Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, April 17, 2017

As 'strategic patience' over the North's nuclear program is bumped by a more aggressive US posture, conflict has become more of a possibility – and it likely would not be a short and sharp one.

By his tweets, by his orders, and by his airstrikes last week in Syria, President Trump has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities in Northeast Asia that the rest of the world is just beginning to explore.

The focus of that realm is North Korea, whose increasingly sophisticated nuclear and missile programs have prompted Mr. Trump to abandon his predecessor's policy of "strategic patience."

For the first time since 1994, when then-President Clinton was on the verge of ordering a military strike against North Korea, there is a sense that "Uncle Sam might go crazy and shoot someone," in the words of Taylor Fravel, a member of the Security Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

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Unimaginably brutal. Bad enough Donald won't accept any responsibility for it.

#1 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-17 10:33 AM | Reply

If it broke out into a full blown war instead of a limited strike, it would look like a 1950s military vs a 2010 military.

#2 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-17 11:04 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Golden rainbows, Jesus dropped million dollar bombs and tax breaks.

So excited

Sincerely

Gognoleratstang

#3 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2017-04-17 11:13 AM | Reply

If it broke out into a full blown war instead of a limited strike, it would look like a 1950s military vs a 2010 military.

#2 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-17 11:04 AM | Reply

1879, Isandhlwana, South Africa. A British Army is massacred by a bunch of Zulus armed with spears.

I think that the least likely outcome of a general war in Korea would be a clean and easy victory.

#4 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-17 11:31 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It's probably already happening. Anyone believe that the shiny new NORK super-ICBM just failed on launch for no reason at all?

I think we already had this conversation a couple of weeks ago. Nobody knows the overall answer, but here are some considerations:

- The monsoon season is coming soon to Korea. When that happens, many of North Korea's roads, which are still dirt roads, will be impassable. Moving troops, supplies and equipment becomes much harder.

- North Korea is very poorly fed, with a majority of the population living on the edge of starvation. A prolonged conflict would rapidly consume available food supplies. NORK would almost certainly choose to take the food from the mouths on non-combatants to feed the military and blame the US for starving women and children.

- Knowing that their ability to resupply is limited and that their ability to fight a prolonged conflict is likewise limited, NORK is likely to do two things: 1) Go ugly early: chemical and biological weapons into South Korea via artillery, some of which will be intended for civilian targets. They might also attack Japan to draw them in. South Korea and Japan don't like each other much, so putting them on the same side sows unrest in the ranks. 2) Blitzkrieg. No time for limited ground engagement. Just send wave after wave in a full frontal assault. The casualties will be staggering.

#5 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-04-17 11:54 AM | Reply


Largest Armies in the World
www.worldatlas.com

...
1 China: 2,333,000
2 United States:1,492,200
3 India:1,325,000
4 North Korea: 1,190,000
5 Russia: 845,000 ...

#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-17 11:54 AM | Reply

NORK will "do" something that "provokes" Trump
Trump will launch a few missiles
Trump will claim victory
NORK will claim the victim
Trump will hope it result in regime change
NORK will rattle more sabers
Trump will move on to next shiny object

#7 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-04-17 12:14 PM | Reply


I just stubbed my toe on this article.

North Korea Snubbed Chinese Diplomats
www.bloomberg.com

North Korea snubbed senior Chinese diplomats this month as tensions mounted with the U.S., according to people familiar with the situation, raising questions about the influence Beijing's leaders have over Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang didn't respond to requests from China Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Wu Dawei, the country's top envoy for North Korean nuclear affairs, to meet with their North Korean counterparts, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. The overtures came after Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Florida, the people said....


So I'm left wondering how much influence China will have? In the long term, I think that North Korea cannot survive without China, and China wants a North Korea buffer to keep South Korea and the US away from its border.

It is just a matter of how to get there from here....

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-17 12:40 PM | Reply

@#5 ... Anyone believe that the shiny new NORK super-ICBM just failed on launch for no reason at all? ...

www.nytimes.com

...Then came another embarrassing setback, a missile test that failed seconds after liftoff, the same pattern seen in a surprising number of launches since President Barack Obama ordered stepped-up cyber- and electronic-warfare attacks in early 2014. ...

