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06 September 2017


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No doubt the Koreans are a smart and tough people but I suspect the NK army exists only on paper. Weapons that don't work, under supplied and with a lack of will to fight. I would expect the drive for an effective nuclear deterrent is reflective of this.


So the relevant forces are ROK, not US. Do the readers of SST have relevant knowledge about them. Everybody I read seems to assume that they are a passive tool of the US. Is that accurate? Do we even know what is their analysis of the situation? All the analysis I see is US-centric.


With respect to US-centric analysis, I saw a version of this game play out in Vietnam. As an interrogator, I spent half my waking hours in Vietnamese and the other half in English. It was like being in two different wars at the same time. I didn't find any secret key to decoding it all. (I was a 23-year old kid.) But I did learn that projecting your own logic on to people from a different culture is a bad idea. However compelling your breakdown of the prossibilities might seem, you need an understanding of other people's perceptions and values to have any chance of predicting their behavior.

Roger Vose

China said they will step in and defend North Korea if North Korea is attacked first. They also said they will stand by if North Korea attacks first. I'm pretty sure China would start a major military buildup if they saw evidence of a serious U.S./South Korea military buildup. I don't believe Russia would sit by with the U.S. conducting military operations on its border.

It's bat-sh!t crazy to even consider this kind of stuff as the American empire is in descent.


All things being equal, let's say a 60 day limited edition war, I doubt that any European military force could defeat the South Koreans.


This is one of the problems with speaking loudly and carrying a small stick. Of course, having reality intrude into the White House will probably not happen. Hopefully, some of "his" generals, who are able to add, will keep a lid on ignorance.


I doubt very much that the U.S. officer corps seriously believe that the North Koreans are a pushover. I sure don't get that feeling from watching General Mattis on tv.

We bombed them almost into oblivion during the Korean War and they didn't give up, I doubt they will now either. It's their home, they got nothing else.

Seems to me that he who can bring the most troops and weapons to bear with the shortest supply lines might be in a pretty good spot when push comes to shove. We ain't got that many evidently.

But as the song goes, if the boys want to fight, you'd better let them. I just think it should be the locals.

Dr. George W. Oprisko

Dear Bill,

I'm afraid the war will last 20 minutes........ possibly 2 hours....

It will take 20 mins for the DPRK missile fussilade to hit their targets ( guam, Yokohama, Okinawa, Tokyo, Seoul, Pearl, Seattle, Anchorage, San Fran, Long Beach, Hanford)

and from 1 - 2 hours for the US response to arrive in the DPRK. Depending on how it is launched. Minuteman....... Trident........ Bombers.........


How will Russia / China know that US missiles are not targeting them?

They won't until it's too late to stop their response..............3000 warheads ....
targeting CONUS/ NATO.

The Russians did something very smart........... they invited the DPRK to Vladivostok to
the economic forum.... talked to them..........


Discovered the DPRK believes their only choice is whether they die killing americans in CONUS or die through strangulation.......


They intend to rain fire and brimstone on CONUS......


No doubt the Koreans are a smart and tough people but I suspect the NK army exists only on paper.

Not true. Every male in the country of a certain age is conscripted to be part of the army, including the agricultural workers, which is where Kim Jung-Un needs them to be to plant the rice (April) and bring in the harvest (August). Even the soldiers are charged with helping out during these times.

Their army is a million+ strong.

Every Korean over the age of 60 remembers the Korean War, the devastation, the massive hunger...it’s a visceral memory. China knows this history. So does Russia. The US firebombing of North Korea was so intense it sickened Gen. MacArthur. He said he vomited at the devastation and death. After Truman relieved him of his duty in 1951, Gen. MacArthur appeared before Congress, he warned, “If you go on indefinitely, you are perpetuating a slaughter such as I have never heard of in the history of mankind.”

Read b of moonofalabama’s excellent account of this from last April. You may not agree with it but it’s a POV that few Americans could be bothered to know about. Be sure to scroll down to see a copy of the page from "Napalm: An American Biography" by Robert M. Neer, Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2013 that describes MacArthur's appearance before Congress.
Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That


TTG - Are Stryker Brigades a suitable tool for this theater? In Syria I could see them being very useful but this seems more likely to be a slug-fest.

The Twisted Genius


You're right. This would be a slug-fest. I would think anyone in theater would rather have the protection and firepower of full armored/mech brigades especially with active defense systems like the Russian Shtora. Lacking that, the Stryker is still better than the LPCs (leather personnel carriers) that we had. Our only armor was our steel pots and our ability to dig fast.


We can all believe what we think is true. My opinion again, NK's "Ace in the Hole" is their extremely formidable artillery and armed forces on the edge of the DMZ. They would be able to kill a million plus civilians in the first 24 hours. After 72 hours that capability will be gone, zero-zilch. That only leaves them with their supposed nuke capability.

I have no idea of their nuclear war capabilities, they do seem to be mostly in the very beginning stages of a program, at least that is what I see on the TV news.

I have not begun building my "fallout shelter".


I've no military background, but back in the day I did spend a lot of time working with Koreans in a commercial JV and had plenty of access to the US Army base at Yongsan. Nothing that I saw or experienced left me with the impression that Koreans are by nature either passive or anybody else's tools. Quite the reverse.



US warships and aircraft have active EO jammers. Why not on Strykers? Are there none on the M1?


