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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. With North Korea in the spotlight again I was intrested to find info on the weapons they are using, in particular sniper rifles and haven't been very succesful. Does any one know what they use?.

Also i found this paper, the author i assume is South Korean. Usually NK military power is depicted as outdated, disorganised and unprepared and this paper is contray to that view and scares the heck out of me.

N Korea Military Tactics
In A War With US
A Strategy Of Massive
Retaliations Against US Attacks

By Han Ho Suk
Director Center for Korean Affairs

North Korea has not only the military power but also the political will to wage total war against the United States.

(An English abstract of a paper)

1. North Korea Can Engage the US in Total War

North Korea is one of the few nations that can engage in a total war with the United States. The US war planners recognize this fact. For example, on March 7, 2000, Gen. Thomas A Schwartz, the US commander in Korea at the time, testified at a US congressional hearing that "North Korea is the country most likely to involve the United States in a large-scale war."

North Korea, which can and is willing to face up to the sole military superpower of the world, cannot be called a weak nation. Nevertheless, Western press and analysts distort the truth and depict North Korea as an "impoverished" nation, starving and on the brink of imminent collapse. An impoverished, starving nation cannot face down a military superpower. Today few nations have military assets strong enough to challenge the US military. Russia, though weakened by the collapse of the Soviet Union, has enough assets to face up to the US. China, somewhat weaker than Russia, too, has strong military that can challenge the US. However, both Russia and China lack the political will to face down the US.

In contrast, North Korea has not only the military power but also the political will to wage total war against the United States. North Korea has made it clear that it will strike all US targets with all means, if the US mounted military attacks on North Korea. That North Korea's threat is no bluff can be seen from the aggressive actions taken by North Korea since the Korean War armistice, most recent of which is North Korea's attempt to capture an American spy plane. In the morning of March 1, 2003, an American RC-132S spy plane, Cobra Ball, took off from a US airbase in Okinawa, and cruised along the East coast of North Korea collecting electronic signals. The US intelligence suspected that North Korea was about to test a long-range missile and the plane was there to monitor the suspected missile launch.

When the US plane reached a point about 193 km from the coast of North Korea, two MiG-29 and two MiG-21 fighter planes showed up unexpectedly. The North Korean planes approached within 16 m and signaled the US plane to follow them. The US pilot refused to follow the command and left the scene posthaste. The US plane was tailed by the hostiles for about 22 min but let the US spy plane go. There are two key points to be observed here.

First, the hostile planes waited for the US plane at the Uhrang airbase, located about 200 km from the point of air encounter. They knew that the US plane was coming. The North Korean planes flew 200 km to intercept the US plane. Did the US plane see them coming? If it did, why no evasive action? After intercepting the US plane, the hostile planes dogged it for 22 min. Why no American planes for the rescue? The US crew must have informed the base of the danger they were in, but no action was taken by the base. If Kim Jong Il had given the command, the MiGs would have shot down the US plane and returned to their base before the US could have scrambled war planes.

Second, North Korea intercepted an American spy plane flying 200 km from its coast. According to the international norm, a nation's territorial air space extends 19 km from its coast line. The US is the exception and claims air space of 370 km from its coast line; any foreign airplane violating this extended air space is challenged or shot down by the US military.

2. North Korea's Massive Retaliation Strategy

North Korea's war plan in case of an US attack is total war, not the 'low-intensity limited warfare' or 'regional conflict' talked about among the Western analysts. North Korea will mount a total war if attacked by the US. There are three aspects to this war plan.

First, total war is North Korea's avowed strategy in case of US preemptive attacks. The US war on Iraq shows that the US can and will mount preemptive strikes in clear violation of international laws, and the United Nations is powerless to stop the US. Any nation that is weak militarily may be attacked by the US at will. It is reasonable for North Korea to deter US attacks with threats of total war.

Second, North Korea expects no help from China, Russia, or other nations in case of war with the US. It knows that it will be fighting the superpower alone. Nominally, China and Russia are North Korea's allies but neither ally is expected to provide any assistance to North Korea in case of war. Neither nation can or is willing to protect North Korea from attacks by the US, and North Korea alone can and will protect itself from US attacks. This principle of self-defense applies to all nations.

Third, North Korea's total war plan has two components: massive conventional warfare and weapons of mass destruction. If the US mounts a preemptive strike on North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plants, North Korea will retaliate with weapons of mass destruction: North Korea will mount strategic nuclear attacks on the US targets. The US war planners know this and have drawn up their own nuclear war plan. In a nuclear exchange, there is no front or rear areas, no defensive positions or attack formations as in conventional warfare. Nuclear weapons are offensive weapons and there is no defense against nuclear attacks except retaliatory nuclear attacks. For this reason, North Korea's war plan is offensive in nature: North Korea's war plan goes beyond repulsing US attackers and calls for destruction of the United States.

The US war plan '5027' calls for military occupation of North Korea; it goes beyond the elimination of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction. The US military regards North Korea its main enemy and likewise North Korea regards the US its main enemy. South Korea, too, regards North Korea its main enemy but North Korea does not regard South Korea its main enemy because South Korea is a client state of the United States and has no ability or power to act independent of the US. North Korea's war plan is not for invading South Korea but for destroying the US.

3. North Korea's Military Capability

All nations keep their military capability secret. North Korea is no exception and it is not easy to assess North Korea's military power. The US claims that it knows North Korea's military secrets. The United States collects intelligence on North Korea using a variety of means: American U-2, RC-135, EP-3 and other high-altitude spy planes watch over North Korea 24 hours 7 days a week. The US 5th Air Reconnaissance Squadron has U-2R, U-2S, and other advanced spy planes at the Ohsan airbase in South Korea. In addition, the US has 70 KH-11 spy satellites hovering over North Korea.

In spite of such a massive deployment of intelligence collection assets, the US intelligence on North Korea is faulty at best. Donald Gregg, a former US ambassador to Seoul and a 30-year CIA veteran, has admitted that the US intelligence on North Korea has been the longest lasting story of failure in the annals of US intelligence. Gregg said that even the best spy gadget in the US arsenal cannot read what's on Kim Jong Il's mind. US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said that North Korea uses underground optical fibers for military communication and that it is nearly impossible to plant human agents in North Korea.

Although North Korea's military secrets are impervious to US spy operations, one can draw some general pictures from information available in the public domain.

a) North Korea makes its own weapons

North Korea has annual production capacity for 200,000 AK automatic guns, 3,000 heavy guns, 200 battle tanks, 400 armored cars and amphibious crafts. North Korea makes its own submarines, landing drafts, high-speed missile-boats, and other types of warships. Home-made weaponry makes it possible for North Korea to maintain a large military force on a shoestring budget. North Korea defense industry is made of three groups: weapon production, production of military supplies, and military-civilian dual-use product manufacturing.

North Korea has 17 plants for guns and artillery, 35 plants for ammunition, 5 plants for tanks and armored cars, 8 plants for airplanes, 5 plants for warships, 3 plants for guided missiles, 5 plants for communication equipment, and 8 plants for biochemical warheads - 134 plants in total. In addition, many plants that make consumer products are designed so that they can be made to produce military items with minimum modification. About 180 of defense related plants are built underground in the rugged mountainous areas of Jagang-do. Several small to medium hydro-power plants serve these plants so that it would be nearly impossible for the US to cut off power to the plants.

b) North Korea has its own war plans

North Korea is mountainous and its coasts are long and jagged. The Korean peninsula is narrow on its waste. North Korea's weapons and war tactics are germane to Korea's unique geography. North Korea has developed its own war plans unique to fighting the US in a unique way. North Korea's military is organized into several independent, totally integrated and self-sufficient fighting units, that are ready for action at any time.

c) North Korean soldiers are well indoctrinated

The US commanders admit that North Korean soldiers are highly motivated and loyal to Kim Jong Il, and that they will fight well in case of war. Karl von Clausewitz said that people's support for war, military commanders' ability and power, and the political leadership are the three essentials for winning war. He failed to include the political indoctrination of the soldiers, which is perhaps more important than the other factors cited.

