I was concerned the other day about the implications of the North Koreans testing an ICBM. I have a friend who knows quite a lot about nuclear energy and such, so I asked him what he thought about Kim Jong-un beating the drums of war. He explained how Kim could win. But first, we ought to get real about the threat.
A close friend of mine was in South Korea for a year as a technical military Korean language expert for the American army and is a very perceptive observer of military tactics and strategies. He made me aware of the situation at the Korean DMZ. First off, the DMZ is in very rugged, mountainous country between the two Koreas. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is very near the DMZ, and is an enormous city, maybe more that 15 million people.
The leaders of the North Koreans have been smarting for 60 years about not winning the Korean war in the 1950’s and have been able to maintain power by convincing their populace that the South Koreans and their American allies are an existential threat to their country. This has led them to create and maintain one the largest land armies on Earth, estimated at nearly a million men on active duty and approximately 5 million active reservists. (All adult men and a good proportion of adult women have had mandatory military training.) It is estimated that there are around 10,000 artillery pieces emplaced within range of Seoul on the North side of the DMZ. To make a long story short, in the event of hostilities, the South Koreans in Seoul are dead meat. A conventional invasion from the North, in which the American army would be a “speed bump,” designed to suck us into the war for retaliation, would result, all things being equal, in one of the greatest massacres in human history. Destruction of the American army would, of course, bring us into the conflict. So … my friend says that the only hope of stemming the onslaught is to nuke the North Koreans as they come through the narrow passes between the two countries. The North Koreans recognize this fact. Our “nuclear aggression,” we can assume they would feel, justifies a nuclear response.
How could the North Koreans hope to win a nuclear war with the United States? For every ICBM they have, we must have 100 or a 1,000. Their threatening us seems like gross insanity … that is until you understand what is being planned. The North Koreans don’t have to have 100 megaton “H” bombs to defeat us. They don’t have to have super accurate GPS guided missiles. And they don’t have to have 100’s or 1,000’s of missiles. Their strategy would be to annihilate our civilization with a series of electromagnetic pulses. (EMP’s) An EMP from an exploding bomb only a few times the size of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombs detonated in space at an altitude of 50 to 100 kilometers would render almost all modern electronics useless, destroy our power grid and substations, anything using electrical power over a vast area of the US. So much area that 5 to 10 of these bombs would paralyze virtually the entire nation. Sure we would retaliate, but the leaders of North Korea wouldn’t give a damn … they would have survived in their secret, hardened shelters and to hell with the vaporized population … they were hard to feed anyway. They would have reduced Seoul and its people, a large portion of the entire population of South Korea, to an ash heap, but the surviving part of their enormous army would roll down the Korean peninsula taking their objective and winning the war.
And what of the US? People in large cities who think that America is a “democracy” and do not understand republicanism are living the high life, disdainful of the “red necks” and of “fly over country” don’t understand how vulnerable they are or why the “outback” is important to them. They don’t really reflect that they have no means to feed, fuel and warm themselves unless the “outback” provides those essentials on an almost daily basis.
When all the electricity fails, your car won’t run, your water will stop, your heaters and AC will stop, the subway won’t run, the airlines won’t fly, the trains would be stopped, your telephone/cell phone won’t work, you can’t bathe, the toilet won’t flush, even if your car would work you wouldn’t be able to get gas, in 3 or 4 days there wouldn’t be any food or bottled water in the grocery stores. You would have to get out of Dodge in order to live. If you live in LA where would you run to? … the Mojave desert? In New York … up the Hudson River or over to Long Island? In Chicago … Indiana or Milwaukee? In Phoenix … Sonora? You get the picture, if this was to happen, your only hope would be to instantly, if you could, get out into the hinterlands where there is food and water.
If the North Koreans could do this, 10’s of maybe 100’s of millions of Americans would die. You and me! Can they do it? Listen to their seemingly infantile threats … they truly think that they can hurt us … I ask how?