War With North Korea -- No Cakewalk, Millions Could Die

Trump speaks to UNAfter President Trump’s recent speech to the U.N. I followed the chatter on Facebook. His speech, which threatened North Korea with total annihilation and in which he referred to Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” was the most blunt, militaristic speech any U.S. President has ever delivered to the International body. His talk offered no olive branches only absolute destruction.

In the end as I said in a recent blog, war with North Korea may be inevitable but notnegotiations until all efforts at negotiating an end to this crisis have been tried. There are many options. The U.S. could drop its demand that North Korea commit to giving up nuclear weapons in order to get talks started. We could propose that China act as a protectorate for North Korea if they give up their nukes and — we could suggest a multi-nation U.N. program that would provide food, clothing and other necessities to North Korea for which Kim could take all the credit if he gives up his nukes. I’m sure there are other options as well but we’ve tried none of them. Again, my bottom line is that war may be inevitable but let’s try to find another way first because war, especially this one, is too terrible to imagine.

 

Perhaps Trump has a plan to bring Kim to the table but that’s not his style. He says what he thinks and he likely is thinking war. At least his speech to the U.N. would have us believe that.

 

Trump’s tough talk encouraged many Americans and they said so in the social media. Many indicated they were tired of the little North Korean dictator pushing us around and they got some support from people who normally oppose them. Comments like the ones below were common on Facebook following the Trump Presentation in New York.

  • “Great, take that M—– F—– out, now!”
  • “It’s about time we destroyed that little Hitler.”
  • “Attack, now. They’ll never have a chance to respond.”
  • “Better that Asians die than Americans. Strike before he nukes us.”

humanitarian disasterThose comments totally ignore the potential for a major humanitarian disaster and we have not even discussed the effect of a nuclear exchange. On Fox news Harry J. Kazianis the director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest said, “If the war goes nuclear we can expect at least 8 million deaths.” He explained it this way;

“Know this: if Pyongyang decided to launch a salvo of nuclear armed missiles towards Seoul, Tokyo, U.S. military bases or the homeland, the carnage unleashed would be unlike anything we have seen since the days of World War II. In such a scenario, millions upon millions of people could die or become the victims of radioactive fallout, whose injuries could lay dormant for years. It would be, per one senior Pentagon official I spoke to last week, “as if Lucifer opened the gates of hell.”

 

The estimate of 8 million dead does not include deaths caused by a United States nuclear response nor does it include the possible reaction from Russia and/or China.

 

Comments like, “Great, take that M—— F—–  out, now” reflect bravado and a total lack of knowledge of what “taking him out” involves and, if the writer did understand the potential for loss of life he or she may have placed a lesser value on Asian lives.

 

One of the other comments, “Better that Asians die than Americans. Strike before he nukes us” proves my previous point but more importantly shows that the writer is unaware of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in that part of Asia.

 

So, if anyone thinks a new Korean war will be a cake-walk for the United States theyhiroshima must be smoking something stronger than medicinal marijuana. If we go to war with North Korea the conflict will be bloody beyond description on our side as well as theirs. We must believe that the U.S. will only use nuclear weapons if North Korea does — but under what conditions will they use them? We don’t really know but I would wager that if Kim sees himself losing control of the country and his nation losing a war he would launch his bombs. That prospect is horrifying.

 

Since the first Korean war ended in a cease-fire stalemate in 1953 the north has been preparing for its resumption. In case you are unfamiliar with the geography of the region, the two Koreas are separated by the 38th parallel. When the fighting stopped some 64 years ago the two sides agreed to the establishment of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two countries. The DMZ stretches 160 miles from coast to coast and is about two and a half miles wide.