On paper was the wrong term, perhaps combat effective would be better. Your malnourished, disillusioned, very poorly equipped North Korean conscript won't be fighting and dying with enthusiasm for the little fat kid against his fellow Korean. Sixty years is a long time ago and they have been living through worse. To paraphrase Cromwell they would not know what they fight for, and hate what they do know.

The issue would be the damage they could do to Seoul and defending fortified positions on the DMZ in the initial stages, after that it would be a case of rounding up the prisoners and managing the logistics of how to look after them and the civilian populace.

The Twisted Genius


From a brief search I did earlier, I don't think our armor has Shtora-like systems installed yet. There are plans to do so on the next upgrades of all armored vehicles. Maybe somebody with recent experience can give a better answer than this.

The Twisted Genius


This looks like the latest info on active defense systems. We are playing catch up.




Thanks for the link. The Trophy APS system the link mentions appears to be only kinetic with no dazzlers or IR jammers that is incorporated in Shtora. That is a mistake in my IMHO. We have that technology, have had it for many decades.


@londonbob and everyone in general


is there any real evidence to the current living conditions of North Koreans, by rank occupation etc, seems like they are doing better that a significant part of the world. just going by the basic indicators, i mean if their army is starving the people must be skeletons and this whole thing must have collapsed a long time ago.

and just to drift in to ideology a bit, if you consider all the strengths and weaknesses of communism/socialism. the one situation were it does work better than all others has historical been the seige. a small cohesive defensible territory, with a culturally and ethnically homogeneous group of people faced with an overwhelming power.

we may laugh and scoff at there backwardness, but under the conditions after 60 years id expect them to have learned how to feed themselves at the very least.

all this is conjecture. i have read all kinds of things on north korea ranging from its pure hell on earth with universal starvation torture and misery, too they are a completely self sufficient utopian paradise, and have never really be able to make heads or tails of anyof it.

p.s. i knew a professor who had taught in east germany and spent some time in north korea(he was ahard core communist) and from what he told me about it i at the very least tend to lean towards they have goten the basics of modern necessities down and are not going to bow down when a soldier waves a slice of bread in their faces.

nor will they let an invading army take over without resistance.

Mark Logan

A little off topic, but this issue appears to be a splendid opportunity to improve our anti-missile technology.

I believe it likely we will have to welcome the PDRK to the nuclear "club", the genie has been slow to exit his bottle but he will come out. There will be more members.

The Plan: In order to dodge the treaty issues bury most of the research in a mostly honest attempt to develop an anti-asteroid missile system, something even Mother Earth herself will heartily support. The prevailing "wisdom" that it may do more damage to have a bunch of smaller asteroids than one big one can be discredited, it may indeed be BS, as the more surface area the quicker things burn and one big rock has less surface area than an equal mass of smaller rocks.

Just a thought.

Sixty years is a long time ago and they have been living through worse. To paraphrase Cromwell they would not know what they fight for, and hate what they do know.

60 years is a long time?

Every year the on May 9th, the Russians by the millions throughout the country walk through the streets carrying photos of their family members who died in WWII. That includes Putin, linked arm in arm with fellow citizens carrying a photo the size of his upper body of his father.

It’s a sombre day—or as Putin described it, “sacred”—not one where their leaders place wreaths on memorial statues, give speeches, then go out for dinner or watch a game.

Koreans lost a million people, General LeMay told Congress, and several millions more were left homeless with nowhere to live or eat. North Korean isn’t tropical, their winters are brutal.

General LeMay said there were only two buildings left standing in Pyongyang, a city of 500,000 people, after we bombed them. The rest totaled. The countryside wiped out.

You only have to talk to Koreans who grew up after that period to know what they went through to eat. How ramen was a feast because that’s all they could afford. Noodles in a spicy broth that even today Korean university students will tell you ramen with a Kraft cheese slice is dinner luxury. What Japan did to the Koreans and Chinese during WWII is another unknown story, a brutal unspeakable story that made Hitler look like a boy scout..

None of us in this country know the sacrifices that the Russians, Koreans, and Chinese in Nanking and Singapore went through. I know because I’ve listened to those who did, the older people who lived through it. I spent eight years traveling to Asia and heard these stories first hand, what they actually went through. Hell, London Bob, Jews still mewl about Masada 2000 years ago, and how many Holocaust Museums are there now?


Odd, LondonBob. You seem to think that the North Koreans think of their country and their government the same way the western media presents their country and their government.


Bottom line, whichever army goes on offense loses. The peninsula is mostly defensive terrain where massed offensive formations become extremely vulnerable, especially in the face of air superiority. KWII figures to be a repeat of the later days of KWI, only with much greater human and economic cost.

@Londonbob: There's no shortage of cultish zeal on the part of the North Koreans to propel human wave assaults in the same manner as seen from the Chinese PLA in 1952-53. The good, relatively speaking, news is that such assaults would likely have a similar result.

The total force numbers on the DPRK side are on the soft side, since under the military first policy the way to get priority for your project is to sell it as a military project. IOW, a lot of what DPRK counts as military is fulfilling civilian functions.


A 23 year old kid!!! I was two months short of my 19th when I came home. Dudes like you were considered ancient!



noticed this too following some randomly 'jokers', activists et al elsewhere. My favorite went silent it seems. Here's a headline by a 'mysterious' guy I met in that context.


Well, yes, admittedly via an Iranian news agency.

Another link, this time a pdf, by one who might well be suspect to be a left wing ideologue around here. Power elites in the age of Trump.


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