North Korea: We’re on high alert, with missiles pointed at US mainland

posted at 8:41 am on March 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

And we thought the hysteria over the sequester was bad.  North Korea continued its policy of brinksmanship today over new sanctions applied after a third illegal nuclear-weapons test by claiming it has put its artillery forces in their highest alert status:

North Korea’s military warned Tuesday that its artillery and rocket forces are at their highest-level combat posture in the latest in a string of bellicose threats aimed at South Korea and the United States. …

On Tuesday, the North Korean army’s Supreme Command said it will take “practical military action” to protect national sovereignty and its leadership in response to what it called U.S. and South Korean plots to attack.

The statement, carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, cited the participation of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in South Korea-U.S. drills.

North Korea’s field artillery forces — including strategic rocket and long-range artillery units that are “assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zones in the Pacific as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity” — will be placed on “the highest alert from this moment,” the statement said.

This latest threat may have been prompted by something other than the sanctions.  The US announced yesterday that it had signed a pact with South Korea on Friday that lays out with specificity what role US and Republic of Korea forces will play in the event of an attack from the North:

Washington’s mutual defense treaty with South Korea obligates the American military to fight to defend its ally if a war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula. The deal, signed Friday, defines what role the United States would play in dealing with what South Korean military officials called “local” provocations from the North, such as its shelling of a border island in 2010, which killed four South Koreans. The two allies said they had been working to improve their contingency plans ever since.

They called the contingency plan “South Korean-led, U.S.-supported.” It laid out various types of localized North Korean provocations and a joint South Korean-American response to each of them, South Korean officials said. By putting the allies’ combined commitment on paper, the agreement will help serve as a deterrent against North Korean provocations, they said.

But the two allies refused to disclose more details on such sensitive and potentially volatile questions as how far the United States would go in its supporting role, especially at what point American troops would directly join a South Korean counterattack against a North Korean provocation.

In recent weeks, South Korea has said that if provoked, it would attack not only the origin of the North Korean provocation but also “its supporting forces and its commanding post.”

In other words, no one’s going to assume that a conflict erupting on the border or in the Yellow Sea is just an accident any longer.  The US and South Korea are both warning Pyongyang that it will react as though the DPRK intends to open a wider war in those circumstances, striking back not with corresponding force but with overwhelming force. Over the last several decades there have been a number of these hot flashes in a cold war, but most of them have remained single-incident flashes that ended quickly and without engaging wider forces.  Thanks to the rhetoric and the actions of Kim regime, those safety valves now appear to be off the table.

And now that Kim Jong-un has climbed out onto that limb, he may have no choice but to follow through:

The North’s recent threats are seen partly as efforts to strengthen internal loyalty to young leader Kim Jong Un and to build up his military credentials.

Kim “needs to show he has the guts. The best way to do that is to use the military might that he commands,” said Lee Yoon-gyu, a North Korea expert at Korea National Defense University in Seoul. “This paves the way for greater praise for him if North Korea makes a provocation later and claims victory.”

Kim will eventually be compelled to do “something provocative to prove the threats weren’t empty,” Lee said.

Today, by the way, is the third anniversary of one of the most recent flashpoints in this standoff — the sinking of the Cheonan, which took the lives of 46 South Korean sailors.  Aside from an artillery barrage a few months later, that was the final high point of Kim Jong-il’s reign as hereditary dictator.  Kim Jong-un might be under pressure to prove himself the equal of his father, but if he does, the peninsula could blow wide open.


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How will China react if the US starts kicking butt? I know with Obama as president, that probably won’t happen.

birdwatcher on March 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Well, I hope we have a Marshall Plan for the west coast… (G-d forbid).

Rixon on March 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM

And our nuclear deterrent has been seriously degraded over the past 4 years. Oh goody.

Rixon on March 26, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Used to be, the Norks could grab headlines for days when they did something like this. They are slipping, further.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 8:48 AM

I know with Obama as president, that probably won’t happen.

birdwatcher on March 26, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Then why spend time thinking about “what ifs” that will never happen?