Seoul skSome 35 miles south of the DMZ lies the megalopolis of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. It is a metropolitan area of some 20 million people and relatively easy prey for Kim Jong Un. He has made sure that just north of the DMZ there are an estimated 20,000 pieces of artillery and rockets aimed at Seoul. Those batteries are dug-in to the hillsides and extremely hard to target. The forces of the U.S. and South Korea can likely take them out, but it will not be an easy task even with our most modern weaponry and – it will take time. The weapons there are mostly on railroad type tracks. They emerge from their hillside hiding place, fire and then go back into the cave to reload. They are only visible for seconds at a time.

 

Now that you have an idea of the potential destruction and loss of human life, let’s set the scene and describe the players. With a population of 50,000,000 South Korea is twice the size of its northern neighbor and has the fourth largest economy in Asia. It also boasts of having a large and very well equipped military. Many experts suggest that in a totally conventional war the south has the military strength to defeat North Korea without the assistance of the U.S.

 

North Korea does not even remotely resemble it’s sibling across the border. Thetwo korreas economy of South Korea is 36.7 times that of North Korea’s in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP of North Korea is estimated at $33 billion, while that of South Korea is $1.19 trillion. The GDP per capita is $33,200 in South Korea, while it is $1,800 in the North, according to the CIA World Factbook. South Korea’s trade volume was a gigantic $1.07 trillion in 2013. By comparison, North Korea reported a relatively minuscule $7.3 billion. (Read more: North Korean Vs. South Korean Economies | Investopedia http://tinyurl.com/yays4mrj

 

The North has a national policy of Songun or “Military first” which means the military must have its needs met before any other part of the society is even considered. The result is that North Korea has a huge army and navy and a population that lives in abject poverty. They don’t have enough food, health care is almost non-existent and civil liberties exist only their imaginations.

north korean armyKim Jong Un and his family have ruled the North for a century and they’ve done so with no regard for providing even the simplest comforts for their people. Every dime, every resource has gone to the military and to developing a nuclear weapons program and the rockets to deliver them. Otherwise, while the north’s Military establishment is very large it is also poorly equipped with mostly 1980s Russian and Chinese equipment. Even so, their nearly 2 million man army will create havoc before they are subdued.

 

Whether they initiate a first strike against us or our allies or perceive that we will hitsecond korean war them first they will unleash a barrage against the south that will kill hundreds of thousands of people very quickly. That estimate is based on an attack in which the north only uses conventional weapons. If they choose to go nuclear or use their vast stores of chemical and biological weapons the death toll can easily multiply into millions of deaths and injuries to which we alluded earlier, before the massive power of the United States can destroy the hermit nation.

dmzIf Korean and Japanese lives mean nothing to you, Thousands of Americans could die as well. There are almost 30,000 American troops in South Korea, many of them near the DMZ where hostilities are likely to start. Additionally we have another 40,000 troops in Japan, Okinawa and Guam. All of them are within range of North Korea’s Rockets. Beyond the military it is estimated that about a quarter of a million U.S. Citizens also live in the area. All of these people, a combined number that is well over 300,000 would be in harm’s way if we go to war with North Korea.

 

War is never easy and you can always expect the unexpected. People and things getdog in war zone broken and die. The effects of war always go well beyond those who initiated the hostilities. The effects go beyond the soldiers and sailors and Air Forces as well. War ultimately seriously damages that which we went to war to protect – our families and friends. It leaves 3 and four year old children injured and dead along with grandmas and grandpas, uncles, aunts and other good folks. Puppies and kittens and hamsters suffer as well. No one gets out unmarked. So before you say, “It’s about time someone kicked Kim’s butt” remember what that action will result in. I say, do it if we must but let’s not give up on negotiation until the bombs fall.

 

And from where I sit, that’s the truth.

Peace.

Comments

Autumn Cote Added Oct 11, 2017 - 6:55am
Please note, the second best way to draw more attention to your work is to comment on the work of others. I know this to be true because if you do, I'll do everything in my power to draw more attention to your articles.
 