During the Iraq War just ended, the main cause of Iraq's defeat was the low moral of its soldiers. Iraqi soldiers had no will to stand and fight, and they ran away or surrendered without fight. Iraqi soldiers believed in Allah protecting them and became easy preys to the US military. North Korean soldiers are taught to fight to the bitter end. In September 1996, a North Korean submarine got stranded at Kangrung, South Korea, and its crew abandoned the ship. Eleven of the crew committed suicide and the rest fought to the last man except one who was captured. In June 1998, another submarine got caught in fishing nets at Sokcho and its crew killed themselves. Such is the fighting spirit of North Korean soldiers.

d) North Koreans are combat ready

One cannot fight war without military preparedness. North Korea's regular army is for offensive actions whereas its militias are homeland defense. North Korea's regular army consists of 4 corps in the front area, 8 corps in the rear area, one tank corps, 5 armored corps, 2 artillery corps, and 1 corps for the defense of Pyongyang, South Korea has 19 infantry divisions whereas North Korea has 80 divisions and brigades.

A North Korean infantry division has 3 infantry regiments, 1 artillery regiment (3 battalions of 122 mm rocket launchers and 1 battalion of 152 mortars), one tank battalion of 31 tanks, one anti-tank battalion, one anti-aircraft battalion, one engineer battalion, one communication battalion, one light-infantry battalion, one recon battalion, and one chemical warfare battalion.

North Korea's militias consist of 1.6 million self-defense units, 100,000 people's guards, 3.9 million workers militia, 900,000 youth guard units. These militias are tasked to defend the homeland. The militias are fully armed and undergo military trainings regularly.

i) Artillery

North Korea has 2 artillery corps and 30 artillery brigades equipped with 120mm self-propelled guns, 152mm self-propelled mortars, 170mm guns with a range of 50 km, 240 mm multiple rocket launchers with a range of 45 km, and other heavy guns. North Korea has about 18,000 heavy guns. North Korea's 170mm Goksan gun and 240mm multiple-tube rocket launchers are the most powerful guns of the world. These guns can lob shells as far south as Suwon miles beyond Seoul. The big guns are hidden in caves. Many of them are mounted on rails and can fire in all directions. They can rain 500,000 conventional and biochemical shells per hour on US troops near the DMZ. The US army bases at Yijong-bu, Paju, Yon-chun, Munsan, Ding-gu-chun, and Pochun will be obliterated in a matter of hours.

The US army in Korea is equipped with Paladin anti-artillery guns that can trace enemy shells back to the guns and fire shells at the enemy guns with pin-point accuracy. However, it takes for the Paladins about 10 min to locate the enemy guns, during which time the Paladins would be targeted by the enemy guns Gen. Thomas A Schwartz, a former US army commander in Korea, stated that the US army in Korea would be destroyed in less than three hours.

ii). Blitz Klieg

North Korea has tanks, armored cars, and self-propelled artillery for blitz klieg. North Korea has one tank corps and 15 tank brigades. The tank corps has 5 tank regiments, each of which has 4 heavy tank battalions, 1 light-tank battalion, one mechanized infantry battalion, 2 self-propelled artillery battalions.

US tanks are designed to operate in open fields. In 1941, Rommel of Germany defeated British troops in North Africa with tanks. The largest tank battle was fought at Kursk in 1943, in which the Soviets defeated Germans. In 1973, Egypt defeated Israeli tanks with anti-tank missiles. All of these tank battles were fought in open fields. The Gulf War and the recent war in Iraq saw US tanks in open fields. American and Western tank commanders do not know how to fight tank battles in rugged terrains like those of Korea. Tank battles in Korea will be fought on hilly terrains without any close air cover, because North Korean fighters will engage US planes in close dog fights.

North Korea has developed tanks ideally suited for the many rivers and mountains of Korea. These tanks are called "Chun-ma-ho", which can navigate steep slopes and cross rivers as much as 5.5 m deep. North Korea's main battle tanks - T-62s - have 155 mm guns and can travel as fast as 60 km per hour. The US main tanks - M1A - have 120 mm guns and cannot travel faster than 55 km per hour. North Korean tanks have skins 700 mm thick and TOW-II is the only anti-tank missile in the US arsenal that can penetrate this armored skin.

North Korea began to make anti-tank missiles in 1975 and has been improving its anti-tank missiles for the past 30 years. North Korea's anti-tank missiles are rated the best in the world and several foreign nations buy them. The US army in Korea relies on 72 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to kill North Korean tanks. Each Apache has 16 Hell-Fire anti-tank missiles. As shown in the recent Iraq war, Apaches are fragile and can be easily shot down even with rifles. North Korea has about 15,000 shoulder-fired anti-air missiles ("wha-sung") and Apaches will be easy targets for wha-sung missiles. On December 17, 1994, a wha-sung missile brought down an American OH-58C spy helicopter which strayed north of the DMZ.

North Korea has 4 mechanized corps and 24 mechanized brigades. Each brigade has 1 tank battalion (31 tanks), 1 armored battalion (46 armored cars), 4 infantry battalions, one 122mm battalion (18 guns), one 152 mm battalion (18 guns), one anti-aircraft battalion (18 guns), anti-tank battalion (9 armored cars with anti-tank missiles and 12 anti-tank guns), one armored recon company (3 light armored cars, 7 armored cars, and 8 motor-cycles), one mortar company (6 mortars), one engineer company, one chemical company, and one communication company. The US army has A-10 attack planes to counter North Korea's mechanized units. In case of war, the skies over Korea will be filled with fighters in close dog-fights and the A-10s would be ineffective.

The bulk of North Korea's mechanized and tank units are positioned to cross the DMZ at a moment's notice and run over the US and South Korean defenders. The attackers will be aided by SU-25 attack planes and attack helicopters. In addition, North Korea has 600 high-speed landing crafts, 140 hovercrafts, and 3,000 K-60 and other pontoon bridges for river-crossing. North Korea has 700,000 troops, 8,000 heavy guns, and 2,000 tanks placed in more than 4,000 hardened bunkers within 150 km of the DMZ.

iii. Underground Tunnel Warfare

North Korea is the world most-tunneled nation. North Korea's expertise in digging tunnels for warfare was demonstrated during the Vietnam War. North Korea sent about 100 tunnel warfare experts to Vietnam to help dig the 250 km tunnels for the North Vietnamese and Viet Gong troops in South Vietnam. The tunnels were instrumental in the Vietnamese victory.

North Korea's army runs on company-size units. Tunnel warfare is conducted by independent company-size units. Tunnel entrances are built to withstand US chemical and biological attacks. Tunnels run zig-zag and have seals, air-purification units, and safe places for the troops to rest. It is believed that North Korea has built about 20 large tunnels near the DMZ. A large tunnel can transport 15,000 troops per hour across the DMZ and place them behind the US troops.

iv. Special Forces

North Korea has the largest special forces, 120,000 troops, in the world. These troops are grouped into light infantry brigades, attack brigades, air-borne brigades, and sea-born brigades - 25 brigades in total. These troops will be tasked to attack US military installations in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam.

North Korea has the capacity to transport 20,000 special force troops at the same time. North Korea has 130 high-speed landing crafts and 140 hovercrafts. A North Korean hovercraft can carry one platoon of troops at 90 km per hour. Western experts pooh-pooh North Korea's ancient AN-2 transport planes as 1948 relics, but AN-2 planes can fly low beneath US radars and deliver up to 10 troops at 160 km per hour. North Korea makes AN-2s and has about 300 in place. In addition, North Korea has hang-gliders that can carry 5-20 men each for short hops.

North Korea has developed special bikes for mountain warfare. Special forces use these bikes for fast deployments on mountains. Switzerland is the only other nation that has bike-mounted special forces trained for mountain warfare. The rugged terrains of the Korean Peninsula are ideally suited for special forces operations. North Korea's special forces will attack US targets in Japan, Okinawa, and Guam as well. Japan's self defense units are being reorganized to counter this threat.

How good are North Korea's special forces? In September 1996, a North Korean submarine was stranded near Kang-nung and the crew were forced to abandon the ship and land on South Korea. The sub had two special forces agents who had finished a mission in South Korea and were picked up by the sub before the sub ran into a rock. The two men fought off an army of South Korean troops and remained at large for 50 days, during which they killed 11 of the pursuers.

4. Weapons of Mass Destruction

a. Missile Readiness

North Korea is a nuclear state along with the US, Russia, China, the Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel. North Korea has succeeded in weaponizing nuclear devices for missile delivery. North Korea has operational fleets of ICBM and intermediate-range missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. I have written on this subject previously and will not replicate the details here.

