IMI Systems Quote of the Day: The Threat of North Korea’s Big Guns – Enter to Win 1000 Rounds of IMI 9mm Ammo

North Korea's Koskan guns could inflict serious damage on Seoul.

“The presence of huge guns along the border underscores that a conflict between North and South Korea would involve a terrible cost in civilian lives. However, the threat posed by the Koksan needs to be kept in chilling perspective: the huge guns could inflict terrible suffering if turned on civilian targets, though not on the scale that Pyongyang boasts, due to limitations on range, logistics and the need to survive counterattack. Their use in an urban barrage designed to maximize body count would be of dubious military utility and trigger retribution, likely leading to the destruction of the North Korean regime, a prospect one hopes is appreciated in Pyongyang.” – Sébastien Roblin in Meet the Koksan: North Korea’s Super Big ‘Gun’ That Could Strike Seoul [courtesy nationalinterest.org]

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  1. avatar joetast says:

    Well that’s all fine and dandy if China wouldn’t get involved

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Well that’s all fine and dandy if China wouldn’t get involved”

      China just may *not* get involved, read between the lines of this from the ‘China Global Times’.

      To set the table, this was a few weeks back when Kim was threatening to splash a missile test 30-40 km offshore of our forward base in Guam :

      “Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time. It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand.

      China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

      http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1060791.shtml

      This is the ‘money shot’ – “… if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral.”

      Kim has been making noises recently about doing a high-altitude test over an empty patch of the Pacific Ocean.

      I don’t see any way he can do that without frying some *very* expensive geostationary satellites that serve the South Pacific. There are some undersea data cables that would be immune from attack, but the birds 25 thou. miles up will get clobbered by the pulse, not to mention any trans-Pac aircraft not designed for that kind of voltage spike.

      Kim better be blowing wind about doing that test, or his latest threat put some ‘Earth Observation’ satellites in a polar orbit. If he puts a satellite up, we’d better take it out rather than risking a 100 kt bomb overhead three times a day…

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        The threat from EMP is largely overestimated and never demonstrated on a grand scale. It’s not the doomsday weapon people think it is.
        For starters there are irrefutable laws of electricity and physics which work against it.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “The threat from EMP is largely overestimated and never demonstrated on a grand scale. It’s not the doomsday weapon people think it is.”

          “For starters there are irrefutable laws of electricity and physics which work against it.”

          It is *exactly* those “irrefutable laws of electricity and physics” that is the problem.

          Johnson island is 940 miles southwest from Hawaii. In the 1960s we tested nukes out there.

          The ‘Starfish Prime’ nuke test knocked out the power in Honolulu and burned out streetlights.

          Nearly 1,000 miles away it popped *streetlights* Streetlights are high voltage devices.

          This was before the transistor age, it was still the vacuum tube era. Tubes can handle severe high voltage spikes. We used to laugh at the Soviets for using tubes in their military gear. They were thinking ahead for WW III.

          What makes today so very vulnerable to electronic damage is the fact integrated circuits pack millions, if not *billions* of transistors on a chip the size of your fingernail.

          The closer two conductors are to each other, the lower the voltage you need before the electricity arcs over and destroys the chip.

          That’s an irrefutable law of electricity.

          And the circuit traces on a chip are *very* close together.

          Yeah, we are *very* vulnerable to electronic Armageddon…

        2. avatar Hank says:

          Geoff, you are correct, but you are talking about starfish prime, an incredibly massive nuclear weapon. Like tsar bomba. The vast majority of nukes are nowhere near this big, intact most are under one megaton. Early to mid Cold War nukes were much bigger because they were meant to be dropped from bombers, or launched from massive ICBMs and were so large to make up for their innacuracy. During the 80s and since, nukes and icbms have gotten smaller and more accurate. That’s not to say NK could try to make a couple massive nukes, but delivery of these types of nukes is well beyond their capability. They’re sure to try and make some ICBMs of their own, but they will be in the kiloton range.

        3. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “… an incredibly massive nuclear weapon. Like tsar bomba.”

          Nowhere near.

