know if this hypothetical situation is feasible at all.