It was May of 1994, nine years ago, when the US military planners had first realized that North Korea had the bomb and devised nuclear attack plans under William Perry, the then US Secretary of Defense. Perry had estimated that North Korea would have about 100 nuclear warheads by 2000. Dr. Kim Myong Chul, an expert on Kim Jong Il's war plans, has recently confirmed that North Korea has more than 100 nukes including hydrogen bombs.

North Korea can produce about 100 missiles a year. It began to make missiles in 1980 and has about 1,000 missiles of various types in place, about 100 of which have nuclear warheads. These missiles are hidden in caves and underground launching pads. At present, the US has no fool-proof defense against North Korean missiles, and in case of war, North Korean missiles can do serious damages: several hundreds of thousands of US troops will die, and scores of US bases and carrier battle groups will be destroyed. The Patriot anti-missile missiles are deployed in South Korea but as shown in the recent Iraq war, the Patriots are not 100% accurate or reliable even under ideal conditions.

b. Biochemical Warfare

North Korea has a large stockpile of biochemical weapons. Each Army corps has a chemical company and each regiment has a chemical platoon. In the May 1994 nuclear crisis, Perry warned North Korea that the US would retaliate with nuclear weapons if North Korea used chemical weapons on US troops.

North Korean troops and citizens are well-prepared for bio-chemical attacks.

5. North Korea's Defense Against US Attacks

a. Fortification

North Korea began to build fortifications in 1960s. All key military facilities are built underground to withstand American bunker-buster bombs. North Korea has 8,236 underground facilities that are linked by 547 km of tunnels. Beneath Pyongyang are a huge underground stadium and other facilities. About 1.2 million tons of food, 1.46 million tons of fuel, and 1.67 million tons of ammunition are stored in underground storage areas for wartime use.

Most of the underground facilities are drilled into granite rocks and the entrances face north in order to avoid direct hits by American bombs and missiles. The B-61 Mod 11 is the main bunker buster in the US arsenal. A recent test showed that this buster could penetrate only 6 meters of rock. The latest GBU-28 laser-guided bunker-buster can penetrate to 30m. North Korean bunkers have at least 80 m of top-cover of solid rocks. North Korea has many false caves that emit heats that will misdirect unwary GBU-28/37 and BKU-113 bunker-busters.

The US military targets enemy command and control centers based on the doctrine of chopping off "the head of the snake." With the top commanders eliminated, the rank and file would be demoralized, leaderless and would surrender. North Korea's extensive underground fortification makes this strategy unworkable. In addition, the underground facilities make US spy planes and satellites impotent.

b. Air Defense

North Korea has a large number of ground-to-air missiles. It has SA-2 and SA-3 missiles against low-flying enemy planes, and SA-5 missiles for high-altitude planes. SA-5 missiles have an effective range of 250 km. SA-5 missiles can hit enemy planes flying over the middle of South Korea.

North Korea has reengineered US shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles captured in Vietnam, and designed its own missile, wha-sung. North Korea began to manufacture wha-sung missiles in 1980. Wha-sung comes in two models: SA-7 that has an effective range of 5 km and SA-16 with 10 km range. North Korea has more than 15,000 wha-sung missiles in place.

In addition to the missiles, North Korea has 12,000 anti-aircraft guns, including 37mm twin-barrel guns, 23 mm automatics, 57mm, 87mm, and 100mm heavy guns. These are mostly manually operated and thus not subject to electronic warfare.

c. Coastal deferens.

North Korea's coastlines are long and jagged. Coastal guns are placed in fortified tunnels along the coastline. North Korea has six ground-to-ship missile bases. North Korea has anti-ship missiles of 95km range, and of 160km range. The latter are for hitting US carrier battle groups over the horizon. North Korean anti-ship missiles can hit ships anchored at Inchon on the west and Sokcho on the east.

America's main defense against anti-ship missiles, the Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers are ineffective outside 20-50 km from missile launch pads.

d. Sea Battles

North Korea has two fleets - the West Fleet and the East Fleet. The West Fleet has 6 squadrons of 320 ships and the East Fleet has 10 squadron of 460 ships. The navy has a total manpower of 46,000. North Korean ships are sheltered from US attacks in about 20 bunkers of 200-900 m longs and 14-22 m wide. North Korean ships are small and agile, designed for coastal defense. North Korean ships carry 46km range ship-to-ship missiles and 22-channel multiple rocket launchers.

The main enemy of the North Korean navy will be US carrier task forces. The Russian navy has developed a tactic to deal with US carriers task forces: massive simultaneous missile attacks. In addition, Russia has developed the anti-carrier missile, "jun-gal", that can destroy a carrier. China has developed similar tactics for destroying US carriers. On April 1, 2003, North Korea test-fired a high-speed ground-to-ship missile of 60km range. A US carrier task force of Nimitz class has 6,000 men, 70 planes, and a price tag of 4.5 billion dollars. Destroying even a single career task force will be traumatic.

A carrier is protected by a shield of 6 Aegis destroyers and nuclear attack submarines. An Aegis destroyer has an AN/SPY-1 high-capacity radar system that can track more than 100 targets at the same time. An Aegis can fire about 20 anti-missile missiles at the same time. Thus, a career force can track a total of 600 targets at a time and fire 120 anti-missile missiles at the same time. The anti-missile missiles have about 50% success under ideal conditions. In actual battle situations, the hit rate will be much lower and the best estimate is that the Aegis shield can intercept at most 55 incoming missiles. Therefore, a volley of about 60 missiles and rockets will penetrate the Aegis shield and hit the career.

North Korea acquired OSA and KOMAR high-speed missile boats in 1968, and began to build its own missile boats in 1981. It has more than 50 missile boats, each equipped with 4 missiles of 46km range and multiple rocket launchers. In addition, North Korea has about 300 speed boats, 200 torpedo boats and 170 other gunboats. In case of war, North Korea's small crafts and submarines will swarm around US career task forces and destroy them.

North Korea has 35 submarines and 65 submersibles. These crafts are equipped with torpedoes and will be used to attack US careers. They will also lay mines and block enemy harbors. North Korea has a large supply of mines. North Korean submarines are small but they are equipped with 8km rocket launchers and 70km anti-ship missiles, and they could do some serious damage to US careers..

e. Air Combats

North Korea has three air commands. Each command has a fighter regiment, a bomber regiment, an AN-2 regiment, an attack helicopter regiment, a missile regiment, and a radar regiment. Each command can operate independently. North Korea has 70 airbases, which are fortified against US attacks. Underground hangars protect the planes and have multiple exits for the planes to take off on different runways. North Korea has several fake airfields and fake planes to confuse US attackers.

It is said that North Korea's planes are obsolete and no match for US planes. North Korea has 770 fighters, 80 bombers, 700 transports, 290 helicopters, and 84,000 men. In case of war, North Korean planes will fly low hugging the rugged terrains and attack enemy targets. US planes are parked above ground at bases in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam, and make easy targets for missile, rocket and air attacks. When war breaks out, North Korean missiles, rockets and heavy guns will destroy the 8 US airbases in South Korea, and any plane in the air would have no place to land.

North Korea's fighter planes are ill-equipped for air-to-air combats at long distances. but they can hold their own in close-quarter air combats. MiG-21 fighters from Bongchun and US F-15 from Ohsan would meet in less than 5 min, assuming they took off at about the same time. In about 5 min, hundreds of MiG21s and F-15s would be swirling in the skies over Korea. Ground-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles would have hard time telling friends from foes. F-15Es are equipped with a radar system that lock on at 180 km for large objects and 90 km for small objects. Sidewinder missiles have an effective range of 16km, AMRAAM missiles of 50km, and Sparrow of 55km.

Korea is 100 km wide and 125 km long, and so US air-to-air missiles would be of limited use and effectiveness, because North Korean MiGs would approach the US planes in close proximity and commingle with US planes, and air-to-air missiles will become useless and machines guns will have to be used. MiG19s have 30mm guns, MiG21s have 23mm guns, and F-14s have 20mm Valkans. North Korean pilots are trained to hug the enemy planes so that air-to-air missiles cannot be used. In contrast, US pilots are trained to lock on the enemy at long distance with radar and fire missiles. US planes are heavily armed with electronics and less agile than the light, lean MiGs that can climb and turn faster than the US planes.