          S. Prime was 1.2 mt, 10x as powerful as Kim’s firecracker.

          Tsar Bomba was over *40* X more powerful than S. Prime, 50 megatons.

          Kim’s last bomb he tested was 140 kt, that was his his ‘boosted’ fission bomb.

          Streetlights are 220v devices, even downgrading the voltage spike to one-tenth, that’s still a *massive* hit for devices that run on 5v or lower, like 2v. And it was 1,000 away and still did that.

          I really, really, *really* hope Kim doesn’t try it, I’m convinced airliners, with *long* runs of wire acting like antennae will be vulnerable.

          *************************************************

          Uncommon, the satellites in geosync orbit are listening for faint signals 25,000 miles down. The EMP pulse will fry the sensitive front-ends of the receivers. Think along the lines of what happens if you stare at the sun, naked-eye, or arc-weld without a hood…

        4. avatar Hank says:

          Ok, you’re right. I was thinking of the bikini atoll tests. 1.4 megatons is, unfortunately certainly within NK ability.

        5. avatar neiowa says:

          GS650G Yes there has not been a mass EMT strike targeted on civilian infrastructure. beyond that you don’t know WTH you are talking about. The US power grids are totally unprepared for such. Think PR with NO outside recovery assistance.

        6. avatar Snatchums says:

          It’s also not explicitly about yield either, it’s the injection of charged particles into the magnetosphere. A bomb can be optimized for that purpose without a crazy high yield.

        7. avatar jbs says:

          What would I do if I were Kim and decided to attack the continental US?
          I would go for partial orbital bombardment, not ballistic missiles, possibly using a South Pole orbit. This isn’t very accurate, but who cares when I’m aiming for a continent.
          I would go for nuclear detonations 100 miles up which were optimized for gamma radiation. I would not need warheads robust enough to survive re-entry. The hundreds of miles of high voltage lines that would collect the EMP and direct it to the nearest download transformer, which would either overload it or trip whatever circuit breaker it has.
          According to the 2008 study of the EMP Commission, one such blast in the area over Kansas City would take out the electrical grid for most of the US. For civilians, this would knock out refrigeration and communications (meaning the demise of the financial system). For retail, there soon would be nothing to sell and nothing to pay for it. For manufacturing, even if there was enough electricity to run machinery, the just-in-time inventory system would lead to shutdowns within a week. For agriculture, the eventual lack of fuel would eliminate planting, harvesting, shipment to market, processing, and distribution. For government, there isn’t much they can do without computers; law enforcement would disintegrate.
          Of course, FEMA has thousands of gas or diesel generators. They could keep some vital services in a few areas operational for a short period. How long would their fuel last? How much continuous use would there be before parts wore out?
          EMP is what we need to worry about, not blast or radiation.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Geoff PR,

        I don’t think an electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear warhead detonated on an intercontinental ballistic missile is a threat to geosynchronous satellites, assuming that the country who sent the missile detonated that warhead something like 800 miles above the Earth’s surface. While that pulse still has a lot of energy within 1,000 miles of the blast location, geosynchronous satellites would still be about 23,000 miles away and would not experience anywhere near the same energy level as ground locations within a 1,000 mile radius of the blast location.

        Remember, electromagnetic intensity goes down according to the inverse square law. Double the distance and energy density decreases by a factor of four. Comparing the pulse amplitude at 1,000 miles versus 23,000 miles means doubling the distance more than four times, which reduces energy density at 23,000 miles at least by a factor of 256. In other words the electromagnentic pulse intensity 23,000 miles away is less than 1/256th of the intensity at 1,000 miles.

        1. avatar kenneth says:

          We, as a nation dependent on technology, are most vulnerable to EMP in our power grid and our banking sector. Take out the electronics that control the power, and we will suffer.
          That’s not a knockout blow, though. Coal, oil and hydro will still produce electricity, each dam and power plant might just need to bypass the distribution computers and go local for a time. Generators will still work. The real blow could be in the lack of ATMs. In a largely non-cash system, how long will most be able to survive without trade? In the hurricanes in Florida and Texas help came quickly. What if no such help was coming, due to the surrounding areas being in the same boat?