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Kimmy has to know that every one of our Ohio class missile submarines packs the firepower of the third most powerful country on Earth. Just one missile, with its eight warheads of about 100kt each, is all it will take to turn north Korea into a glass-paved parking lot. And each sub carries twenty-four such missiles.

I have no problem with Kimmy committing suicide. It’s sad that he might end up taking millions of people with him.

Liam on March 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

I think this is what George Washington was talking about when he made his opinion about neutrality & foreign entanglements clear.

Badger40 on March 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

heh….Ed just equated sequester-histrionics with NorK brinksmanship…..

take that DC!

ted c on March 26, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Just so long as they don’t start airing reruns of MASH!

OldEnglish on March 26, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Smells like lots of internal strife going on with Kim and military…coup in the works or…fear of one.

Suggestion: Let EU bureaucrats decide that they will unilaterally take 40% of all money from North Korean bank accounts.
;-)

albill on March 26, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Bluffing as means of blackmail.

jake-the-goose on March 26, 2013 at 8:57 AM

North Korea: We’re on high alert, with missiles pointed at US mainland

*Obama and aides huddle and spins the Wheel Of Foreign Policy*

“Wheel Of Foreign Policy,
Turn, turn, turn.
Tell us the policy,
That we should learn!”

*spins*

No joke, I landed on “Not Involved Go To UN” on my first spin.

BigGator5 on March 26, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Hey Norks. Do you want a few suggestions on where to aim? Besides that, when you do something like this, give it all you have got, because that is the last thing you will ever do. What good does it do to save face, when there is no one left alive so know it.

Old Country Boy on March 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Hey Norks. Do you want a few suggestions on where to aim?

Old Country Boy on March 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Doesn’t matter, their missiles are about as accurate as their nukes are reliable.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Kim Jong-un starts anything, he’ll end up in a cave somewhere, eating rat stew.

The fat little SOB had better stop the saber rattling.

GarandFan on March 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM

If I had a nickel…….

celticdefender on March 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM

N Korea is just a tiny country so I’m sure our dear leader isn’t concerned with just words from their little leader.

Kissmygrits on March 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM

A 60 year stalemate is long enough.Give war a chance.

docflash on March 26, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I’m sure our dear leader isn’t concerned with just words from their little leader.

Kissmygrits on March 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Oh I think he would take it seriously.
After all, major cities are probably targets of nukes by hostile countries & that is where the majority of Democrats seem to be found.
Getting your voter based killed is never a good idea.

Badger40 on March 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Go for it, runt.

Ward Cleaver on March 26, 2013 at 9:18 AM

“Hans Brix? Oh row!”

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

And the Nork missiles can reach California?
So I was wasting my time thinking California had to be protected from its residents.

vityas on March 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

The immediate problem is that if North Korea opened up with just the artillery they have along the DMZ it could cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Koreans and cripple the South Korean economy. The corridor from Inchon through Seoul and out to Uijongbu is one of the most populated and prosperous in the world —and it’s in the range of a huge amount of conventional artillery.

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Ahh, now I know why the DHS is stock piling bullets and guns. If the NorKs attack the west coast of the USA, DHS will be able to swiftly respond and disarm the American people in order to safe guard them.

mechkiller_k on March 26, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Has Kim learned to act like a petty miscreant, foment a crisis, demagogue the hell out of it, then characterize himself as a reasonable guy??? Heck, someone has some competition///

ted c on March 26, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Badger40 on March 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM

THIS.

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 9:22 AM

“How will China react?” is the $1 trillion question.

That’s assuming, of course, that they (or the Russians) aren’t making little Kim do the marionette dance to advance their own regional goals in the S. China Sea, or their geopolitical goals (further bleed the US by further straining it economically and militarily, or force the US to withdraw from the role of patron in the region — either serves China’s goals and both are possible concurrently).

Harpazo on March 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The South is more prepared to counter battery. And basically, more prepared. The only assured outcome of a new Nork offensive would be the end of North Korea as it is now known.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Bring it cat eater.

Big Orange on March 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Wow.

They really want marriage equality…

budfox on March 26, 2013 at 9:31 AM

And our nuclear deterrent has been seriously degraded over the past 4 years. Oh goody.