PS - There is a lot I can do and would like to do on your behalf.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 11, 2017 - 11:02am
It's not against NK. It's against China and Russia. Simple as that. Iraq and Iran were/are about oil, NK is about global control. Get the other two into the corner. Libya was not against Kathafi as a person. The West supports or creates lots of dictators elsewhere. Kathafi wanted to unite Africa and sell his oil independent ot the US$.
 
All the scapegoat shit that mass media distributes, and the dumbass consumer believes that shit.
 
It's geostrategy, nothing else.
John G Added Oct 12, 2017 - 5:57am
They don’t have enough food, health care is almost non-existent and civil liberties exist only their imaginations.
Evidence from other than western propaganda channels? Empirical rather than hearsay from Washington?
It is entirely down to the USA to make peace. It alone is the belligerent party.
John G Added Oct 12, 2017 - 5:57am
"China has one message for the United States, and it's willing to repeat it constantly in its media outlets: Calm down with the threats of violence against North Korea.
Late on Tuesday, the U.S. military flew two Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force amid high tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
The move came after President Donald Trump's thinly veiled threat on Saturday of a possible armed confrontation with North Korea."
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 12, 2017 - 6:12am
To paraphrase Col. Kilgore " I love the sight of mushroom clouds in the morning" 
 
Yeehaaa! say the neocon warmongering terrorists
 
Of course they have no idea what as few as half a dozen W88s will do to both Koreas, much of Japan, the fishing grounds of the Pacific and even the West coast of DUHmerica. If a dozen are popped off it's a game changer world wide. 
 
Fuck it, just get it over with.
Gregory S. McNeill Added Oct 12, 2017 - 6:32am
You are correct. North Korea has missiles targeted at Texas, California, New York, and Washington, DC. If Trump supporters think that the USA under Trump will be unharmed if a Nuclear War breaks out, they are fooling themselves. Nuclear war will also wipe out The US and rest of the world. There is no such thing as a "smart" missile. It's programmed to destroy, not think.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 12, 2017 - 10:59am
You are correct. North Korea has missiles targeted at Texas, California, New York
 
Plain-fucking-bullshit. Link ?
 
The US has thousands of missiles ready to start anytime the carrot presses the button. Get some info or don't talk rubbish. Sorry.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 12, 2017 - 11:00am
BTW: Did NK ever prove that they can hit a target precisely with a long-range missile`? No.
John G Added Oct 12, 2017 - 4:48pm
Nope. It's all about keeping the chickens scared and running to the embrace of big mommy security state.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 13, 2017 - 12:18pm
Okaaaay, I don't have a solution, but I would rather nuke them than go over the top with appeasement. I think the core mistake with the article's line of thinking is that it makes believe North Koreans would live in peace right now. The reality is about tyranny, concentration camps and abject poverty. About 200,000 people are kept in the camps at any point. Thousands die every year. That does not include all political murder.
 
The 8 million from the article is a weird guess imho. I don't advocate the nuclear option and I don't have a solution. But what sounds like peace may be war and the other way round.
John G Added Oct 13, 2017 - 4:47pm
The reality is about tyranny, concentration camps and abject poverty. About 200,000 people are kept in the camps at any point. 
Any empirical evidence that your 'reality' has a place in this universe?
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 13, 2017 - 5:31pm
John G: Yes, the thing is called the internet. Accroding to Michael Malice you can see the camps with google earth. Check it out for yourself.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisons_in_North_Korea
John G Added Oct 13, 2017 - 7:45pm
Accroding (sic) to Michael Malice
Right, so no empirical evidence at all. 
Do you believe Iraq had mobile weapons labs that could be activated in 45 minutes?
Do you believe that Mouamar Gadhaffi handed out viagra to his troops to rape women?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 13, 2017 - 9:07pm
I don't really have any reason for it I just feel like nuking DPRK because damnit it's been way to long since we did it says Goldstein. 
 
The casualness of his statement is utterly breathtaking. 
 