#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-17 12:45 PM | Reply

#14 Lamplighter, how dare you imply President Obama should ever be given any credit for anything positive!

#10 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-04-17 01:05 PM | Reply

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I think that the least likely outcome of a general war in Korea would be a clean and easy victory.

#4 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2017-04-17 11:31 AM | FLAG:

Clean, certainly not. Many, many people will die. No such thing as a "clean war". The NK regulars though would be shredded, Army, Navy, & AF. Most of them would be dead before they even knew they were under attack.

#11 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-17 02:01 PM | Reply

"What might a conflict with North Korea look like?"

An insane, chubby man-child with bad hair commanding one military to attack the military of another insane, chubby man-child with bad hair.

#12 | Posted by RevDarko at 2017-04-17 02:19 PM | Reply | Funny: 4

Seoul reduced to rubble by an nuclear device. More of the same for most of NK.

#13 | Posted by Angrydad at 2017-04-17 04:45 PM | Reply

The NK regulars though would be shredded, Army, Navy, & AF. Most of them would be dead before they even knew they were under attack.

#11 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-17 02:01 PM | Reply

Maybe. But catching something as paranoid as NK flat-footed would be a neat trick. If they think it's use it or lose it, they might go first strike.

#14 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-17 04:53 PM | Reply

We're back to where we were in 2003, worrying about an under-qualified leader who doesn't know that war is always a war of the dice.

Well. who doesn't know much of nothing, actually.

#15 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-17 05:03 PM | Reply

"War is always a roll of the dice"

#16 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-17 05:04 PM | Reply

Maybe. But catching something as paranoid as NK flat-footed would be a neat trick. If they think it's use it or lose it, they might go first strike.

#14 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2017-04-17 04:53 PM | FLAG:

Doesn't matter. 1950s vs 2010 military technology. NK troops will get slaughtered by SK/US combined arms. If they try to form up an armored column, they'll get spotted by E3 aircraft and it will rain Joint Standoff Weapons, depleted uranium shells, hellfires, etc. It's like me trying to fight Jon Jones, not happening.

#17 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 07:52 AM | Reply

#17

I have absolutely no doubt the NKs will get slaughtered. But this won't be like turning off a light switch.

What they can do in the first seventy two hours seems the issue. And if they can exact even a one to one exchange for even a day it would be mind numbing, not including the civilian massacre.

#18 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 08:05 AM | Reply

How about three thousand Americans dying in three days? That's what Tarawa was. The American people were shocked and outraged.

#19 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 08:23 AM | Reply

So shocked and outraged, that the War in the Pacific raged for 2.5 more years. We lost 33,000 in Korea in the 50s, and it's the Forgotten War.

NK artillery that can range to Seoul is actually a very small subset of their overall artillery corps. The SRBM & IRBM corps are pretty much irrelevant in the face of modern air defenses. The population of Seoul is trained with air defense drills. They're not anywhere near as vulnerable as people make it out to be.

#20 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 10:05 AM | Reply

#17 I guess you're envisioning a situation analogous to the Iraqi highway of death?

How does NK military capabilities compare to those of Iraq in the 90's?

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2017-04-18 10:57 AM | Reply

So shocked and outraged, that the War in the Pacific raged for 2.5 more years. We lost 33,000 in Korea in the 50s, and it's the Forgotten War.

#20 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017

Americans were behind that war, but not behind slaughter. They demanded a different way of war, and they got it. The solution proved to be genius.

#22 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 11:35 AM | Reply

They're not anywhere near as vulnerable as people make it out to be.

#20 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 10:05 AMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

They're as vulnerable as one artillery round every four seconds from every one tube will make them. Some of those rounds will be chemical shells.

#23 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 11:37 AM | Reply

I'm suspicious of people who tell me war will be easy. That's what happened in 2003.

#24 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 11:37 AM | Reply

The Iraqi army was about 20-30 years more modern, had much more combat experience, a stronger economy, and better logistics. That was an era before stealth air dominance fighters, sensor fused weapons, persistent drone coverage, etc.

They can hurt South Korea a bit, but it would cost them their entire country.

#25 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 11:50 AM | Reply

They're as vulnerable as one artillery round every four seconds from every one tube will make them. Some of those rounds will be chemical shells.

#23 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2017-04-18 11:37 AM | FLAG:

Only a few types of artillery can reach Seoul, and they have to use rocket assisted shells to do it. The effect of chemical shells is overestimated given that South Korea has mandatory military service and a population trained to respond correctly to conventional shelling and chemical weapons attacks.

and you are the only person that keeps saying "easy".

#26 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 12:01 PM | Reply

The window for NK to use that artillery is drawing to a close anyways. Counter-artillery systems are a hot item right now and the lasers continue to dramatically improve.

#27 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 12:11 PM | Reply

They can hurt South Korea a bit, but it would cost them their entire country.

#25 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 11:50 AM

Well, the prospect of losing everything is what is going to make them vicious. If such encouragement was needed.

Everyone knew that Saddam didn't have WMD long before the conventional war was even ended, because they were never used in those most desperate circumstances where they would be most useful.

#28 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 12:17 PM | Reply

The effect of chemical shells is overestimated given that South Korea has mandatory military service and a population trained to respond correctly to conventional shelling and chemical weapons attacks.

#26 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 12:01 PMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

I'm sure they are very well prepared. But I'm not aware of any historical precedent for a large scale gas attack on a metropolitan area.

You may not have used the word easy, but it hides in back of your responses.

#29 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 12:19 PM | Reply

If you have just one artillery tube that can reach Seoul that can fire one round every four seconds, and it's active only one hour before it's taken out----That's 900 rounds.

#30 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 12:23 PM | Reply

You may not have used the word easy, but it hides in back of your responses.

#29 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2017-04-18 12:19 PM | FLAG:

No, that's just in your head.

#31 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 12:25 PM | Reply

No, that's just in your head.

#31 | Posted by sitzkrieg at

It must be mixed among the spiders.

#32 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 12:26 PM | Reply

If you have just one artillery tube that can reach Seoul that can fire one round every four seconds, and it's active only one hour before it's taken out----That's 900 rounds.

#30 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2017-04-18 12:23 PM | FLAG:

What artillery school taught you that? You'd think with our military budget we too could afford barrels made of Unobtanium that never wear out and can cycle every 4 seconds for an hour.

#33 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 12:26 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

What artillery school taught you that? You'd think with our military budget we too could afford barrels made of Unobtanium that never wear out and can cycle every 4 seconds for an hour.

#33 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017

Pish-posh. I mention four seconds because good artillerists can do four seconds. If that tube is going to wear out they'll risk that before an air strike catches it.

#34 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 12:59 PM | Reply

"Fire until the powder detonates in our faces." -Tactical Zed, Master of Artillery

and it won't be an air strike. It'll be counter-battery fire from MLRS and field guns, but you know that, because you're Tactical Zed.

#35 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 01:39 PM | Reply

I posted this on another NK thread about their arty:

The bulk of their guns are 500 M1978 170mm Koksan guns with a maximum range of 50km, or about 31 miles. Seoul is 35 miles from the DMZ but its northern suburbs are with 26 miles, so reachable. They have some M1989 Koksan guns with a 60km range, but there are only around 50 of those.

Their 240mm rocket forces are well within Seoul's range, but there are only about 200 of those.

Combined, these rocket assisted artillery pieces could launch an initial salvo of about 14,000 rounds, but they would be decimated in minutes by ROK attack planes and counter battery fire...the joint exercises by the US/ROK forces, Key Resolve and Foal Eagle both focus on taking out these launchers as a first course of action.

#36 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-04-18 01:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


Largest Armies in the World
www.worldatlas.com

...
1 China: 2,333,000
2 United States:1,492,200
3 India:1,325,000
4 North Korea: 1,190,000
5 Russia: 845,000 ...

#6 | Posted by LampLighter

You must not have any idea of how actual war is fought. I have personally seen 2 platoons of marines hold a mountain top from hundreds of Taliban, for hours. Largest Armies means nothing.

#37 | Posted by boaz at 2017-04-18 02:53 PM | Reply

the joint exercises by the US/ROK forces, Key Resolve and Foal Eagle both focus on taking out these launchers as a first course of action.

I have first hand knowledge of both of those exercises as I have participated in both multiple times, at the soldier level and the officer planning level. Unless China came into the war full force, I doubt it would take two weeks to overcome NK...

#38 | Posted by boaz at 2017-04-18 02:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I have first hand knowledge of both of those exercises as I have participated in both multiple times, at the soldier level and the officer planning level. Unless China came into the war full force, I doubt it would take two weeks to overcome NK...

Posted by boaz at 2017-04-18 02:55 PM | Reply

bwhahahaha that's some funny stuff right there.

#39 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-04-18 03:00 PM | Reply

I wouldn't lean on World Atlas for troop numbers. South Korea has 625,000 active with 3.1 million reservists on tap at any moment, and their country is like Israel, service is mandatory so the entire male population from 20 to 45 is trained for war.

#40 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 03:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

To contrast, North Korea would have to activate their entire population of fighting aged males to have troop parity, but still be at an extreme technological and experience disadvantage.

#41 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 03:17 PM | Reply

Tactical Zed.

#35 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 01:39 PMFlag: (Choose)FunnyNewsworthyOffensiveAbusive

That has a ring to it.

Thanks for introducing me to the concept of counter-battery fire. Can't imagine why I've never run into it before.

#42 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 03:21 PM | Reply

could launch an initial salvo of about 14,000 rounds, but they would be decimated in minutes

#36 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-04-18 01:41 PM | Reply

So they get a freebee of 14,000 rounds up front and then additional "minutes".

Thanks for making my point.

#43 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 03:23 PM | Reply

Can't imagine why I've never run into it before.

#42 | POSTED BY ZED AT 2017-04-18 03:21 PM | FLAG:

It's because you flunked out of Artillery School. Not Deep Strike material.

#44 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 03:28 PM | Reply

It's because you flunked out of Artillery School. Not Deep Strike material.

#44 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 03:28 PM | Reply

Never attended artillery school. Just read what they write.

You, needless to say, flunked sarcasm school.

#45 | Posted by Zed at 2017-04-18 03:30 PM | Reply

pfft. I make sarcasm great again.

#46 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 03:39 PM | Reply


bwhahahaha that's some funny stuff right there.

#39 | Posted by LauraMohr

What's so funny about it? You find it funny that someone has first hand knowledge?

#47 | Posted by boaz at 2017-04-18 03:41 PM | Reply

What's so funny about it? You find it funny that someone has first hand knowledge?

Posted by boaz at 2017-04-18 03:41 PM | Reply

No it's the fact that you think we could take on North Korea and win. We lost our asses once before. They who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

#48 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-04-18 03:47 PM | Reply

North Korea lost its ass. It was saved by China.

Without the Chinese army it would lose its ass again.

#49 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-18 04:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

China wants a North Korea buffer to keep South Korea and the US away from its border.

I'm not sure the Chinese care as much as they did in the 1950s.

After all. We're their biggest consumer market.

#50 | Posted by ClownShack at 2017-04-18 04:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

hey who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Take your own advice, Laura, Sitz is right, why don't you Google "Chesty Puller" or "Chosin Reservoir":

By mid-1950 after the successful landing at Inchon by the US X Corps and the subsequent destruction of the Korean People's Army, the Korean War appeared to be all but over. United Nations (UN) forces advanced rapidly into North Korea with the intention of reuniting North and South Korea before the end of 1950.
At the same time the People's Republic of China entered the conflict after issuing several warnings to the United Nations, lured the US and ROK forces to attack at the Chosin Reservoir and sending almost 1 million troops across the Yalu, forced part of the US forces to retreat to the 39th Parallel and most of the UN forces to evacuate at Hungnam. Ultimately the Chinese, not the destroyed KPA, forced the US/UN back to the 38th Parallel.

#51 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-04-18 06:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I mention four seconds because good artillerists[sic] can do four seconds.

Never attended artillery school. Just read what they write.

I'd like to know what you're reading. My experience with a gun approaching the range you're talking about is about 4 rounds per minute. Sustaining that over an hour would be tough.

Here's a vid of fire for effect, where the crew is turned loose, and that's about what they're doing. www.youtube.com

#52 | Posted by et_al at 2017-04-18 07:20 PM | Reply

Anyone that thinks a hot war against N. Korea is a good idea is crazy. Especially the S. Koreans agree. The real power lies in Bejing. They only understand economic boycott, that's something they fear. We should just tell them either reign in Kim Jung Un or keep your Chinese manufactured goods. If any of you are thinking war is a better choice than inconveniencing ourselves who depend on cheap Chinese goods that is pretty stupid economics. War would cost trillions, thousands (millions?) of lives and we'd end up with China as our enemy again anyway just like in 1953. We aren't the policeman of SE Asia, I thought we learned that in Vietnam. I'm not saying we should not defend our allies if they are attacked but it seems Trump is trying to provoke the crazy teenager in NK. Force China's hand, make them deal with their Frankenstein's monster that they created.

#53 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 08:02 PM | Reply

Anyone that thinks a hot war against N. Korea is a good idea is crazy. Especially the S. Koreans agree.

Agreed, but that ultimately is up to Kim Jong Un.

The real power lies in Bejing. They only understand economic boycott, that's something they fear. We should just tell them either reign in Kim Jung Un or keep your Chinese manufactured goods.

You are echoing Donald Trump.

If any of you are thinking war is a better choice than inconveniencing ourselves who depend on cheap Chinese goods that is pretty stupid economics.

Agreed.

War would cost trillions, thousands (millions?) of lives and we'd end up with China as our enemy again anyway just like in 1953.

China has always been in the "enemy" column, its just a matter of geopolitical degree.

We aren't the policeman of SE Asia, I thought we learned that in Vietnam.

We have allies that expect us to counteract China, for better or worse, but I agree that SK and Japan need to shoulder more of the load...like it or not, you once again sound like Trump.

I'm not saying we should not defend our allies if they are attacked but it seems Trump is trying to provoke the crazy teenager in NK. Force China's hand, make them deal with their Frankenstein's monster that they created.

I think that Trump is not trying to provoke Un, but trying to force China's hand, so we partially agree.

#54 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-04-18 10:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I think that Trump is not trying to provoke Un, but trying to force China's hand, so we partially agree."

I would be the first to congratulate you on an accurate prediction of our future, that would be a brilliant political move on Trump's part and I would give him credit if it works out that way. I'm no maven, a realistic path to peace with NK is welcome even if it comes through a threat made by Donald J. Trump.

#55 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 11:27 PM | Reply

"You are echoing Donald Trump."

No, Trump is echoing us who have been saying that Trump is dictating NK foreign policy for years. If you think Kim Jung Un actually decides foreign policy then you are incredibly naive. Bejing dictates to him and he obeys or he will be toast and he knows it. The Chinese love to pretend we have a common enemy (N. Korea) and we're expected to pretend to forget that Kim is entirely their puppet who has no real power, the Chinese OWN N. Korea. Pretending they don't own it and they aren't totally responsible for whatever that idiot does is ridiculous. The Chinese love to perpetuate teh sense of insecurity Kim Jung Un creates but he is as independent as my dog. They own him, they know it but apparently Americans don't.

#56 | Posted by danni at 2017-04-18 11:33 PM | Reply

We aren't the policeman of SE Asia

#53 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-04-18 08:02 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

We're Team America, World Police.

#57 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-04-19 08:12 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

The truth is no one wants the PDRK. The Chinese are weary of the constant expense and the illegal activities the North engages in in their country. The Russians have no interest in the PDRK and have very tenuous access to that country even if they wanted to support them. The South Koreans understand completely how much it would cost to rebuild North Korea even if unified without a conflict. The Japanese understandably are more than a little sensitive to threats involving nuclear weapons. So basically the "hermit kingdom" is alone. Kim Jung Un is a fat spoiled frat rat who is only creative when he determines how to execute one of his dad's old guard. North Korea is a disaster 70 years in the making. I imagine eventually the party will kill this poster child for family planing but what then? Reunification? I don't know if the South would go for it.

#58 | Posted by docnjo at 2017-04-19 12:36 PM | Reply

"I think that Trump is not trying to provoke Un, but trying to force China's hand"

Trump is going force Chinas hand like he took down OBAMA care, (in his imagination)

#59 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2017-04-19 02:03 PM | Reply

Trump is going to control china like he did his naval task force

#60 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2017-04-19 02:09 PM | Reply

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