F-14s are about 3.3 times heavier than MiG21s, and F-150Es are about 3.6 times heavier. MiG21s are 16.6 m long whereas F-14s are 19.1 m and F-15Es 19.43 m long. MiG21s cab climb to 18km, whereas F-1A can climb to 15.8 km and F-16 to 15.2 km. MiGs get upper hands in close-range dogfights in which agility matters. In Vietnam, US planes were forced to jettison auxiliary gas tanks and bombs in order to engage MiGs. F-150 E planes will carry BLU-113 bunker busters that weigh 2,250 kg each in the next war in Korea. Loaded with such a heavy bomb, F-15s will become easy targets for North Korea's MiGs. US fighter-bombers will be protected by F-15C fighter escorts.

MiG21s are North Korea's main workhorse. The MiG21 debuted in 1965 in Vietnam and proved itself as an effective attack fighter. In 1999, North Korea bought 40 MiG21s from Kazakhstan. During the Vietnam War, MiG17s shot down dozens of American planes. North Korea sent more than 200 pilots to fight in the Vietnam War. They were tasked to defend Hanoi and shot down scores of US planes. North Korea sent 25 pilots to Syria during the 3rd Arab-Israeli war of 1966, and 30 pilots to Egypt and Syria during the 4th Arab-Israeli war of 1973. In 1976, North Korea sent more than 40 pilots to Syria.

f. Electronic Warfare

The United States excels in electronic warfare and no nation comes anywhere near the US capability. North Korea began developing its own electronic warfare methods in 1970. It is believed that North Korea has advanced electronic warfare ability. It has numerous counter measures for US electronic warfare. During the recent war in Iraq, the US dropped e-bombs that disabled the Iraqi electronic devices. North Korea relies heavily on non-electronic command and control means, and hence US e-bombs will have limited impacts in North Korea.

North Korea trains about 100 hackers a year and has computer virus battalions in place. These hackers are capable of interrupting US communication networks. In a war game conducted in 1991 by US war planners, North Korea came out the victor with and without nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Il has no doubt that his army can beat the US army.

6. US Military Defeats in the Past

Military power dictates the outcome of war. In assessing the next war in Korea, the military power of the opponents must be examined objectively. Until now, North Korea's military power has not been properly studied. In general, Western experts tend to underestimate North Korea's military strength. Politicians in America and South Korea play down North Korean threats for political reasons.

It has been said that North Korean army is large in numbers but their equipment are obsolete, and hence it is a weak army. The US war planners assess North Korean army using computer simulations of war in Korea. US war plan for the recent Iraq war was refined using more than 40 computer-simulated wars in Iraq. The computer simulation models use weapon system features among other factors to determine the outcome.

It is true that the advanced weapons were instrumental in the US victory in the Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. On the other hand, the US army was defeated by ill-equipped foes in Korea and Vietnam. The latter two wars show that superior weapons do not always lead to a victory. North Korean and Chinese forces in Korea and the Vietnamese forces fought with superior tactics and stronger fighting fighting spirits.

In the next war in Korea, the US army will face an enemy much more determined and better equipped than the army in the Korean War of 1950-53.

108 Posts
Never underestimate your enemy !!
Weve done it to many times in the past.
I just hope we coud resolve this with a couple of well placed shots!!and or nukes!!!
instead of going over there and playing policeman again.
I also believe that if we went to war with N.K.
It would have to be a world war I think we would need help from as many countries as possible .
Too bad we have a bunch of idiots over there that want to kill everyone
I think the world needs a couple of years of peace.

994 Posts
Almost one full year ago I wrote a paper on Japan and its Article Nine (prohibition of a military), and whether or not it was likely to amend the article due to a threat of North Korea. The paper has a somewhat heavy focus on Japan, but it is completely relevant to the issue at hand.

If anyone has ANY history of the region, you know them Koreans (unified or divided) have a much deeper grudge against Japan than they will EVER have against us... but as my report shows, Japan ain't got reason to be afraid, and we ain't got reason to be afraid.

Keep in mind that some elements of South Korea don't want the United States to withdraw troops, which a massive reduction in the works has been announced, and I'm willing to bet they'll use scare tactics like this to convince W's constituents (us) to apply pressure and keep our boys over there.

Plus, my paper is longer than that article AND it has a bibliography! ;)

Scatch Maroo

"Rising Sun to the East"
Kim Jong-Il will institute a number of reforms that will extend the longevity of the state of the Democratic PeopleÕs Republic of Korea while continuing to develop, as well as produce weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles capable of delivering them.
The Japanese political right will convince the people of the need to repeal the IX article of the Japanese constitution in order to ensure the protection of Japan from the growing threat provided by the Democratic PeopleÕs Republic of Korea.

Key Terms
Number of reforms Ð Economic reform will be imposed to revitalize the economy, reduce the unemployment rate, and attempt to lure foreign investment.
Longevity of the state Ð A decade ago, people predicted the collapse of the North Korean state Òin several years.Ó Although North Korea has yet to collapse, its condition only dilapidates further. Reforms imposed under the leadership of Kim Jong-Il will ensure that the state is able to sustain itself for an indefinite amount of time.
Political right Ð Conservative extremists of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) who desire military independence from the United States, a development of a nuclear arsenal, and for Japan to make its claim as a super power.
Article IX of the Japanese Constitution Ð General McArthur wrote and imposed the Japanese
Constitution upon the Japanese after their defeat and occupation of World War Two. The constitution reads:
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
Since its inception it has been interpreted to allow a force necessary of defense of the state of Japan, although forbids the use of the military in conducting foreign policy.
Growing threat Ð North KoreaÕs massive military spending and its proliferation of weapons of massive destruction and its advanced development of ballistic missile technology.
Democratic PeopleÕs Republic of Korea Ð The long form title of the state of North Korea.

Dependent variables:
¥ Japan repeals article IX of its Constitution is dependent on the following

Independent variables:
¥ Kim Jong-Il is able to ensure the longevity of the North Korean state
¥ North KoreaÕs deployment of weapons capable of inflicting upon Japan massive casualties, and North KoreaÕs will to actually execute such a military operation.
¥ How the Japanese people perceive the Japanese military.
¥ The actual necessity of an armed forces separate from the United States.

The Expectation
The deployment of WMD and ballistic missiles capable of reaching all of Japan, combined with a resurgence of life into North Korea from economic reform, will provide enough fuel for the political right to scare the Japanese public into believing a repeal of the IX article of their constitution is necessary for their own survival.