That so many DUHmericans have the same view attests to the need to bring that neocon warmongering terrorist regime in Washington to heel and put the Goldsteins of it in camps. They're simply unfit to be running around in public.
John G Added Oct 14, 2017 - 3:38am
Goldstein is a German neofascist and ultra-zionist.
Kind of odd for a a Jew but that's the wacky world we live in.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 4:13am
John G: The regime does not even hide the concentration camps. You can check out google earth yourself. Now that I did it myself I must say that Google just indexed one concentration camp and if you don't believe them you can interpret the buildings the way you want. However, there were many people who fled the regime that tell it how it is. You can do your own research if you mistrust everybody. What is it that you would accept as an evidence for anything?
Gilbert:
I don't really have any reason for it I just feel like nuking DPRK because damnit it's been way to long since we did it says Goldstein. 
Embarrassing if someone is so bad at telling a lie that people only have to scroll up some inches to blast it.
 
I think it's a pity how few people comment on this article. I also get the impression that (at least on the political left) people couldn't name one thing that they don't like about Hitler. There is no moral compass whatsoever.
 
John G Added Oct 14, 2017 - 4:42am
However, there were many people who fled the regime that tell it how it is. 
There are also people who have been there and don't get a tenth of the press in the western corporate state media.
I imagine you'd have some goofy fascist term for those people. Cultural marxists or some other dumb term.
Google just indexed one concentration camp and if you don't believe them you can interpret the buildings the way you want. 
Google is the NSA, doofus.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:01am
John G: The regime does not deny the existence of the camps. They only avoid talking about it.
 
The "fascist" term for the ignorant is 'the ignorant'.
 
You still can't explain - not to us and probably neither to yourself - what it would take to accept a fact that you don't like as a fact. You can go to North Korea yourself and see if they have something dreadful to hide or if they are open.
 
MJ: The US has nuked Japan without alienation. Of course the nuclear option is a horrible option that all sane people want to avoid. I don't see many options. The Chinese and Russians have much less influence than people make it out to be. I would present an option if I saw one. I think what will happen is that Kim Jong Un will shut up and we will see no conflict between NK and some other country. The violence within NK will continue.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:25am
I think stoking a civil war would be an option for these criminals in the CIA if this was viable. However, NK is far more authoritarian than any state in the Middle East. There will be no unrest.
 
I also think that culling out regime members is an avenue they take. Kim Jong Un has survived multiple attempts. Problem is that it is a dynastie. You have to secretely take out a significient number of them to make a change. I assume that some assassination attempts are plotted by Russia, China, South Korea and Japan, too. NK is very isolated. The Chinese were not happy when KJU killed his uncle who was chummy with Beijing. They all failed so far.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:31am
Hm....Google Earth. Reminds me of Powell's show of the WMD in Iraq......
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:34am
Ben
 
Verstehst du Deutsch ? Ich denke, das Ganze ist wieder mal ein reines Ablenkungsmanöver. Es geht um Geostrategie, wie gesagt :-)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:36am
BTW: Goldstein is a German Jewish name, as John mentioned. So I think you understand German. When someone has an English family name he's also supposed to understand English. Usually, at least ;-)
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 6:59am
SEF: I don't think the concentration camps are a distraction (Ablenkungsmanöver). Hardly anybody is even talking about it. They are all talking about the utterly improbable case that North Korea would attack the US. NK may attack South Korea and maybe Japan as well, starting another WW. But so far the regime has been stable for many years.
 
The question is rather if a successor who would inherit the nukes will be as stable as the current leader. Do we strike before the technologies advance?
 
P.S. Of course, you can write to me in German. I will only answer in English to keep the conversation accessible to other readers.
 