Rixon on March 26, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Not that I disagree with your general point, but:

1. Deterrents don’t work on the insane.

2. If we need nukes to subdue North Korea, we’re finished as a global superpower.

LukeinNE on March 26, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Yes Badger I’m SURE Washington would have been all about allowing a major US trading partner be destroyed by the North Koreans…becasue G Washington et. al. were all Buchanan/Raimondo devotees. (NOT)

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

The South is more prepared to counter battery. And basically, more prepared. The only assured outcome of a new Nork offensive would be the end of North Korea as it is now known.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

The Norks have at least 10,000 artillery pieces deployed and pre-aimed. They have maintained detailed maps block by block of their targets. The South would have to simply absorb the initial barrage. By the time the batteries could be neutralized the devastation would be unimaginable. Think of the damage to Berlin and Hamberg during WWII accomplished within a few hours. Th ROK would prevail, but at an enormous cost.

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

On the bright side, if and when N Korea does start lobbing nukes more investment capital will flee to the USA allowing the tax and spenders to keep printing money. And America will be the last region in the world to collapse into the stone age. Isn’t socialism wonderful?

Fenris on March 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

1. Deterrents don’t work on the insane.

2. If we need nukes to subdue North Korea, we’re finished as a global superpower.

LukeinNE on March 26, 2013 at 9:41 AM

1. Rixon and ted c are the true light of the United States. They only need help from Bishop and and the Nasty Old Lady.

2. We never NEED nukes. But can’t you see that the cloud may make for a new mini ice age and we can get rid of California at the same time.

3. We should tell the North Koreans where NORAD used to be so they can get the left coast emigres who have conquered Colorado. We lose a few folks like conservatives I heard live there but if I can sacrifice Vail and Breck, we can all sacrifice something.

IlikedAUH2O on March 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM

I hope China will be safe… they’ll be at risk of being hit by debris when the nork missiles explode over the launch pad.

Mr. Prodigy on March 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The immediate problem is that if North Korea opened up with just the artillery they have along the DMZ it could cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Koreans and cripple the South Korean economy. The corridor from Inchon through Seoul and out to Uijongbu is one of the most populated and prosperous in the world —and it’s in the range of a huge amount of conventional artillery.

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The South is more prepared to counter battery. And basically, more prepared. The only assured outcome of a new Nork offensive would be the end of North Korea as it is now known.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Claudius has a valid point here–a massive barrage from North Korea’s artillery could inflict a huge death toll and and tremendous damage on Seoul, and how much political courage do the South Koreans have for an all-out war? The actual war ended about 60 years ago, and most South Koreans (except for the elderly) have no memory of it.

Krazy Kim the Third’s bluster about having nukes pointed at the US mainland should be taken with a ton of salt, because previous Nork missile tests have failed miserably. But the threat of an attack against South Korea MUST be taken seriously, and Obama must be prepared to act if North Korea launches a massive artillery attack.

With the Americans military’s “smart bomb” technology which was so effective in Iraq and Afghanistan, any artillery piece which starts shelling the South will reveal its location, and can be quickly “taken out”, IF we have enough planes in the air at the time of the attack.

If Obama was smart, he would order continuous surveillance of the area just north of the DMZ by armed US planes flying just south of the DMZ, too high to be reached by artillery fire. Even if Krazy Kim gave the order to shell Seoul, the Nork artillery gunners might have second thoughts if they saw US planes ready to take them out after their first shot.

But why am I talking about moot hypotheticals? Everybody (except Obama) knows that Obama is not smart.

Steve Z on March 26, 2013 at 10:13 AM

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

No shinola.

The south has all 10,000 of those locations targeted as well.

Mountains are not the protection they used to be and the north has not upgraded their artillery. In the 80′s, it was all about the tunnels and armor. The technology used to counter those tunnels is now used in Israel and the southern US. And the south isn’t as worried about magic opening tunnels with armor and infantry pouring out. Job one will be to stop the artillery and the NK air force won’t slow that job down.

The stories about Seoul being devastated in the opening minutes are as over rated as the other North Korean horror stories.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Steve Z on March 26, 2013 at 10:13 AM

See above. The DMZ is a fascinating piece of history and many trees have died to document it. Only a lonely Poplar tree, back in 76′, ever got any recognition over their sacrifice.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:21 AM

North Korea is just Beijings’ “bad cop”……doing their dirty work.