        2. avatar California Richard says:

          Thats why bullets are the currency of the future. Gold is just as useless as money and credit cards if there is no large scale interdependent economic infrastructure to give it any value. Trade will just degenerate in to a barter economy like it was for 10,000 years before money was invented. People will make it work, like they always have, absent any large singular entity to tell them what to do.

        3. avatar neiowa says:

          The major damage from a targeted EMP (or Carrington/CMA) is mass destruction of electrical transformers. The “big ones” come form Germany and Brazil and lead time for ONE is 3 years. When you need hundreds/thousands/ALL of them plus millions of small transformers your economy/culture are screwed. While the likelihood of an EMP attack is debatable the impact/results of a planned EMP attack on the 3x US power grids really is NOT.

          There IS considerable uncertainty of the impact on modern automobiles/truck/gensets/etc equipped with IC based control systems.

        4. avatar Stereodude says:

          @California Richard, unless you listen to John Boch who thinks you shouldn’t barter anything that could be used against you. Of course John seems to overlook that pretty much anything can be used against you in some direct or indirect fashion.

      3. avatar strych9 says:

        With the power of an EMP dropping as the square of the distance I don’t think satilites are in danger.

        The problem that an EMP poses to, say the Contintental US, is that we effectively have antennas to capture the “signal” in the form of God-knows how many miles of power lines.

  2. avatar PK says:

    “…the need to survive counterattack.”

    That’s a bold assumption. Fanatical troops would likely not even be told that they’re firing on civilian targets, nor would a fanatical leader much care about the survival of gun crews.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      It’s not what you think PK. A few rounds, or even 20 minutes pounding from these guns would make a mess, but to really do damage the guns and crews need to survive for many hours at the very least, and really for days. They also need a continuous supply of ammunition. The problem is that the counter measures in place can detect the incoming rounds, calculate the reverse trajectory, and direct counter battery fires and or air strikes on them in minutes. The only way for the guns to survive is to ‘shoot and scoot’ relocating after every few shots. Each movement stops the guns firing for awhile, lessening their effect. Further, tons of ammo need to follow the guns around, necessitating things like lots of trucks, which need roads to move. With the guns vulnerable while firing and while moving, they won’t get to do much damage before being destroyed, or running out of ammo because their ammo train can’t move due to air cover or damaged roads/bridges. No matter how disposable the guns or expendable the crews, these weapons, in that theater, just can’t be used as either siege guns or terror weapons due to the limits on thier logistics and survivability once the US and South Koreans respond to attack by them.

      1. avatar Pat says:

        Well said.

        I’ve always considered the high end estimates for civilian casualties in Seoul to be unrealistic (assuming the North sticks to conventional weapons only).

        The highest death toll from a single bombardment of conventional weapons was the March 9th, 1945 firebombing of Tokyo – killing over 100,000 people. I am highly skeptical of any casualty estimate north of that figure for an attack on Seoul, and frankly would expect a fraction of that due to allied counter-battery fire.

        Now if the North fires chemical weapons at Seoul, different story. The potential casualty potential for a Sarin attack is much higher, but would also likely trigger nuclear retaliation from the U.S. Hopefully that’s enough to restrain Kim from going the chemical route…

        1. avatar william wessels says:

          Perhaps some of you who profess all knowledge would be willing to go and live in Seoul for a few years and send back regular 1st hand reports for the rest of us to analyse. It would make for a better scenario than sitting here and sniping.

        2. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

          Wiilie, I was stationed in Korea as a targeteer. The threat is real, yes. Its also subject to a fair amount of “10 feet tall” syndrome much like we had in the Cold War with the Soviets.

          The North Koreans are not all that. They haven’t been in a shooting conflict since 1953 and there are serious issues with their maintenance and logistics for those artillery pieces. They’ll get shots off, but it won’t be nearly as many as advertised.