Have you seen my latest article? I have made an accessible translation of a current open letter by civil rights activist Angelika Barbe. I mean accessible in that I would translate SPD into left-wing party SPD, which keeps the content unaltered, but can be understood by outsiders. She, a co-founder of East-SPD, speaks about history and current affairs in Germany. Her letter was published in the low-reach MSM magazine Cicero.
Simply Jews Added Oct 14, 2017 - 1:36pm
A bad peace is always preferable to a good war, but in this case communication abilities of the two chieftains involved might end in a big bloodbath indeed.
John G Added Oct 14, 2017 - 3:04pm
Goldstein, the US regime has far more people in 'concentration camps' any way you wish to measure.
Shouldn't it be YOU going to see for yourself?
You're the one advocating nuclear mass murder, chum.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 4:06pm
John G: Rubbish. The US does not run concentration camps. I also do not advocate for mass murder.
Simply Jews: I don't think there is a communication issue.
A bad peace is always preferable to a good war.
I don't subscribe to 'always', but in most cases: yes. A bad peace can be a bloody war that is just not recognized by the outside world. Think, for instance, of the Holodomor! A war wouldn't have killed more people than Stalin's 'peace'. As a rule of thumb your sentence is true.
John G Added Oct 14, 2017 - 4:11pm
John G: Rubbish. The US does not run concentration camps.
Aren't US prisons concentration camps? Or maybe NK has prisons?
I also do not advocate for mass murder.
Really?
 but I would rather nuke them than go over the top with appeasement.
Fascists are so dumb.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 4:42pm
John G: And read the rest of the sentence that you have not underlined. And also the rest of the post.
And no concentration camps with thousands of public executions are not just like American prisons. Socialists are so dumb.
 
John G Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:09pm
And no concentration camps with thousands of public executions are not just like American prisons.
You have provided absolutely no evidence of that.
You've constructed yourself a nice little circular logic loop.
Come back to us when you've found those WMDs in Iraq, numb nuts.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 14, 2017 - 5:52pm
John G Added Oct 14, 2017 - 6:19pm
Lots of allegations from known propagandists. Hearsay at best.
Complete lack of empirical evidence.
I repeat, the USA holds more prisoners anyway you want to measure it.
I also repeat that you don't give a flying one for North Koreans anyway.
Bill H. Added Oct 14, 2017 - 8:28pm
 
MJ- Trump is a Nationalist. He has no concern whatsoever of what the rest of the world thinks of him.
It's all about Trump and only Trump.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 14, 2017 - 8:55pm
if Korean and Japanese lives mean nothing to you, Thousands of Americans could die as well. There are almost 30,000-Well, "minds" like ol Geo Romey want a war with lots of dead American kids to boost the job market for those over 50, and those in his position...which is His position.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 14, 2017 - 8:59pm
GSM hits it again with: You are correct. North Korea has missiles targeted at Texas, California, New York, and Washington, DC.-I'll ask what SEFa did, but know you won't answer:  Got a cite for any of that?  Of course you don't....
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Oct 15, 2017 - 10:35am
Ben
 
The question is rather if a successor who would inherit the nukes will be as stable as the current leader. Do we strike before the technologies advance?
 
Bleiben wir bei Englisch :-)
 
You see, a leader can only be as stable as he is allowed to. It's never a good idea to undermine the stability of a country from the outside by aggressive behavior until it falls apart, as seen many times. The recipe is old: Corner a guy until he explodes and then tell the rest you only defended yourself...
 
Yanukovich in Ukraine was the latest example. With which result ? Civil war in the East. I'm pretty convinced when the US wouldn't have interfered in the ME at all, there would be peace. Maybe not a "freedom and democracy" which the US proposes (and which it doesn't have itself btw...), but at least no war.
 
Not every culture cries for "democracy and freedom". First they only want some food on the table and work.....they don't give a shit who's on top there as long as they can feed the family. Actually, we're no different, are we ?
 
It's the economy, stupid LOL
Jeffry Gilbert Added Oct 15, 2017 - 7:41pm
Not every culture cries for "democracy and freedom". First they only want some food on the table and work.....they don't give a shit who's on top there as long as they can feed the family. 
 
And actually reject the idea that "freedom" means 147 different kinds of bread in the bread isle they are "free" to choose from.