Don’t trust the Commies…..anywhere.

PappyD61 on March 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM

The stories about Seoul being devastated in the opening minutes are as over rated as the other North Korean horror stories.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Yes because the US and S. Korea will be able to INSTANTLY deliver JDAMS to all 10,000 positions…..I see.

And what other “other North Korean horror stories.” do you refer to?

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM

The stories about Seoul being devastated in the opening minutes are as over rated as the other North Korean horror stories.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Well, I fear I must have lost my military bravado hat back at Camp Red Cloud or Camp Casey.

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Excalibur baby. And that’s just for starters.

Akzed on March 26, 2013 at 10:32 AM

And what other “other North Korean horror stories.” do you refer to?

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Instantly? No moron, but quickly and decisively.

The divisions of special forces dressed as South Koreans ready to be delivered by submarine all around the coast of South Korea.

Suicide paratroops trained to take out the leadership.

The already mentioned tunnels under the DMZ.

Anthrax spread over the farmland.

Many more, not hard to look up.

Another Korean war will be bloody, and short. There will be no hoards of Chinese infantry to save north Korea and no squadrons of Russian pilots to stop the several air forces in the region.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Instantly? No moron, but quickly and decisively.

At 6 JDAMS per sortie, you are looking at 1600 sorties, exclusive of any other Air Tasking Orders…at 2 sorties per day that 800 A/c…at 80% availablity thats 1,000 a/c devoted SOLEY to Artillery Suppression.

So which of us is the MORON, the one who runs the numbers or YOU?

The divisions of special forces dressed as South Koreans ready to be delivered by submarine all around the coast of South Korea

Suicide paratroops trained to take out the leadership

The already mentioned tunnels under the DMZ.

Really when were they discredited? Because the tunnels did exist…the Koreans have 50,000 Diract Action/Spetsnaz-type forces and they certainly have been willing to take outrageous actions in the past.

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

So Cozmo, beyond some ASSERTIONS and some nasty names, have you got anything?

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Logic, education, history for starters.

What you are relying on are those horror stories. With nary a thought of the steps the south has taken to counter those stories.

You are stuck with the same beliefs that so many people had in the 80′s that had the soviets being 12′ feet tall with unstoppable tanks.

The same kind of people who freaked out about the MiG-25, the Alpha and the Typhoon. Until it was revealed what they really were.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

What the world needs most of all right now is a strong demonstration of why it doesn’t pay to have big mouthed leaders threatening everyone else almost daily.

It should be possible to locate Kimmie Un and fry his ash and all of his enablers in one or two pinpoint nuclear fires.

Who would miss him?

dockywocky on March 26, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I don’t think the ROK and US would actually wait for the Norks to pull the trigger. There would probably be plenty of indicators associated with a Nork attack. The ROK and US would probably respond before Nork artillery was ever fired in any significant numbers.

Aplombed on March 26, 2013 at 10:52 AM

What you are relying on are those horror stories. With nary a thought of the steps the south has taken to counter those stories.

ASSERTION, I don’t know what the S. Koreans ahve done, but I do know that the N Koreans have plans and troops and that they will have the advantage of the INITIATIVE.

You are stuck with the same beliefs that so many people had in the 80′s that had the soviets being 12′ feet tall with unstoppable tanks.

The same kind of people who freaked out about the MiG-25, the Alpha and the Typhoon. Until it was revealed what they really were.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

You mean that they were well-thought-out weapon systems, produced in large numbers? DIA and the Armour School might ahve over-played the T-72, but that didn’t make it a bad tank…

You, take the opposite approach, that they represent NO threat, when, in fact, they did and do…we are merely arguing over the scale.

Oh and BTW, I see you failed to address the 1,000 a/c necessary for Artillery Suppression Misisons…if we are willing to assume that the Unified Commnad will not be devoting 100% attention to the mission, that means several days of pounding on S Korea….will it end S Korea, NO. But it will drastically damge it.