The Evidence

As it stands, the ninth article of the second chapter of JapanÕs constitution states:
ÒAspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.Ó
The constitution has since been interpreted to mean that the inherent right to defend oneÕs nation is not prohibited.
JapanÕs Apathy for the Self Defense Forces
After the war, JapanÕs national focus was on rebuilding the economy and retaining its sovereignty. After the United States signed the 1951 Security Treaty with Japan, it was from then on obligated to defend Japan to the fullest extent possible. Since then, Japan has resisted much of WashingtonÕs pressures to take a much more active military role in the region; in 1954 it established the Self Defense Forces, composing an air force, a naval force, and a ground force. The SDF has grown only marginally since inception.
Defense spending never exceeded 1% of the gross domestic product of Japan until the middle of the 1990s in which it exceeded to just less than 1.5%. Since then, spending has been cut to 1%, or roughly $39.52 billion dollars a year. Although Japan has the fourth largest budget for its military , this is very misleading and an analysis of the budget is necessary to expose this.
The Japanese Defense Agency requires 80% of all arms procurement to be from Japanese defense production companies. Japanese defense contractors are prohibited from selling their arms internationally, however, so they must increase the prices of the equipment to stay afloat. A tank produced in Japan costs three times as much as a tank produced in the United States.
Additional reasons for JapanÕs high military budget is personnel costs. In 1992, 45% of the defense budget was dedicated to covering the personnel costs of 250 thousand people.
JapanÕs military restraints are completely artificial; self-imposed by the Japanese people.
The last time the military complex was able to grow in power, it controlled the government and eventually brought down immeasurable suffering, pain and humiliation upon the Japanese people. The residual fear of what happens in the aftermath of a militant government is what compels the Japanese people to suppress the military that is standing now. Considering the end of World War Two was almost sixty years ago, the majority (if not all) of JapanÕs political leaders grew up during the War and U.S. occupation of Japan. These leaders, as well as their constituents, understand what can happen when a military machine is given too much control and the devastation and humiliation that can be the consequences of an uncontrollable military.
It is hasty, however, to think that their resistance to a stronger military is solely based on fear of its rise of power and domination of government as their current system gives the civilian government full authority over the military. A civilian authority has full control of the United States military Ð the largest and most powerful military to exist on the planet earth Ð and not once since becoming a global power has there been an attempt to take authority away from the civilian government by the military.
Since the signing of the Security Treaty in 1951, the U.S. has been contractually obligated to defend Japan Òcompletely and utterlyÓ while Japan is only mandated to come to the aid of the United States if the U.S. military while in Japanese territory Ð which would be an attack on Japan, as well, demanding a response regardless of U.S. presence.
ÒThey [Japan] have not come under military attack since World War II, and, other than in 1995, when a religious cult sprayed sarin nerve gas on a Tokyo subway, they have been spared major terrorist attacks as well.Ó
ÒÉIn December 2001, the Japanese sank a suspected North Korean spy ship Ð the first time Japanese servicemen had fired hostilely since World War Two.Ó Considering the SDF were a concession to the United StatesÕ demands during the launch of the cold war, why would anyone expect Japan to devote a larger portion of their national budget to a military they have little use for?
Because so much of the defense budget is allocated elsewhere, there is little room for extensive equipment and supplies. ÒThe under-funding of logistics has produced a force with very limited sustainability - ammunition stores may be sufficient for a concerted defense of no more than a week, and few troops are able to practice with live ammunition once a year.Ó In 1996, in an aim to offset the deficit created by the slumping economy, the Japanese parliament sliced out 8 billion dollars from the military budget. Considering military spending today is just over 39 billion dollars, the eight billion dollar reduction equates to about 20%, or one-fifth of the entire military budget. In a state such as the United States or the Republic of China, countries that put a strong emphasis on the necessity of the military, 20% reductions and ÒyearlyÓ live ammunition training would be seen as unfeasible and ridiculous.
High-ranking officers in the SDF are given such a low standing both socially and politically. ÒMany SDF officers believe that they can influence decisions of the Japanese government which effect them more easily by lobbying U.S. military counterparts, who in turn, they hope, will lobby Japanese decision makers, than by acting through their own chains of command.Ó
The consequences of JapanÕs apprehension for its own military have led to a shortage of personnel. In 1990, the GSDF (Ground Self Defense Forces) were permitted to enlist up to 180,000 troops Ð however, they were only able to find 154,000 volunteers, 26,000 men short. ÒA significant number of graduates [from the National Defense Academy] often decline their commissions in pursuit of civilian jobs.Ó
It would seem that the Japanese people do not necessarily fear a massive military, but rather, fail to have a respect for it, resenting the fact that the SDF was a forced concession to appease the United States. Considering the amount of substantial training their military receives, joined with the frequency in which the SDF has actually been able to engage an enemy, the Japanese must not see their military as all that necessary. Because the United States secures its interests throughout the Pacific (securing the sea lanes of communication, for example) the Japanese see no need to expand their own. A classic rhetoric summarizes it best: Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?
It would seem that JapanÕs resistance to military expansion is not so much a product of fear of the military and of a recurrence of the past as it is a matter of fiscal ingenuity. The samurai has turned in his weapon and withdrawn a calculator, and heÕs proving himself as skilled and effective as ever.

The DPRKÕs Not So Eccentric Leader and Potential Longevity of the State

If North Korea is to present itself to Japan as a threat worth amending its constitution, North Korea must meet three contingents: a) longevity of state b) the technological capabilities to make possible an attack against the Japanese, and c) the will, or at least perceived will, to execute an attack.
The media, both American and Japanese, have portrayed Kim Jong-Il as a Òinsane, aloof, flaky, dimwitted and irrational.Ó However, this media has been falsely leaked by U.S. and ROK intelligence agencies with the aim of humiliating the government of North Korea, and rallying international support against the supposed mad man.
It is the opinion of a number of diplomatic dignitaries that Kim Jong-Il is in fact far from an irrational despot, a methodical and determined despot. ROKÕs President Kim Dae Jung, after attending the 2000 Summit, described the leader as of Òintellectual ability and discernment, reform-minded, the type of man we can talk with in a common sense fashion.Ó
ÒIn Seoul, press reports of the summit and of a luncheon hosted by Kim Jong Il for forty-six South Korean editors in August emphasized his Òpragmatic attitude,Ó his Òdecorum and typically Korean manners,Ó his Òself-confident, free and easy,Ó ÒfrankÓ personality, his Òwillingness to acknowledge his mistakesÓ, and his Òconsiderable knowledge about many fields, including world affairs,Ó acquired in part, it was said, from listening to CNN, BBC, and Japanese radio and television broadcasts.Ó
The Clinton AdministrationÕs Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, said he is Òa very good listener and a good interlocutor. He strikes me as a very decisive and practical. And serious.Ó
Kim Jong-Il also told Madeline Albright that he was Òconsidering alternatives to his Communist economyÓ, referring specifically to the ÔSwedish modelÕ.Ó
Given the above statements, it has at least been established that there is a significant possibility that Kim Jong-Il is a rational and stable leader. Taking note of the recent constitutional reforms that have been made, and Madeline AlbrightÕs testimony to Kim Jong-IlÕs possible desire for economic reform, we cannot dismiss the possibility the DPRK will continue its existence for decades to come.
In response to the curiosity of many in regards to why Kim Jong-Il is so slow to reformÉ ÒThere are a lot of working-level officials who see the need for economic reform, and Kim Jong-Il is simply cautious of the aftermath it may bring, such as the tear-down of his political power because the Old Guards [old hard-line leftists] entrenched in various places of power would attempt to overthrow him.Ó Kim Jong-Il is wise to be wary as rapid reform proved to the cause for the attempted coup in the Soviet Union in 1993. It must be admitted that this is simply speculation of the situation; information regarding the mindsets of politicians in general, especially those in a country such as North Korea, is difficult to discern.
Many might argue that a completely rational and intelligent Kim Jong-Il is still powerless and faced with an inevitable collapse of state because North Korea lacks an economical base, or the grounds to build one. Although North KoreaÕs economy is extremely weak in comparison to the South - its GDP is at $22 billion annually, with an annual growth of 1% compared to the ROK with a GDP of $931 billion annually with an annual growth of 6.2% - North Korea retains economic potential through a populous labor force (although temporarily weakened by famine), a culture which emphasizes strong work ethics, and a strong potential for the exportation of raw minerals.
Unknown by most, the northern part of the Korean peninsula lays host to a number of raw minerals, including a variety of metals and possibly oil.
For centuries Ð since the 13th century BC, in fact Ð China was successful in mining gold from the northern part of Korea for more than three millennia. This forces us to ask, however, how much gold is left?
Although it is suspected that the amounts produced prior to the occupation began to thin, in-depth prospecting of the area is necessary to determine how much gold is left and accessible.
This will certainly prove difficult, as some of the most prosperous mines like the Unsan mine have fallen into shabby states, flooding and collapsing, since the creation of North Korea.
In addition to gold, North Korea is capable of exporting a large number of other precious metals: anthracite coal, iron, lead, zinc, tungsten and magnesite. ÒAnthracite coal reserves exceed 10 billion tons, while exporting 500 thousand tons a year. Iron ore reserves are estimated at 300 billion tons, while lead and zinc are each estimated at 12 million tons. Tungsten, a metal which is vital for the construction of jet and missile engines, is estimated at 232 thousand tons and magnesite reserves are estimated at six billion tons.Ó
Oil is another strong area of economic potential for North Korea. Since 1991, Western oil companies have assisted North Korea in locating oil reserves. Beach Petroleum, an Australian corporation, located 500 million to one billion barrels of oil off the east coast. Other seabed reserves are hoped to be discovered off the coast of Anju and in the South China Sea where China has already had luck in finding oil. Using aerial and seismic surveys utilizing software he programmed, an American petroleum specialist (of Korean descent) has located several zones within the Yellow Sea, which contain at least 1.17 billion barrels of oil.
Given the previous information, we must ask why North Korea has yet to exploit these tremendous resources in an attempt to jump-start their economy. A lack of investment capital Ð due in large part to an overinvestment in the military Ð prohibits the strong development of most of North KoreaÕs potential resources.
Beach Petroleum, the Australian corporation, which assisted in the locating of oil reserves on the coast of the peninsula, was released from further work shortly after discovering the oil. Government companies began work on the area, and so how much oil has been produced is unknown. It is the continued paranoia of Western business that has caused North Korea to lose the desperate foreign currency it so badly needs to rejuvenate its economy.
It is important to note here that immediately after oil was discovered, the Western company was released from the operation and a government-ran operation ensued. High-ranking bureaucrats and military officers run all North Korean corporations. If Kim Jong-Il is sincere in his contemplations of economic reform, it is possible that privatized industry will be able to grow and the economy can pull itself onto track. Given that North Korea is already an exporter of a number of raw minerals, it is important to prospect what North KoreaÕs economic reforms could lead to: a drastic rearrangement of the business leadership leading to much higher rates of efficiency. If economic reforms are successful and prove stable, attracting billions of dollars of foreign investment may be a possibility, one that has lead to the massive growth of ChinaÕs own economy. If North Korea follows in the footsteps of its neighbor, it may very well find itself capable of sustaining an authoritarian state while reducing the levels of famine and disease within its own country and producing much more revenue for the maintenance and expansion of its military.
The Tangible Threat the DPRK Presents
Expenditures on the military barely exceed five billion dollars, but it comprises of 33.9% of the gross domestic product : although it may not receive an exceptional amount of funding, the fact that the government dedicates one third of its income to sustaining the military is a demonstration of the importance placed upon the military.
It is important to examine now the size and capacity of the military of North Korea to gain a somewhat better perspective of its capabilities in relation to some of its neighbors.