        3. avatar Mark N. says:

          Here you go, William, from an ex-pat friend of mine who has lived in Seoul for far more than a decade:

          The ROK Army has nearly 2000 155mm SPs of various models having different ranges. But they can all hit Nork artillery. They also also have 58 MLRS batteries. US 8th Army artillery compromised almost entirely of MLRS launchers. In short, the combined ROK and US artillery could hit first and take much of, if not most of the NORK guns and rocket launchers arrayed along and behind the DMZ up to a considerable depth in Nork territory. And as the National Interest article mentioned in the blogs says, after the first few Nork salvos, everybody in Seoul is going to dive into the subway or the underground garages of their many, many apartment buildings. The main problem will be if the Norks started tossing gas rounds and the nukes of course.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Ardent,

        Let’s say that North Korea has 200 such artillery rigs, each rig can fire off 20 rounds before running out of shells or something destroys them, and each shell kills 20 people. The death toll would be 200 x 20 x 20 == 80,000 people.

        Needless to say, it would be really nice to avoid the deaths of 80,000 people in Seoul. On the other hand, that might be a “small” price to pay to ensure that North Korea cannot ever possibly drop nuclear warheads on large cities and kill 4+ million people at a time.

        I absolutely hate saying this: sometimes trouble finds you and you have to take your lumps. Seoul, South Korea might be taking some big lumps in the near future.

        1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

          Your math is rather optimistic. Some of those shells won’t hit anything, some will hit the street. Most will not kill anyone. A few will.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Rignarredbeard,

          You are probably correct. I was providing a possible example of a worst case scenario. I imagine some shells would not kill anyone. Other shells could kill a lot more than 20 people if they hit the right spot on a high-rise apartment building.

          The other thing to consider: North Korea may very well have more like 2,000 such artillery guns, rather than the 200 that I proposed. That could increase the absolute worst-case death toll by a factor of 10 to 800,000 deaths. Even if half the shells miss entirely and the death toll is 400,000, that is still horrific to say the least.

          Whatever the exact number of deaths in Seoul from artillery fire, I have to believe it would be relatively small compared to the death toll from a single nuclear warhead detonated over Seoul, Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, not to mention two or three nuclear warheads detonated over multiple mega-cities.

      3. avatar Petr says:

        Another point to remember – many of the North Korean artillery (and other) positions are known even now, before any shots are fired. Many of those positions are visible even on Google Maps, I’m sure the U.S. has much better resources.

      4. avatar Cliff H says:

        So let’s back off the hyperbole for a moment and look at the facts:

        The estimate of DPRK artillery tubes pointed at Seoul and other ROK cities close enough to the DMZ is on the order of 20,000. This is about the same number that the Russians had pointed at Berlin in their final assault. And it doesn’t take much research to discover that even after that barrage Russian casualties on entering the city were massive. Artillery hitting high up in tall buildings cannot do that much damage to people on the street or in their basements.

        The DPRK tubes are secreted inside caves and bunkers in the living mountains with theoretical “blast doors” protecting them. They have had decades to place these weapons and to stockpile ammunition for them. However…how often do they open those blast doors to see if they work or to test preparing to fire the weapon? Each time such an exercise is performed you can bet someone in ROK is watching and listing coordinates. How effective are those doors? When was the last time any of these guns was test fired? Do they rotate out the ammunition with fresh rounds to ensure quality? How much actual training do their troops get on preparing and quick-firing heavy artillery pieces?

        Now, the U.S. and ROK have had over 60 years to watch the construction of those sites and determine as near as possible where the guns or probably situated. It just isn’t possible to camouflage 20,000 guns so that none of them can be spotted and targeted for return fire and once those doors open and even a single round is fired from a gun it will no longer be a secret anyway. Counter-battery fire and aircraft with bunker-buster munitions will devastate those sites and very likely make local commanders extremely nervous about sliding those doors open to take their next shot. Judicious utilization of MOAB where conditions suggest maximum effect is also likely, and you can be sure the U.S. has some in country and the commanders have already decided where they would do the most good.

        This leaves MLRS batteries and SCUDS. Both need to be exposed in order to fire and it is highly probable that the U.S. and ROK will have air superiority about 10 minutes into the battle. Any military target above ground will be like fish in a barrel.

        And in Seoul, my stepson assures me through the first hand knowledge of his Korean wife, there are many shelters for the civilian population and they know how to reach them in a hurry. Physical damage may be heavy and civilian casualties high in the first minutes of a barrage, but after that the DPRK will be shooting at empty streets, and every one of those shots exposes that tube to devastating counter-barrage.