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I don’t think the ROK and US would actually wait for the Norks to pull the trigger. There would probably be plenty of indicators associated with a Nork attack. The ROK and US would probably respond before Nork artillery was ever fired in any significant numbers.

Aplombed on March 26, 2013 at 10:52 AM

I wouldn’t assume it.
1) The US did not realize that Kuwayt was going to be attacked until about 72 hours PRIOR to the invasion. Becasue it was ASSUMED that Hussein would not do so….It is just as likely that the S Korean and US Governments will fail to act proactively as to believe they will.
2) N. Korean forces are configured in a Soviet Sword and Shield deployment….designed to provide flexibility to defend, counter-attack, OR attack, with little movement needed to telescope intent.

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Ridiculous. The DPRK people have to know that if they actually nuked an American city that would AT THE VERY LEAST be the end of their regime and them all dancing at the end of ropes. Worst case, everything north of the 38th parallel on the peninsula glows for the next fifty years.

They’re bluffing with no cards in their hand. But we’ll go along with it, I suppose. I wonder how much lunch money they’ll take from us this time?

pendell2 on March 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Ridiculous. The DPRK people have to know…

pendell2 on March 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Doesn’t matter what ‘the people’ know, and they don’t know much except that they are barely alive. What matters is what the maniacs at the top decide. They could decide suddenly. And nothing is certain in war.

Fenris on March 26, 2013 at 11:13 AM

1) The US did not realize that Kuwayt was going to be attacked until about 72 hours PRIOR to the invasion. Becasue it was ASSUMED that Hussein would not do so….It is just as likely that the S Korean and US Governments will fail to act proactively as to believe they will.

The Iraq/Kuwait border wasn’t the most watched and contingency-planned-for border area either. In terms of surveillance and planning, Iraq/Kuwait is hardly comparable to the DPRK.

Aplombed on March 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I just can’t get too excited about the little pipsqueak in NK. I think he’s just mouthing off to make himself look like he’s relevant when he’s not. I don’t think he is anything but a sinister Dr. Evil wannabe. Of course, I could be wrong.

scalleywag on March 26, 2013 at 11:19 AM

You, take the opposite approach, that they represent NO threat…

JFKY on March 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Never stated that. But, if a paper tiger ever existed, it is North Korea. North Korea is a threat to South Korea and general stability in the region. If China continues to support the north, it will become an albatross around their neck.

South Korea has developed its own weapons, ships and tanks. Good ones.

North Korea has built unreliable missiles submarines of dubious use and possibly useful nukes. North Korea still uses the arms given to them decades ago. The huge North Korean army spends an ever increasing amount of its time policing its citizens, stealing from those citizens and subsistence farming.

They have ended the cease fire but haven’t made a move to restart the war. They know it would be the end of them, and so does every one else who has followed this.

All the backroom dealing done now is what to do with the carcass of North Korea when it finally implodes. Another thing the south studied very closely was East Germany and they consider that a cake walk compared to North Korea.

And that this is being argued instead of the original subject of the thread goes to show that even people only casually aware of the situation aren’t concerned.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 11:19 AM

The immediate problem is that if North Korea opened up with just the artillery they have along the DMZ it could cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of South Koreans and cripple the South Korean economy. The corridor from Inchon through Seoul and out to Uijongbu is one of the most populated and prosperous in the world —and it’s in the range of a huge amount of conventional artillery.

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:20 AM

We’ll just unleash a few Stark Industries Jerichos…. the weapon you only have to use once/

dentarthurdent on March 26, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Doesn’t matter, their missiles are about as accurate as their nukes are reliable.

cozmo on March 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Ya – I can just as easily say I have my AR-15 aimed at Pyongyang – doesn’t mean it can actually hit the target….

dentarthurdent on March 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Why does North Korea consider the USA a threat? We’re just a destitute nation of people who have nothing to eat but stray birds and nothing to drink except a one-per-day allotment of Starbucks coffee made from street ice.

The Rogue Tomato on March 26, 2013 at 11:41 AM

It’s comforting to know that when faced with difficult circumstances like these, we’re in the capable hands of a Commander in Chief who took only 6 months to decide what course to take in Afghanistan. /

scalleywag on March 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Dennis Rodman thinks Li’l Kim is a swell guy.