Personnel Tanks Fighters Surface Ships Submarines
China 3,030,000 9,400 (500) 5,224 (124) 57 (40) 53 (7)
North Korea 1,127,000 4,200 (2,225) 730 (136) 3 (0) 23 (0)
South Korea 633,000 1,860 (450) 334 (48) 17 (9) 3 (3)
Japan 237,700 1,200 (929) 324 (231) 62 (40) 17 (17)
Numbers in parenthesis are at least mid-1960Õs design with advanced technology such as laser range finders for tanks. Source: General Accounting Office Report, ÒImpact of ChinaÕs Military Modernization in the Pacific Region,Ó June1995.

Although the information is seven years old, given the economic situation for North Korea for the past decade which severely limits any attempt to upgrade the military, it is clear that North Korea lacks an effective military capable of striking Japan in a conventional sense. It lacks anything that could be considered a navy, which are necessary for troop transportation across the Sea of Japan. As well, the air force of North Korea is reminiscent of an air museum, and troop transportation via air would likely prove to be of little success as Japanese and/or U.S. naval and air forces would be capable of destroying them en route. Because of the logistical implausibility of troop transportation to Japan, an examination of the level of training, morale, and discipline of the actual soldiers themselves is without impact. Does this mean North Korea fails to meet the second contingency necessary to present a threatening force towards Japan?
North Korea is capable of doing a massive amount of damage to Japan, and may soon enough be capable of obliterating the majority of the island chain altogether via nuclear device.
The real threat provided by North Korea to Japan is not its conventional forces, but rather, its weapons of mass destruction and its ability to deliver them Ð in association with its will to employ them.
ItÕs important first to discuss the actual weapons North Korea controls, or will control: chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
Although North Korea is not yet a producer of binary chemical agents, which result in longer shelf life and are much safer for its handlers, North Korea maintains an abundant supply, readily capable of deployment. A huge variety of chemical agents are continually produced and stored. The following is a list of chemical agents, yet not necessarily all chemical agents, produced and stored in North Korea: adamsite, chloroacetophenone, chlorobenzyliidene malononitrile, hydrogen cyanide, mustard-family, phosgene, sarin, soman, tabun, and two types of V-agents, VM and VX. Defectors claim a total of twenty different agents are maintained in storage facilities throughout North Korea.
North KoreaÕs bio-weapons list is also quite extensive: anthrax, botulism, cholera, hemorrhagic fever (Korean strain), plague, smallpox, typhoid and yellow fever.
ÒIt is possible that the BW is even more varied than [this above listing] suggested since the DPRK was politically and militarily active throughout Africa, South Asia and South America during the 1960Õs-1970s and had access to many of the diseases that spread through these regions during this period.Ó
Last of the WMDs are the nuclear arms North Korea is suspected of possessing. The most conservative estimates of North KoreaÕs stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium (derived from their reprocessing campaigns prior to the signing of the 1994 Agreed Framework) are at 14 kilograms. Considering that 4 grams is enough to produce something equal to a first-generation U.S. atomic weapon, North Korea has the capability to produce at least three nuclear weapons. Confirmation of North KoreaÕs possession of nuclear weapons has not been made by any of the defectors of the country, although it is widely believed that North Korea must be close since it abandoned the Agreed Framework treaty of 1994 and has continued its attempts to build nuclear power plants and waste processing centers.
According a former Official of the Ministry of the PeopleÕs Army (DPRK), Ju-Hwal Choi, testified to Congress:
ÒIt is widely known inside North Korea that North Korea has produced, deployed, and stockpiled two or three nuclear warheads, and toxic material such as over 5,000 tons of toxic gases.Ó The estimated number of warheads suspected to be stockpiled matches with the number of potential nuclear warheads it was thought North Korea could produce considering the amount of processed plutonium they had stored.
And so although it is difficult whether or not it can be said whether North Korea is currently in possession of nuclear warheads, it can, however, be asserted that North Korea has the necessary resources, and technological capability to go nuclear in the future.
The extent of which North KoreaÕs missile arsenal extends is well known. It has been Òestimated 30 % of North KoreaÕs export income is generated by arms sales, with ballistic missile technology accounting for a high percentage of those sales.Ó
In regards to a 1998 missile test discussed at a Senate subcommittee hearing in 2001, Chairman Jesse Helms stated, Òa sizeable warhead can be delivered to either Alaska or Hawaii.Ó The missile was launched over Japan with a high enough altitude so it technically did not invade Japanese air space, and landed in international waters. However, this experiment demonstrated to Japan that it was completely vulnerable to an attack by North Korea.
It is possible the government of North Korea will avoid collapse as it has since the early 1990Õs, and considering its capabilities of causing colossal casualties within Japan, we now must examine whether or not Japan has sufficient reason to believe North Korea has the audacity to execute a military strike.
ÒHwang Chang-yop, the most senior DPRK official ever to defect, describes the potential employment of nuclear weapons by DPRK:
ÔFor one thing, they will use them [nuclear weapons] if South Korea starts a war. For another, they intend to devastate Japan to prevent the United States from participating. Would it still participate, even after Japan is devastated? That is how they think.ÕÓ
North Korea is still strongly Korean, however, and it is unlikely it would use nuclear or even biological weapons on its southern half given that North Korea hopes to reacquire the southern part of the peninsula in the future.
Ju-Hwal Choi informs us of North KoreaÕs aims of crippling American assistance to South Korea and Japan.
ÒOn the military front, North Korea can deal a blow to the 40,000 U.S. forces stationed in the South, and they can target the U.S. defense facilities and the Japanese defense facilities inside Japan, thereby effectively destroying supply bases in times of war.Ó
A former official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Young-Hwan Ko, added to the testimony of targeting U.S. forces.
ÒÓÉAs early as 1965, Kim Il-sung had said that North Korea should develop rockets and missiles to hit U.S. forces inside Japan. And regarding the U.S. forces inside South Korea, North Korea- it is a well-known fact that North Korea will use short-range missiles and other missiles and rockets in order to have casualties of somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000, and even more casualties in the side of U.S. forces in order to have anti-war sentiments to rise inside the United States and cause the withdrawal of U.S. forces in the time of war.Ó
The DPRK believes it has a plan to remove the U.S. military from the equation if it were to enter conflict with either the ROK or Japan. Because the United States, the most powerful force and largest obstacle within the region, is no longer feared by the DPRK, North Korea no longer has a pertinent fear of the ROK or of Japan as it can deal massive blows to each, Japan in particular as it does not aim to one day acquire the Japanese islands and so does not have concern for long-term consequences. However, just because North Korea does not fear the consequences of attacking the ROK or Japan does not mean it is anxious to do so.

Should Japan Fear the Democratic PeopleÕs Republic of Korea?
The realistic consequences of a massive North Korean attack are irrelevant to the Japanese: whether the Japanese believe the U.S. will respond with a full amount of force (as the Security Treaty demands) or withdraw all of its support (as the DPRK anticipates), the Japanese will have already suffered massive casualties at the hands of North Korea. In order to prevent or cement fears of an attack by the DPRK against the Japanese, we must consider the likelihood North Korea will see a need in attacking Japan or causing massive casualties against the U.S. (who, stationed in Japan, will be subject to massive DPRK bombardment).
The current administration of George W. Bush has previously declared North Korea to be apart of an axis of evil. Two other states mentioned in the 2002 State of the Union address, Iraq and Afghanistan have undergone military invasion and occupation. It is a possibility that the current administration may deem North Korea a threat that must be dealt with militarily. Consideration of the likelihood of a U.S. attack on North Korea is irrelevant as the outcome, in the eyes of Japan, is essentially the same. Considering the amount of attention the American media gives to troop build-ups in surrounding regions to forthcoming theaters, it is likely North Korea would ready itself to deal as much damage as possible against U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan. Given that the attack was already initiated, Japan would not have the means nor necessity to rebuild its military, as the U.S. would then be fully engaged in North Korea.
There are only two reasons in which, I believe, North Korea would attack someone unprovoked: 1) they fear (unrealistically) a military invasion or strike against themselves, 2) the DPRK is facing deposal either from their own inability to maintain longevity of the state or due to a populous uprising.
The reasoning behind the former provocation is obvious. If the government were being overthrown, I believe they would see it as their last opportunity to exact a strong amount of revenge against Japan, the country that has for centuries caused it so much pain and humiliation. However, weÕve discussed the probability of the former and its unlikeliness, and the second possibility relies on Kim Jong-IlÕs leadership abilities and only time can testify to the result.
Earlier, I came to the conclusion that the reasoning behind JapanÕs maintenance of a severely limited military was due to the lack of necessity, not of a ÒfearÓ of military power as so many Japanese politicians claim, as it has been demonstrated that a powerful military can exist subordinate to a civilian command structure. Although the United States would retaliate against North Korea if Japan were attacked, how likely is the United States to attack North Korea if Japan merely perceives North Korea to be a threat worthy of preemptive strike?

It is safe to conclude that the likelihood of a military strike against North Korea unprovoked is null considering the consequences that will be faced. I use the term ÔunprovokedÕ ambiguously, however, in that the perception North Korea is preparing to attack someone else could and will be considered provocation worthy of preemptive military response. The possibility of provocation leads us to the last possibility to be explored: will the DPRK directly implement their military capabilities in conducting foreign policy with either the ROK or Japan?
The two scenarios in which the political right of Japan would utilize North KoreaÕs military threat as a means of appealing its IX article, are: 1) The right wants to rebuild its military power and will use North Korea as a boogie man of sorts in order to convince its constituents that North Korea proves a dire threat to the survival of the Japanese people, and that the United States will fail to come to the aid of the Japanese until it is too late. 2) The Japanese government as a whole is convinced by evidence (emphasized and publicized by the right) that it needs to rebuild its military in order to prevent a missile attack by North Korea because it feels the United States will not come to its aid, and will express this concern to its constituents in order to allow it to do so.
Given the stance of not only the civilian population, but the stance of the majority of the government itself towards its own military, it is safe to say that it is not any more anxious to devote more of its decreasing GDP than North Korea is in becoming a completely open-market society. The Japanese government as a whole is not anxious to develop its own armed forces and it is highly unlikely that the majority of the government or its constituents will develop a strong fear of a scarecrow army created by the political right. Without any such hard evidence, the attempt by the right fails and the IX article remains intact.
The second scenario relies on two premises: Japan gathers enough evidence (demonstrating North Korea is planning to launch ballistic missiles tipped weapons of mass destruction) allowing that it finds sufficient to warrant dedicating precious economic resources to a proliferation of its own military, and attempts to convince its own constituents to allow it to do so because it truthfully believes the U.S. military will not act preemptively on behalf of Japan.
Whether the Japanese government believes the military is a beast to be contained or a useless animal which unnecessarily consumes resources, the Japanese government does not want to give precious resources to its military , and for Japan to actually decide it is necessary, hard evidence of a threat must be aplenty. Given that such evidence would have to exist to worry the government to such an extent, there is no reason to think that the United States would not act on behalf of Japan in a preemptive strike against deployed missile targets within North Korea.
The United States has 40,000 troops stationed in South Korea, as well as tens of thousands more stationed/routinely docked in Japan. The DPRK knows that if it attacks Japan, the U.S. will come to its defense. In preparation for this, the DPRK will also attack the stationed troops in South Korea to create casualty numbers so high that anti-war sentiment in the U.S. will be so great the military will be forced to withdrawal. Whether the ROK is attacked or Japan is attacked, the United States will automatically become the prime target as well as it is the strongest opposing force to North Korea.
Japan has neither immediate need nor desire for an expanded military force due to AmericaÕs presence and the 1951 Security Treaty. The hypothesis above has proven itself to be false based on its premise that the United States would withdrawal, and that the political extreme right would carry enough sway against the vast majority of the government with the people that it is able to convince them of the necessity of military proliferation.


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Bobrow, David B. "Pursuing Military Security:Lessons from Japan," The Ridgeway Papers in
International Security Studies, Number 91-1, December 1991

Brzezinski , Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard (New York: Basic Books, 1997)

Bush, George W. State of the Union Address. 29 Jan 2002. ( ... peech.txt/)

Chinworth, Michael W. Inside Japan's Defense:Technology, Economics, and Strategy (Washington:Brassey's, 1992)

Harrison, Selig S. Korean endgame: a strategy for reunification and U.S. disengagement (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002)

Huxley, Tim. Arming East Asia: Sino-Japanese Rivalry? (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 1999)

Mathews, Eugene A. ÒJapanÕs New Nationalism.Ó Foreign Affairs 82, no. 6, (2003)

Rencwick, Neil. JapanÕs Alliance Politics and Defence Production (New York: St. MartinÕs Press, 1995)

Struck, Doug. ÒAlbright Visit Brings Red Carpet,Ó Washington Post, 25 October 2000

Thomas L. Wilborn, ÒJapanÕs Self Defense Forces: What Dangers to Northeast Asia?Ó (diss., Strategic Studies Institute,1994)

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The World Fact Book.1 August 2003.<>

Premium Member
7,927 Posts
Damn, Scatch...Thats what I call a paper!

As the much more simple Muzzleblast, I will make this one short. Even though we always call them "Rogue" or "Renegade", they ain't crazy and neither is Kim, and no one wants a nuke exchange. Besides, don't they have like 2 nukes or something?

They'd be gettin hit from all over, C-squared fails, no one can talk to leadership, if leadership is still alive. "Total war" for them would just be invading the South again if they could.

They have no real combat experience in 50 years or something.

Aren't we all (Commonwealth and US) still technically at war with them?

Sorry of anyone else pointed these that was lots of info to take in lol

Premium Member
9,894 Posts
Yes, this is all very relevant to me, as I have a very close friend in Korea right now. He is a CATM (firearms isntructor) in the USAF. He'll be back in the states in May.


576 Posts
The Korean War (In the fifties, yes) was ended only on a Cease-fire. Technically, we should still be good to go to trade shots with them. They've had fifty plus years to improve defenses and set up staging areas, and improve their military.

I'm going to go and say that if N.Korea gets involved with anything, the PRC will help, via proxy. They're likely eager to test out some of their newer equipment against the American kit that will be shredding and be-shredded by various pieces of North Korean equipment.

994 Posts
AK said:
I'm going to go and say that if N.Korea gets involved with anything, the PRC will help, via proxy. They're likely eager to test out some of their newer equipment against the American kit that will be shredding and be-shredded by various pieces of North Korean equipment.
I disagree... although I think that if N. Korea is attacked, unprovoked, the PRC may assist... I do not think that if N Korea attacks, unprovoked, the PRC will assist.

I think China realizes how economically dependent it is on foreign (Western) money--and I don't think they're willing to risk a blockade. Keep in mind there are a number of populous, industrializing nations that can replace China in manufacturing McDonald's toys! ;)

North Korea's starving to death and one of their biggest exports are missles and missle technologies, to places such as Iran. My bet is that if they've gained the ability to develop nuclear arms, their objective is to export 'em and make some bucks.

If we're getting nuked, it's going to be from a brief case or a car trunk, not someone nut's missle...

Scatch Maroo

114 Posts
i know N. korea is alot more capable than they were in the 50's and that our politiciansprobably are downplaying them a little to save face. but that article was underestimating our capabilities as well. Not to mention that i dont think bush would be dumb enough to defy the UN again. this time we would have their support. N.Korea even with their allies have NO CHANCE against the UN. UK has the best air force and dog fighting capabilties. Not to mention that in that whole article they made no mention of our F/A-18 Super Hornet that is one of the lightest and most agile planes in the world. F-14 Tomcats may be heavy but NO FIGHTER Jet in the world can keep up with it. i am going to break a few other things down besides the UN, just our capabilities.