        This is like a massive demonstration on a national level of when you get in a shootout and make no allowance whatsoever of even being ABLE to get off the “X” while your opponent has practiced that move for 60 years.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Pretty good analysis but ONE problem is the US built something like 36 MOAB. THIRTY SIX in TOTAL.

          While a gun firing out of a “tunnel” has a limited firing window it is also much hard for counterbattery fire to effect. The AF with their toy airplanes and bombers will not be much help. While the AF can reliably hit the earth actual precision fires is still mostly PR BS. A 5 x ft target with a 50ft shaft? Not so much. And Quantity has it’s own quality.

        2. avatar Snatchums says:

          So we have 35 left in our inventory, we used one on ISIS like 6 months ago.

  3. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    The North Korean guns are of little or no consequence. This is what happened and everyone in the media missed this weekend:

    https://youtu.be/R1P6pE9hyn8

  4. avatar Michael says:

    I can already see the ad for this thing:

    “For sale – Top of the line military equipment, meets North Korean quality control specs. Could use a coat of paint.”

    1. avatar Mike says:

      And missing a track.
      One-shot deal; self-induced mass hemorrhage.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        The photo must be of a SP gun in a repair depot…if you look closely at the right of the photo, it’s still hitched to some sort of tracked recovery vehicle likely used to tow the damaged gun in. That and the barbed wire topped concrete barrier in the background says repair depot to me.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          Yeah, it looks like it was just towed off a trailer; you can see the trailer’s tail ramp on the left.

        2. avatar jsallison says:

          The towing vehicle is an M88 Hercules. Pretty sure that was a piece captured from the Iraqis back in the day. Looks like a 130mm M46, iirc, kludged onto a T-55 chassis.

  5. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

    I’d love to register for the giveaway, but I’d have to turn off my adblocker. Expletive THAT expletive!

    And have I told you your commenting system looks like the DNC today?

  6. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    Compared to Big Babylon, Baby Babylon or some of Gerald Bull’s other machinations, the Koksan is baby shit.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      The Kaiser had bigger guns than Koksan nearly 100 years ago.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Gun

      1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

        Indeed, the iconic Paris Guns were an inspiration to Gerald Bull for his various HARP guns. So much so that he successfully reverse engineered them to serve as a template for project Babylon before his untimely demise.

  7. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    That’s not a NoKo piece… That’s Iraqi I remember seeing tons of them in and around Baghdad all in about the same shape or worse.
    The NoKo guns could take many civilian lives but it would be a one shot affair given the amount of airpower we have in the region. That’s assuming we hit their normal gun emplacements the ones mounted on rails that can pull back into caves are a different story.
    In reality, I don’t see it ever coming to this. Rocket man knows if he attacks China will let him get his a$$ handed to him and we know if we attack we’ll be dealing with China and all their buddies again. Keeping that in mind, all I see happening is both leaders running their mouths before Kim backs down.

    1. avatar Dev says:

      You’re right about it being in Iraq, but this was made by North Korea. At least according to the details on Wikipedia.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_People%27s_Army#/media/File:SPG_M-1978_KOKSAN.JPG

      1. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

        Never knew they were NoKo guns I always figured they were Iraq built Russian knockoffs like the Tabuk. Then again the NoKo guns are probably a NoKo built knockoff of a Chinese knockoff of something in the Russian arsenal back in the 50s. Soooo basically still a knockoff Russian gun.

  8. avatar barnbwt says:

    Rust-colored camoflage…

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      A junkyard is a great place to hide your mobile artillery. Air crews will have trouble picking them out from the other rusted out garbage.

  9. avatar Matthew the Oilman says:

    Those mobile guns have a different name as far as the South Korea and United States military are concerned. They are called targets. We own the skies over North Korea, we continue to update locations.Should it prove necessary every one of those guns will be a smouldering wreck within minutes of hostility commencing.

  10. avatar Model 31 says:

    I recently read somewhere that bump stock is the ultimate war machine accessory so unless NoKo figures out how to retrofit bump stocks onto tracked guns, I don’t see any military action lasting more than a week or so.

