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View Diary: Updated: Video of Obituary-Breaking Kim Jong-il Has Died (230 comments)

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  •  Oh yeah, they're no joke. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, MichaelNY

    In the wake of the Korean war, the ROK built a truly world-class military. I predict than an all out conventional war without outside intervention would result in the ROKA utterly crushing the KPA. Two weeks, tops.

    •  most interesting. what do you think about... ...? (2+ / 0-)
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      MichaelNY, James Kresnik

      What I've heard is, 30 days of hellish incoming artillery, followed by ROK coming out of the bunkers and overrunning DPRK in a couple of months.  

      Two weeks is a remarkable assessment.  So do you think the artillery bombardment of Seoul is a reasonable scenario, or would the ROKs move so decisively that it couldn't even get off the ground?  

      By my surprise at the IDF comparison I don't mean to disparage the ROKs one iota.  Agreed, they are world-class.  It was just that IDF is the stuff of which legends are made.  IDF usually acts without any US participation, and has done so frequently over the past 50+ years.   Whereas the ROK forces have not had similar engagements over their post-war history, and are viewed here as being very closely connected to our own, with the two being prepared to act jointly together.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:26:47 AM PST

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      •  Threat is overstated. (2+ / 0-)
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        MichaelNY, G2geek

        To put it in perspective ROKA gave the NVA fits in ROK areas of control. They managed to accomplish the security that we couldn't and Americans who interacted with the ROKA gave them high marks on proficiency and professionalism. The ROKA almost lost the first Korean War due to lack of infrastructure, under-supply and economic neglect from allied nations, which is not at-all analogous to their current force strength or preparedness.

        As for North Korea artillery, as Ross Perot put it, "You don't get hit by the truck you seen coming a block away." Seoul is prepared for various scenarios, so while the bombardment of Seoul would be tragic, it's not a real factor in the outcome. Counter-artillery and modern air power would neutralize that threat in short order.

        As for nuclear exchange, that's a no-go. Even in a strategic scenario, the PRC would not stand for destabilizing East Asia and risking World War III by allowing the DPRK leadership to use its nuclear trump cards. Precision ROK airstrikes and U.S. nuclear subs would be the least of Dear Leader's problems.

        As for conventional force-on-force, potential order of battle between primary combatants is eerily similar to the situation between the Iraqi Army and the US in the First Gulf War: one fielding a huge force equipped largely outdated Soviet and Chinese technology and millions of half-starved fodder, and the other fielding a fully integrated technological overdog with a fully-trained, well-equipped and highly professional warriors.

        Their North Korean air-force is the very definition of a running joke. The ROKAF is perfectly capable of achieving air supremacy in hours. One hostilities commence, the DPRK cannot count on outside logistical help leaving their forces with inadequate supply trails fully exposed to the full might of early 21st century air power.

        It would be total suicide for the DPRK leadership Korea to prosecute all-out war. Make no mistake, the South Korean people are fully prepared for war and the hardships that may ensue.

        •  good to hear on all counts. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, James Kresnik

          Frankly there's something highly reassuring about hearing that a potential crisis spot can't go spinning out of control.

          I was not thinking nuclear.  DPRK doesn't have enough deliverable nuclear weapons to add up to anything*, and as you said, China would step in to prevent them even using what little they have.  

          I wasn't aware of ROK's role in the Vietnam war but I was too young to have grasped that part of it.  Interesting piece of history that many of us (GenX) missed.

          The way you describe the order of battle is highly reassuring.

          Agreed, DPRK's AF is a joke.  Agreed, no outside logistical support.  China would basically tell them to cut it out and stop being a major embarrassment.  

          The way I see things (which may be incorrect in which case please say so), China is the stabilizing influence in the picture, basically telling the DPRK leadership to cool it as a condition of remaining "allies."  This has probably kept KJI from doing rash things, and will probably do likewise with regard to the new guy, KJU.  

          What I see happening with KJU is, more input from China while KJU's sphere of power is gradually increased over the next couple of years, and then he is gently guided toward reducing the personality cult and beginning to open up to trade, commerce, and tourism.  

          If that works, the outcome will look something like China before its technological ascendence.  If it doesn't work, that will be because KJU decided to reject Chinese advice and set down the road of making himself another cult-god figure, probably with a sharp increase in internal repression and resulting instability.  

          Either way, we'll see what happens.

          ---

          *Deliverable:  I'm sure you've heard something like this before:  You have three atomic bombs, two missiles, and one missile launcher.  How many nuclear weapons do you have?  Answer: One.  ;-)

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 04:21:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  One nuclear weapon could do catastrophic (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, James Kresnik

            damage. But I doubt any North Korean leader will be suicidal. I think the reason North Korea has nuclear weapons is to deter a US attack, not to cover an all-out aggressive war started by North Korea.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 04:31:24 AM PST

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            •  I think the reason they have them.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, James Kresnik

              ... is as a bargaining chip with which to make various assertions of power and thereby get the world to do them favors.

              One or two deliverable nukes will not deter a US attack.

              The US has no interest in attacking DPRK (plus or minus a madman Republican in the WH, for example Newt the Narcissist), and if hostilities started, the US would quickly take out the DPRK nukes with conventional force.  I'm quite certain the US has a MASINT presence over DPRK sufficient to detect the location of those nuclear weapons in real-time and keep good track of them (and ditto for Pakistan).  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 05:09:44 AM PST

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        •  I've heard that too (3+ / 0-)

          I've worked with guys who served in the US Marine Corps in Vietnam and they thought the South Korean forces (ROK, pronounced "rock" marines) were awesome and extremely tough. If a US Marine thinks you're tough, to me that's impressive.

          The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

          by Korkenzieher on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 11:18:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  BTW, what did you think of the tunnels? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, James Kresnik

      The tunnels from DPRK territory into ROK territory, apparently designed to enable DPRK forces to get in and pop up behind the lines.  

      I would have to believe that ROK & US intel have found ways to detect that activity and determine the routes of any and all of those tunnels, whereby they could be blasted closed and backfilled with rapid-setting concrete in the event of hostilities.

      But I'd be interested in your opinions on this.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:29:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's amazing what well placed large explosives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, G2geek

        can do to hidden tunnels and what can be found on a seismograph. The ROK is already aware of that threat, so if there are no countermeasures in place, it's all on them.

        •  In which case we can reasonably expect... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, James Kresnik

          ... that the countermeasures are fully in place, and have been tested in analogous conditions in routine civil engineering construction in ROK, such as civilian subways or other tunnels, where the tests would be plausible parts of the construction work itself.  

          Seems to me that we should be able to use seismography to detect attempts by major Mexican drug cartels to tunnel into the US (as such tunnels have been found, some of them rather sophisticated).  But then the thing to do isn't to blow the tunnels, but to wait at the other and and use surveillance (in-place or drones or both) to track whoever exits from the buildings where the tunnels come up, and follow them to some apparently unrelated location, and "coincidentally" pick them up there.  The point being to use the tunnels as "honey pot" traps.  

          The above, subject to signal-to-noise ratio problems if the tunnels into the US parallel "noisy" infrastructure such as highways.  This would also seem to be a potentially fertile area for research.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 04:43:48 AM PST

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