What military options if any could the US use to remove the nuclear weapons threat of North Korea?

Patslatt1

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US government officials officially stated that military options exist for dealing with the nuclear weapons threat of North Korea while stating the government would obviously prefer other means of removing the threat. However, Steve Bannon,former senior strategist to Trump, said that it was too late to use military options, an opinion presumably based on classified information and intelligence.

It would definitely be extremely risky to attack NK if it possessed at least three hydrogen bombs that could devastate densely populated areas of Seoul in South Korea and Greater Tokyo in Japan,given their combined population of about forty millions. So far,NK has not tested a hydrogen bomb but did test a shortcut version that is not nearly as powerful.

Existing stocks of NK's atomic bombs could be just as devastating,however, They may range from as few as twelve to as many as thirty. Most of these and associated missiles are transported on very large trucks purchased from China that can hide in NK's generally mountainous terrain. The missiles are fuelled with solid fuel with a range that can reach Japan. Each bomb could inflict casualties in the hundreds of thousands, suggesting a total of between two to ten millions casualties for all bombs depending on the number that hit targets in the face of antimissile defences.

The US government's top concern must be the sites that eventually will be capable of launching intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could reach the USA. Apparently, these sites are buried deep underground in mountains and close to the border with China, a location presumably chosen to deter US attacks.

The US, Japan and South Korea would face a dilemma using military options to completely remove the NK nuclear threat. They could hope to strangle the NK nuclear baby in the cradle with a preemptive attack that would likely require some use of tactical nuclear weapons on both deep missile bunkers and the massive underground networks of bunkers built by an army of Chinese labourers in the Korean War. (President Eisenhower indirectly threatened to use nuclear weapons on the latter, forcing China to agree to a ceasefire.) An invasion of NK and regime change would also be necessary to prevent it from rebuilding its nuclear weapons. Pacifist sentiment in Japan and past oppression in both Koreas would prevent its participation in an invasion.

The consequences could be disastrous. First, NK could succeed in attacking major population centres with atomic bombs. Second, an invasion of NK could bring China into the war on NK's side despite its UN voting against NK and objections to NK's "nuclear dabbling";in a 1963 treaty,China agreed "to come to the aid of North Korea" if it is attacked.China's attitude has been hypocritical given that dual use technology (civilian or military) from China enabled NK's nuclear weapons development. Maybe China hoped that NK would distract the US from China's bullying attempts to turn the South China Sea into Chinese territory. Third, a substantial proportion of NK's population has been heavily indoctrinated and might fiercely resist an invading force, even a majority South Korean force.

Alternatively, military options could be postponed to see if China's supposedly sharp cuts of vital exports to NK would force it to negotiate denuclearisation and possibly an opening of its closed society and economy. There is also a possibility that trade cuts could trigger a military coup against the existing NK leadership. Since it is relatively easy to monitor border trade traffic between China and NK on satellites, the US government will soon know if China is indeed cutting exports.

Given that NK's government wasn't destabilised by famine in the past, it could hold out against Chinese trade cutbacks for a long time. Russia's Putin has said they would eat grass before giving in.

Meanwhile, NK could develop the H bomb and improve its ICBMs enough to reach the USA.

If the US government believes the latter threat is imminent, it would be faced with a choice of allowing a belligerent dictator to put a nuclear gun to its head or launching an all out attack on NK. If South Korea forbade an attack from its territory, the US military attack would likely involve considerable use of tactical nuclear weapons to annihilate the industrial base of NK and do so quickly before China had time to respond. President Trump's alleged psychopatic tendencies wouldn't be fazed by such an unthinkable military decision.
 
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Catalpast

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The USA will not be attacking North Korea - Donald Trump or no Donald Trump

The current stance is to make absolutely clear to MR Kim that any attempt by him to launch a Nuclear attack on the US or her Allies will be bring about

- the Annihilation of North Korea.