  11. Haven’t those “big guns” been there since the end of the Koren war? Even if they are semi new “Like built in the 80’s” Would they even fire a live round, or just blow up? Leave a firearm in that climate for even a few years and it will blow up in your hands. How often are those “big guns” maintained? IE Cleaned, preserved, test fired, cleaned and preserved again. Does NK even have the money to do the basics?

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      It’s the model 1978, which may or may not be a date. I think it was first unveiled in public around 1985.

  12. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Hmmm… It almost sounds like Mr. Un is compensating for something…

  13. avatar LHW says:

    Kimy knows that if these g us are used, then he’ll be starting a war.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      “Kimmie knows that if he uses these guns he’ll be ENDING a war.”

      FIFY

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    In order to fully control the sheep, the US government needs a scary enemy. Nazi Germany was scary. The Soviet Union was scary. North Korea is a pimple on China’s ass.

    You know that we live in a relatively safe world when the worst enemy that Washington can come up with is North Korea.

    1. avatar kenneth says:

      And Syria. And Ukraine. And Iraq. Scrapping the bottom of the menace barrel, indeed.

    2. avatar Darkman says:

      Don’t forget Man Made Global Warming. The biggest hoax in the last 40 years. Don’t believe it’s a hoax. Read State of Fear By Micheal Crichton.

      1. avatar joetast says:

        There cannot be global warming because the earth is flat.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          The earth is spherical, but there are three things everyone should know about ‘anthropogenic global warming’.

          1) Before man came along the levels of atmospheric CO2 were at it’s lowest level since complex multi-cellular life appeared on earth (650 million years ago). The earth was on track to face a mass extinction of plants (50ppm CO2) in a few million years that could have wiped out all life on earth forever.

          2) Plants grow faster, produce more food and require less water with more atmospheric CO2.

          3) We are living in a freaking ice age! Seriously, go to Wikipedia and type in ‘current ice age’. It will take you to a page titled ‘Quaternary Glaciation’. It’s a good place to start. 15,000 years ago sea level was 390 feet lower than present and there wasn’t a single living organism north of Des Moines, IA. Not one blade of grass, not a single tree, not even a spider. The glaciers are coming back, and when they do they’re likely to kill us all.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      It’s the CHICOMs.

  15. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Any conflict will be a nightmare for all sides. Civilian causalities will be unimaginable.

    It’s Infantry country and a hard place to fight. I say this because I did two tours there.

    1/31st Inf. 2ID

  16. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    People who think China will stay out of the war are incredible naive.

    China has EXPLICITLY said they WILL NOT allow regime change in North Korea.

    China knows that if NK and SK re-unify via an invasion of the North, the US will be there planting missile bases on their borders. That is NOT going to be allowed to happen. China see what the US is doing to Russia in eastern Europe and they will not allow it to happen to them.

    North Korea is NOT going to unilaterally attack the US OR Japan OR South Korea UNTIL and ONLY UNTIL the US attacks it first. Which is the real threat there. Trump’s US elites and elements of South Korea’s elites want a piece of the 6-10 TRILLION dollars in natural resources that North Korea has undeveloped due to the poor economy and sanctions. MONEY, as usual, is the real driver here.

    Despite all the nonsense about Kim being “irrational” he has done nothing but demonstrate his rationality. Even the CIA admits this. The ONLY thing he is wrong about is his assumption that having nukes is a deterrent to a US attack.

    Well, it’s not. People make the assumption that nukes are a deterrent based on the experience of Iraq and Libya. People forget that Iraq was attacked by Israel for merely having a reactor (and Syria was attacked in the last few years just for MAYBE having a reactor plan), and that long AFTER Iraq had disarmed itself, it was attacked for messing with the OPEC oil price, i.e, MONEY. And Libya was attacked long AFTER it abandoned its nuclear program, again over OIL MONEY.

    Nukes are NOT a deterrent unless two things are true: 1) you have enough of them, and 2) you can deliver them accurately to your enemy. Neither applies to North Korea and would not have applied to Iraq or Libya nor would they apply to Iran if Iran had any intention of making nukes which they don’t because unlike Kim they understand they have no “use case” for them.

    What happened with Iraq is that it was attacked under the EXCUSE that it was trying to get nuclear weapons when the real reason was MONEY. The same applies to North Korea.

    As for the North’s conventional military, that and the fact that they have not seriously attempted to attack South Korea for sixty-four years is what has kept the US from attacking them. Nukes have nothing to do with it, despite what Kim might think. Pentagon war games show the US suffering fifty thousand casualties in the first ninety days of a war with NK and a potential 250,000 casualties if the war continues for some time – which it will.

    It is quite possible that the US/SK could LOSE a war with North Korea. This is even without China entering the war. And even if the US/SK won the conventional war, what about the inevitable insurgency that could be organized by NK’s 100,000-plus Special Forces that would make the Iraq insurgency look like a tea party.

    If China were to enter the war, they wouldn’t even have to attack US/SK troops. They could pour five hundred thousand troops into northern North Korea, set up a defensive line and tell the US/SK “You go no further.” Neither China nor the US will go to WWIII over North Korea. Unlike North Korea’s minimal number of nukes that have not established they can hit the US, China has 200 nukes that CAN hit continental United States.

    North Korea has also explicitly said that IF – and ONLY IF – the US stops making threats against it will they consider putting their nuclear program up for negotiation. It is a fact that they have TWICE before agreed to do so and at one point DID shutter their nuclear program to the point of blowing up their cooling towers. It was the US that reneged on the deal that had been made.

    Kim’s acceleration of his nuclear and missile programs are both attempts to achieve a deterrent – which will fail – and attempts to pressure the US into negotiating. What he doesn’t realize is the US has no interest in negotiating.

    The parameters of a negotiated settlement have been known to anyone familiar with the history of the NK/US conflict. The US must negotiate a mutual non-aggression pact which is legally binding under US and international law that neither side will attack the other unless they are unilaterally attacked or an ally is attacked. In addition, NK must stop nuclear weapons development and rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty and subject itself to IAEA inspection. In return, the US will supply fuel and two light water reactors as per the Clinton Agreed Framework from the 1990’s.

    The only problem preventing this is the US unwillingness to negotiate directly with NK, foisting it off on China and Russia and other countries. The other problem is that the US cannot be trusted to adhere to its agreements, as is proven by Trump’s efforts to tear up the Iran Deal, which virtually the entire world except for Trump knows is working fine.

    Trump can bluster all he wants but within another year he is either going to have to blink and negotiate with NK, or Kim will continue to improve his nukes and his missiles regardless of Trump’s threats until a war starts.

    My prediction is: There will be a second Korean War – and the US and SK will lose it either as a result of Chinese intervention or an insurgency.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      The U.S. has been in South Korea since 1950. Moving missiles a few hundred miles closer to the Yalu River is hardly a big deal, especially since we have whole submarine loads of them cruising the Pacific all the time.

      China may not want to be looking at U.S. troops across that northwest border, but fear of missiles is hardly a major concern.

      I suspect that since the ONLY reason U.S. troops are in South Korea is to dissuade DRPK from launching an attack an agreement with the Chinese that all but a token force, smaller than we have kept there for the last 65 years, will be withdrawn from the Korean peninsula, would keep the Chinese government happy and remove the thorn of the Kim dynasty from their paw.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Idiotic nonsense

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      That which China fears the most–and for which it has reinforced its troops at the NK border in the past year–is a massive influx of NK refugees, probably in the millions, trying to flood into China.

  17. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    As an aside, why the hell does it always take me two or three tries to get a comment to post? I get “Bad Gateway Request” some times and other times the page reloads as a blank page. Only on the third or fourth try does the comment post.

    Need to look into how your system is handling posts.

    1. avatar joetast says:

      If I don’t wait for everything to catch up with itself my comment screen hops all over the place.

  18. avatar CS says:

    I don’t think 1000 rounds of 9mm is going to be enough to counter the DPRK’s “big guns.”

    1. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

      No it’s enough so long as at least 4 of those 9mm rounds fire. Actually, if 4 work you’ll be 4x more effective than NoKo’s big guns.

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