Philly on March 26, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Dennis Rodman thinks Li’l Kim is a swell guy.

Philly on March 26, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Let’s just get Rodman to go over there and walk up to the DMZ and tell his homeboys to play nice, maybe call out his good buddy Kim for a little one-on-one to settle this……

dentarthurdent on March 26, 2013 at 11:50 AM

This stuff is worthy of truely funny parody. Will anybody do a decent job of it? Team America movie was a start. But this time it should be made of the true puppet masters in NK, and those are the top generals you see surrounding Kim-Un in all those publicity photo’s. And then there are the one or two who do not appear in any pictures. ID them and profile them.

jake49 on March 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Ridiculous. The DPRK people have to know that if they actually nuked an American city that would AT THE VERY LEAST be the end of their regime and them all dancing at the end of ropes. Worst case, everything north of the 38th parallel on the peninsula glows for the next fifty years.

They’re bluffing with no cards in their hand. But we’ll go along with it, I suppose. I wonder how much lunch money they’ll take from us this time?

pendell2 on March 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Under the REB, who knows what our response would be. He might finally demand that sanctions cover the scotch whiskey that the Norkie leadership hoards.

slickwillie2001 on March 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Lil Un is just ronery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEaKX9YYHiQ

Solaratov on March 26, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Ripley had it correct:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCbfMkh940Q

PJ Emeritus on March 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

the devastation would be unimaginable. Think of the damage to Berlin and Hamberg during WWII accomplished within a few hours. Th ROK would prevail, but at an enormous cost.

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Ridiculous! The norks can, indeed, inflict a lot of damage and casualties on the South – but they cannot “level” Seoul. The only artillery pieces they have which can reach that far are their 170mm M-1958 – and they don’t have that many of them. They can only fire at a rate of about 1-2 rounds/5 minutes. Counter-battery fire would preclude their continued employment beyond much more than an initial barrage.

And it takes a LOT of artillery over a LONG period of time to “level” a city – even a small one.

Solaratov on March 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Solaratov on March 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

The norks do, of course, have their 240mm rockets, which would cause some damage – but their main effect would be to instill fear and cause panic.
They’re unguided, and a lot of them are just not going to land where they are supposed to.
And, again, counter-battery return fire. (Though the truck-mounted rockets can back into their caves for reloading.)

Solaratov on March 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM

And our nuclear deterrent has been seriously degraded over the past 4 years. Oh goody.

Rixon on March 26, 2013 at 8:46 AM

There is no way to deter NK short of building a real-life network of orbital Ion Cannons that could flatten them even before sub-launched missiles could.

MelonCollie on March 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Don’t underestimate the North Koreans.

SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 18, 2003 – With 1.2 million people under arms, the North Korean military is “a very credible conventional force,” the U.S. general in charge of defending against that force said.
“They have the largest submarine force, the largest special operating force and the largest artillery in the world,” Army Gen. Leon LaPorte, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea said. He noted that North Korea has 120,000 special operations forces.

Perhaps more importantly, North Korea poses a significant asymmetric threat. The country possesses chemical weapons, and “their doctrine is to use chemical weapons as a standard munition,” LaPorte said.
American officials are also concerned about North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, including potential use of its 800 missiles of various ranges. “The missiles themselves are a significant asymmetrical threat,” LaPorte said. “But if that was combined with a nuclear capability, now you have a capability that not only threatens the peninsula but threatens the entire region.”

http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=27769

claudius on March 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM

ION CANNONS!!!! I WANT!!!!!!!(I also want Hyper space planes so I can pound the enemies of my country to dust.)

flackcatcher on March 26, 2013 at 4:02 PM

On the other hand, Kim Jong-un probably isn’t more anti-American than Obama.

Axion on March 26, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Bring it cat eater.

Big Orange on March 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM

They are what they eat. If he’s expecting us to flinch…well….we won;t fire until we see the whites of their plumes.

johnnyU on March 26, 2013 at 6:32 PM

If IRAN takes a decade to make material for a bomb, how is it the Baby Jong regime has material every 14 months?

johnnyU on March 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM