Thursday, April 13, 2017

北朝鮮に攻撃が有りますか? Will there be an attack on North Korea?

As I write this, a United States aircraft carrier battlegroup, centered on the USS Carl Vinson, is steaming towards the Korean peninsula.


There are two important North Korean anniversaries in April, the first is the birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea, on April 15th.


Since North Korea often shoots off missiles on important anniversaries, there is a possibility of a missile being fired on this day.


President Trump, still new in office, has vowed to take action against North Korea to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.


A month ago, articles began appearing about how the US could take out North Korea’s leadership with commandos and precision bombing.


The idea of sending Navy Seals into North Korea is absurd.


Americans are obsessed with killing enemy leaders.  They think that just by killing an enemy leader, the other side will give up.


Now the Navy Seals and other US commando forces are very capable.  But ethnically, they are Caucasian, Black American, and some ethnic Asian men.


To get to any location in North Korea where the leader Kim Jong Un might be located, it would be in a city, or even in a rural location, surrounded by farming villages.  There would be very little local cover.


The commandos would stand out, and quickly be engaged by local militia forces.  There are local military forces stationed all over North Korea.  The Commandos would have to be extracted, and many would be lost.


Also, the North Korean leader has many palaces built all over North Korea.  As the West really has NO human intelligence assets in North Korea, finding out where he is would be impossible.


And even if by some miracle, America did manage to kill Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans would fight like tigers.  And it just might set off a civil war in North Korea over who would be the leader.


There is another interesting possibility.  It seems that President Trump has informed the Australian government that the US Navy will attempt to shoot down the North Korean missiles.


This is a much more realistic option than bombing.  And one or two missiles can probably be shot down.  Maybe.


The problem with missile defense is that it is very difficult.  A couple of missiles could be taken out, but in a massive barrage that is likely in wartime, many missiles will get through.


I have written before that North Korea has 200 Nodong missiles pointed at Japan.


But they really cannot do much damage.  In the 1990 to 1991 Gulf War Iraq fired some 88 Scud missiles into Israel.  Israel is a very densely populated area like Japan.


But those missiles killed only 74 people.  2 directly and the rest died as a result of heart attack or suffocation.  1,302 houses, 6,142 apartments, 200 shops and 50 cars were destroyed.


So at a guess, we could increase the possible casualty figures, and get an idea of what could happen to Japan.  And many will fall in unpopulated fields and mountains.


The North Korean Nodong is merely an improved Scud missile.  Once they shoot these at Japan, the North Koreans have nothing left.


I may seem rather callous here by predicting a few hundred  Japanese deaths.  Well we are talking about war.  Most often, when war comes, we don’t want it.


But North Korea is a problem, along with South Korea.  Simply by saying that we are pacifists, we will not fight, will not stop attacks upon Japan by foreigners.


The geography of Japan’s location, the industriousness and hard work of the Japanese people makes us a target no matter what.


So Japan must have a military to defend itself from foreigners, and sometimes war must be risked.


Remember, Commodore Perry was not invited to Japan.  And he nearly started a war.  If Japan had not quickly developed a modern military, Japan would have been enslaved by foreigners.


That includes America.  When Commodore Perry came, non whites were slaves or second class in America.


There is another factor.  Here, I am guessing.  It is true that North Korea is a very strict dictatorship.  But a lot of things do happen in such places.  I have read that many of the rural areas are virtual no-go zones.


The government does not interfere with what goes on there as long as there is no political challenge to the central government.  Those areas are basically in a state of anarchy.


Fuel is in very short supply in North Korea.  The Nodong rocket is liquid fueled.  I would not be surprised if in general war, it turned out that a lot of rocket fuel had previously disappeared into the North Korean black market.


And I am simply not worried about North Korean nuclear weapons.  I do not believe that they have enough technical people to put a warhead on a missile.  And they do not have enough plutonium to make more than a handful of bombs.


Years ago, I read an article in Newsweek magazine how the drive to develop nuclear weapons had devastated their scientific community.  They did not use proper protective clothing when handling nuclear materials, many scientists died.


Also, in researching history about the Japanese annexation period, and the Comfort Women problem, Koreans lie and exaggerate all the time.  So whenever North Koreans talk about what their weapons can do, I dismiss a lot of it as simple exaggerations.


In any case, they are trying to develop nuclear weapons as a survival gambit.  They fear the United States.  To prevent an American attack, they want to tell every country that they can take revenge.  They will not simply shoot one or two nuclear weapons at Japan or America because they are bored one day.

とにかく、何故核兵器を開発中 の理由は、自分たちの国が生き残る為です。アメリカの攻撃を防止する為に、世界中の国々に復讐が出来ると言いたいです。有る日、退屈だから、日本かアメリカへ一つ、二つの核兵器を撃つ訳が有りません。

The American response would be to destroy North Korea.  Americans worry too much.


However, the nation in greatest danger is South Korea.  As I have written, the North Koreans cannot penetrate the Southern defense lines.


Although I have read some articles as giving the morale of South Korean forces as low, in a general war I assume that they will fight.  And they will win.


But look at the map above.  Seoul is in easy reach of North Korean artillery.  Even only shooting 10 artillery shells into Seoul would cause mass panic.


There is no defense against the Northern artillery.  Yes, we do have radars that can track an artillery shell, and then we know the location of the firing battery.  Then we shoot counter fire.


American artillery units are trained in what is called “Shoot and scoot”  Scoot is slang that means to run away quickly.  The commander of an artillery unit will have several pre planned sites from which to shoot.  In one place, shoot a few rounds, then move quickly to another location before the enemy counter fire can arrive.


In the case of North Korean artillery however, they are dug into mountainsides, with steel shutters.  Only a direct hit would have effect.


One quarter of the South Korean population lives in Seoul.  They are not military.  If Northern artillery shells start falling on Seoul, most of these people will find a very good reason to go to the southern part of Korea.


They would not go to work.  The South Korean economy would collapse.  Many would try to go to Japan as refugees.  Since the Korean refugees from the late 1940’s repression Rhee Syngman have behaved so badly, and are so anti Japanese, we should refuse them.


The southern part of their country will be free from artillery fire.


But South Korea will become a collapsed failed state, and that will have much potential for destabilization of the entire region.


There is some hint that China might attack North Korea.


Well they will be worried about refugees flooding into China from North Korea.  Also, they are very angry about the assassination of Kim Jong Nam.  And by feeding his uncle naked to dogs, he also angered China.  It is rumored that the uncle looked favorably on China.


As far as the US leading a coalition into North Korea, forget it.  It would take 10 US divisions, even with the South Korean military.  In a defensive battle, the North Koreans would fight hard, the entire country is heavily fortified.


And finally, Japan must quickly become a major military power.  American weapons are close to useless.  In the attack on the Syrian airfield, out of 59 missiles fired, only 23 missiles reached the airfield.


The truth is, Kim Jong Un is immature, and badly misjudged what he can do.  And North Korea is one strange and weird country.  If China is truly going to help, that is a big plus here.  The best possible solution would be to get rid of Kim Jong Un, install another government in Pyongyang, and work on how to bring North Korea not contact with the rest of the world.


And for those South Koreans who keep screaming about WWII and how bad Japan is, no quick reunification.  It might take 30 years of effort.


For all those Japanese who are constantly worried that Japan having a military means war, war comes to us whether we want it or not.  Japan should have a military, and not be dependent on America.


America has many internal troubles, the age when America can be the world’s policeman is ending.  And Japan also needs a more assertive foreign policy.  This does not mean ending the American alliance, but we must become a stronger nation.


And by the way, this is not a time to visit South Korea.  If you are a student in South Korea, or family member of a Japanese businessman posted there, it would be a good idea to return to Japan.


South Koreans are likely to panic.  With the anti Japan movement as big as it is, it could be dangerous to be a Japanese or American in South Korea at this time.


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