1. Army- cant really say much about it becaseu i dont know much about our army but i am sure others on here can.

2. Air force- we may not have the strongest air force (pilot wise) but our allies and Navy Pilots make up for it.

3. Marine Corps.- Cmon seriously what army in the world can match against our fighting Marines. Skills and fighting spirit. They may have learned alot from Vietnam but so did we. brfore Vietnam we had no Guerilla warfare program. now we have one of the best programs in the world we were trained by some of the other bests in the world.

4. Navy- One question. Who the hell can match our ea Power? Nobody is the correct answer. They mentioned Aegis and yes they will be able to get a few missles through Aegis' blanket what it has been proven that a Cruiser and Destroyer that is at General Quarters (our battle stations on a ship) is virtually inpenetrable. they said Aegis is our only defense. Bull They forgot RAM (Rolling Airframe Missles) that can intercept and missle that is incoming. the only fault with RAM is there are only 24 missles per launcher with three launchers on the ship. that is where CIWS (Closed In Weapons System) comes in. CIWS is that R2-D2 looking thing onboard the ships. I know people say that it is outdated but it isnt. they have been adapted and updated whenerver the new technology is introduced. along with being tied into Aegis now. Anyway They shoot 20mm Depleted uranium tungston rounds at 1800 Rounds per minute at incoming Planes and missles. our navy is just fine to deal with N. Korea. ooooo they have those mines. our mine Sweeping technology is beyond reproach. we will cut off their sea legs and as everyone knows battles are won by the sea. i wont even get into Submarines. That is a moot point.

Special Forces- I dont doubt their Special forces capabilites but again look at us and our allies. Navy Seals, Marine Recon, French Frogmen and British SAS. Evry time we have war game competitions with other countries they try and try but can never match our allies and ours special forces. oook they have mountain bikes. WOW we are screwed run for the hills.

ICBM- Inter Continental Ballistic Missle (lauch from home to overseas) as of right now the only place their Current ICBM's can reach is our west coast. No offense to you west coast guys but we have crap military wise in Cali and Washington. sure we have our west coast fleet but if we are at war they wont be in port and ICBM cant track moving targets it is a rocket not a missile you point and shoot, no changing course after it is launched. But dont sweat out there i will only talk about the Anti ICBM that is well known. when we track an ICBM that has been lauched at us which by the way is easy to track because there is no stealth to them it is to hard to reach across the ocean as it is so there is no bells and whistles. So when we track it incoming we launch this Anti ICBM missle that goes right at that Missile head on and when it gets close it doesnt blow up as to make that war head explode what it does is when it gets close it deploys a big metal mesh that spins along with the rotation of the missile that when it reaches that ICBM it will basically saw it into pieces and becasue there is no explosion the missile drops in to water and bam 4 million dolars down the drink. Next please.

Ok i have to stop now i am getting a little worked up here. i left out alot so anyone else please feel free to add on or disagree with any point that i made here.

Dont mind the spell check i type quickly and i dont think my computer is fast enough to keep up that is why there is missing letters. and that wrong spellings is becasue i type so fast that my fingers cant keep up with my brain.

Premium Member
7,927 Posts
Good stuff, White Feather. Depending on how the fight got started maybe Canada would take part. We did great there the first time.

Whats the top speed of a Tomcat, exactly? I thought some fighters were faster, maybe the F-15 or 16.

As for the nukes. If ever terrorists do get them (if they don't have them already) I have a feeling one will go off in Israel sooner than one will go off in the USA.

1,559 Posts
Way to long to actually read... but ya know what. With the push of one button all those commie bastards are dead. :twisted:

Premium Member
9,894 Posts
Muzzleblast said:
Whats the top speed of a Tomcat, exactly? I thought some fighters were faster, maybe the F-15 or 16.
Going off of memory from the early tomcats (not the F-14D's) the max speed was mach 2.32

The F-15A's were 2.6. The F-16 stuggles to hit 2.0. But in reality, these are just burst speeds using burner and clean (no weapons). things change with weapons hanging from pylons, etc.

Oh, lets not forget F-22, which can super-cruise (cruise speed is faster than speed of sound). All weapons are internal, and its stealth. Though we do not have many of them available right now.

The JSF will also make things better when it finally arrives also.

I also saw that we finally have upgraded the avionics and weapons platforms for the A-10 with the new A-10C (retrofits). That makes us ground pounders happy.

Of course, if it really got down to it and we located their ICBM's/Nukes, the B-2 would make a nice tool to selectively eliminate launchers.


Premium Member
7,927 Posts
right on, that new generation of fighters are wild machines. Wow, the F-16 is still quite a bit slower than I thought...I kinda knew the Eagle was speedy though. Can anything else in the world "super-cruise" like the F-22?

My best pal just rotated back to the Ghan this week and he said he landed at the US base in Bagram instead of directly to Kabul, and was permitted to sit in the cockpit of an A-10! :D :D Sounds amazing in there!

Before I wander too far off topic, right on about the B2...those things would just loiter around NK all day...Hit this, boom....hit long as the Intel was good, buh-bye nukes!

576 Posts
I disagree... although I think that if N. Korea is attacked, unprovoked, the PRC may assist... I do not think that if N Korea attacks, unprovoked, the PRC will assist.
This cannot be argued. Although it is possible that if there was a definate escalation in hostility towards North Korea, and the PRC in particular, the Chinese Politburo might end up putting their nation on the "national-death" chopping block.

51 Posts
Can anything else in the world "super-cruise" like the F-22?
I saw a feature on the F-22 in the Discovery Channel once and I think it's the only fighter plane that can super cruise. I'm not 100% sure about this though... I'm not sure if the "Euro-Fighter"? could super cruise too...

The F-22's are as mean as they could get IMHO...

North Korea's fighter planes are ill-equipped for air-to-air combats at long distances.
Isn't it one of the "features"(sorry, lack of a better term) of the F-22 to be able to fire missles at extreme ranges so that the enemy would literally not know what hit them?

MiGs get upper hands in close-range dogfights in which agility matters.
Due to Vectoring Thrust, isn't the F-22 also the most agile plane in world? Able to change directions that would cause conventional planes to stall... Although I think the "Euro-Fighter" and the Russian Sukhoy SU-47 also have Vectoring Thrusters.

During the Vietnam War, MiG17s shot down dozens of American planes.
I thought during the Vietnam War, the US used F-4's which were admittedly ill equipped for dog fights?

1,559 Posts
Ballistic_Coefficiency said:
Way to long to actually read... but ya know what. With the push of one button all those commie bastards are dead. :twisted:
I Repeat...

1,559 Posts
m_a_c_e_3 said:
During the Vietnam War, MiG17s shot down dozens of American planes.
I thought during the Vietnam War, the US used F-4's which were admittedly ill equipped for dog fights?
We shot down a hell of alot more than we lost... dont you watch the wings channel (now called the Military channel) :lol:

114 Posts
wow this topic jumped quickly. i didnt think it would be that popular i just wrote that likean hour ago. anyway to answer everyones question the fastest "air breathing" jet is the SR71 "Blackbird" it reaches speeds past Mach 3 (3 times the speed of sound) here is a link for more info

Oh and did i mention that it is ours??????

that jet is so bad ass that it actually leaks fuel the whole time that it is sitting on the ground. Right after take off it has to refuel. as soon as it does and the pilot steps on the as if you will the seals expand because of the heat from friction and seal the tanks. they cannot figure out a way to stop the leaking on the ground though. the sacrifices we make for speed. all i can say is "argh argh argh argh"

Oh and to the other question the F-14d is faster than the others not much faster than the F-15A but i believe it is still faster. but the Mig whatever number you choose cant compare. And the F-16 is slow but agile. remember whatever they lack for speed they make up for in agility.

Oh and Ballistic you may want to read it. because it tells you how they have nukes that are aimed at us tonukes may not be the response to this trouble. I know in the article it says that they have minimized the effects of electronic warfare but there is no way to stop EMP. drop a couple of E-bombs at key locations and take out there launch abilities and it should be easy from thier. all of thier anti tank and anti aircraft anti anything runs off computers all guided missiles do take out the computers and take out the weapons. take it back to conventional warfare. and personally i dont believe they can take us even in their tunnels. like i said we have learned alot from vietnam to.

Now if we can only find a way to resurrect my hero and send him back to that shooting gallery across the pond.
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