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Tensions Ramping up with North Korea
Posted by: Jon Henke on Friday, July 07, 2006

I'm not sure how reliable this report is, but it is consistent with some other recent data...
A North Korean missile launched on Wednesday was aimed at an area of the ocean close to Hawaii, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday.
Now, perhaps this report doesn't mean much, or perhaps it is inaccurate. But some other signals emanating from North Korea are equally interesting.

Consider the language of two reports from the North Korean governments' Korean Central News Agency. Addressing the recent missile launches, the 'news release' says...
It is a lesson taught by history and a stark reality of the international relations proven by the Iraqi crisis that the upsetting of the balance of force is bound to create instability and crisis and spark even a war.
[...]
The DPRK will have no option but to take stronger physical actions of other forms, should any other country dares take issue with the exercises and put pressure upon it.
And in a very strangely worded — "kicking up hullabaloo to extremely coil up the situation on the Korean Peninsula"?!?!? — story about US aerial surveillance entitled "U.S. Aerial Espionage against DPRK at Dangerous Stage"...
The U.S. was hell bent on espionage over military objects of the DPRK in March when it staged large-scale RSOI and "Foal Eagle" joint military exercises, bringing about the dark cloud of nuclear warfare. [...] The invariable wild ambition of the U.S. to stifle the DPRK by force of arms as the target of preemptive attack was revealed in bolder relief in June following April and May.
[...]
All the facts prove that the military movements of the United States to unleash a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula at any cost have reached the extremely dangerous stage. To cope with this, the army and people of the DPRK are increasing the military deterrent so as to mercilessly frustrate any provocations of the aggressors.
This is quite militaristic, confrontational language intended for an international audience. North Korea appears to be utilizing the Iranian strategy of irrationality and belligerence in order to force more favorable negotiations.

Of course, the other side of that coin may be that, if they're reduced to fireworks displays and angry rhetoric, North Korea doesn't have much real ammunition, their diplomatic options are narrowing and their domestic problems are being exacerbated by both China and South Korea cutting off aid. North Korea may be nearing their own end-game, and trying to agitate for the best negotiating position they can get before seeking an accomodation.
 
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"North Korea may be nearing their own end-game, and trying to agitate for the best negotiating position they can get before seeking an accomodation."
Lord, I hope that’s all.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Lord, I hope that’s all.
Think about it Tom ... Plan A involved the Taepodong -2 missle soaring majestically into the air and splashing down near Hawaii. A whole new set of options open for NoKo had that happened and they have an entirely different, and stronger, negotiating positon.

Unfortunately they’re now stuck with Plan B since the missle performed about as well as a bottle rocket.

With either plan they were aggitating for a negotiating position ... that’s what they do ... that’s what they’ve always done. The good news is Plan B left them in a much, much poorer negotiating position than would have Plan A.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Of course, the other side of that coin may be that, if they’re reduced to fireworks displays and angry rhetoric, North Korea doesn’t have much real ammunition
According to globalstrategy.org, N Korea has stockpiled 900,000 TONS of HE warheads, have undisclosed LARGE stockpiles of nerve gas and some bioagents.
Plus 6-8 nukes. And the world’s 4th largest military.

To get it on non-NORK heads in Japan, S Korea - they have 2800 short and medium range high-payload missiles. And 11,000 tube launchers (fixed artillery, mobile howizers) arrayed in hardened shelters with back-up redoubts. Just on the Border.

Projections of casualties if all that is launched on Seoul are in the hundreds of thousands, a few million in a full war. And those are the estimates without nukes.

Sounds like real ammunition to me.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Sounds like real ammunition to me.
Yeah, but you’re talking two different scenarios.

In one that actually matters. In another, not so much. And it is the latter, the 6 party talks, where the "not so much" comes into play.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
According to globalstrategy.org
Who?
Projections of casualties if all that is launched on Seoul are in the hundreds of thousands, a few million in a full war. And those are the estimates without nukes.
If true, that would be useful defense against an attack. Their protestations notwithstanding, I really doubt that’s what they’re worried about. North Korea, like the Soviet Union did, suffers more from internal contradictions than external enemies. Eventually, things that can’t go on forever, don’t.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Sounds like real ammunition to me.
Against South Korea, yes. Against us, no.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Well yeah the’re at Plan B.

The thing is, I’m not sure crazy is only a strategy for them.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
According to globalstrategy.org, N Korea has stockpiled 900,000 TONS of HE warheads, have undisclosed LARGE stockpiles of nerve gas and some bioagents.
Plus 6-8 nukes. And the world’s 4th largest military.
At the start of the first Gulf War, Iraq had the world’s 4th largest military.

Everyone seems to bemoan the fact that North Korea has this, North Korea has that. Back in 1997, when I was stationed there, the South Koreans (ROK) had 680,000 standing troops, with about twice that number in reserves. And these aren’t the college student idiots you see on TV protesting and throwing rocks when their school schedule allows, these are gritty, ugly peasants who look permanently pissed off. They train hard, train constantly, and they’re pretty tough troops. I was an infantryman there - I’ve seen and walked the terrain and it is custom-made for defense.

The entire northern part of the ROK is either valleys ringed with hills and rice paddy floors, or mountains. If you wait until winter when the rice paddies are frozen (the only way you’re getting across them), you have to deal with tank traps, mines and wire obstacles. Each of which is a registered TRP (target reference point). FASCAM, anyone? That’s your artillery-delivered instant minefield.

The only roads going anywhere (of which there are few, mostly dirt) have huge rock or concrete deadfalls pre-positioned at least every kilometer, sometimes less - all with pre-drilled and wired shotholes, ready to blow. Every hill is festooned with pillboxes and riddled with bunkers and tunnels and trenches. Range cards and sector sketches are permanently painted in key fighting positions. ROK units don’t have to deploy from garrison - they’re already manning the walls. You want to see a quagmire? meat-grinder? Watch the DPRK try to roll south.

If you had almost 60 years to dig a foxhole, do you think it would be a pretty good foxhole? The ROKs have had that long, and they were STILL digging when I left in 1998.

Everyone cries "we only have 30,000 U.S. troops there to defend the South." We’re not there to defend the South. We purposely house our troops in artillery range of DPRK guns so that if they want to invade, they’ll have to kill us all. And if they do that, they awaken the sleeping giant.

That’s the nature of deterrence. You hit my guy, I hit twenty of your guys. You put my guy in the hospital, I put your guy in the f*cking morgue.

So all the hyperventilating about NK weapons stockpiles somewhat annoys me. We have this thing called counterbattery fire, people. My Bradley carried 300 rounds of 25mm goodness in the ready boxes, but if it (and I) got killed after only firing ten rounds, what good does all the ammo under the floorboards do me? It works both ways.

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Jeff, I have no doubt the S Koreans and US Air assets would prevail after sacrificing 2 million or so in a non-nuclear attack. But the real ammunition the NORKs could use in a 2-3 week long slaughter down South inc. tens of thousands of American dead before that happened, argues against the armchair generals talking about a "easy, surgical attack to defang the NORKs".
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
But the real ammunition the NORKs could use in a 2-3 week long slaughter down South inc. tens of thousands of American dead before that happened, argues against the armchair generals talking about a "easy, surgical attack to defang the NORKs".
Who in the world is making that argument here?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Who in the world is making that argument here?
C. Ford, of course.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://

 
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