The US is perfectly aware that a conventional attack on the North would not collapse the North Korean Regime


However a North Korea armed with viable ICBMs may well risk provoking a Confrontation with South Korea that could escalate into serious conventional clashes

That could lead to US involvement in such a War

- and God knows where that would lead to.....
 

Happycamping

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North Korea is more useful as is to the world powers. Would be amazed to see a change in the status quo.
 

Happycamping

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The US has had a presence in that part of the World

- since before North Korea existed.
It has but with NK staying there, it legitimises there presence. It also ensures a huge hunger for weapons to fight the 'threat'. The weapons industry has a huge influence on the powers that be.
 

Catalpast

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It has but with NK staying there, it legitimises there presence. It also ensures a huge hunger for weapons to fight the 'threat'. The weapons industry has a huge influence on the powers that be.
North Korea is a Threat

- they keep on threatening the USA and are now developing Nuclear armed ICBMs

The Military Indutrial Complex is still powerful

- but not as powerful as during the Cold War

BTW it was the North Korean Invasion of the South in June 1950 that gave it its biggest boost as the US Military was operating on a shoestring in trying to deploy troops, ships and planes over there to stem the NORKS from completely overrunning the South

- it was a Close Run Thing

- saved by General McArthur's brilliance in going ahead with the Inchon landings in September 1950

After that the US started rapidly building up it Military again that had been rapidly shrunk after WWII

- Never again would the USA be caught with so few strategic assets on hand to match a Crises overseas

- well that's the Plan anyway....:|
 

O'Quisling

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What military options if any could the US use to remove the nuclear weapons threat of North Korea?

US government officials officially stated that military options exist for dealing with the nuclear weapons threat of North Korea . . . . .
The United Corporate States of America had their a $$ whipped before (as the Americans themselves would put it) in the Korean peninsula. The very first time that the American military were defeated. The first in a list that includes Vietnam, the peoples of Iraq, and the peoples of Afghanistan. For all their bullying, the US military are not very good at getting victory but the Arms companies are creaming it. But ssshhhh don't mention that, keep repeating war is about spreading freedom.

Are you sure they want to repeat that a $$ whipping?

Have you tried to see things from the perspective of the "Other "?

I don't see why the responsibility for sorting out the world's problems (or perceived problems) falls to the USA!

I resent that. And I'm not the only one.

Johnny foreigner needs to be saved from themselves, because they are merely just animals. They haven't a clue what they are doing, bless them. Captain America to the rescue!
 

ireallyshouldknowbetter

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The very first time that the American military were defeated. The first in a list that includes Vietnam, the peoples of Iraq, and the peoples of Afghanistan.
:roll:

When the peoples of Iraq weren't busy drilling holes in other peoples of Iraq for belonging to the wrong sect, obviously.
 

SideysGhost

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NK doesn't need to have nukes to make a military strike essentially impossible. They have an estimated 13000 conventional artillery pieces all along the border pointed at Seoul, just 35 miles away. While talk of the city being "flattened in half an hour" is overblown, there would still be massive casualties and enormously expensive damage caused.
 

HenryHorace

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I still don't believe the US is convinced NK has the capability to strike the US mainland with a nuclear tipped ICBM. I think the second that becomes clear (and in my view that is a matter of months away) they are going to make their move. Kim hasn't fired a missile in weeks now despite massive military exercises in the region because of Trump's tough talk. Trump won't get credit for that from liberals but putting it up to NK has seen them back down to some extent. Obama was more interested in appearing on pro liberal late night chat shows than addressing the issue.
 

Catalpast

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The United Corporate States of America had their a $$ whipped before (as the Americans themselves would put it) in the Korean peninsula. The very first time that the American military were defeated. The first in a list that includes Vietnam, the peoples of Iraq, and the peoples of Afghanistan. For all their bullying, the US military are not very good at getting victory but the Arms companies are creaming it. But ssshhhh don't mention that, keep repeating war is about spreading freedom.

Are you sure they want to repeat that a $$ whipping?

Have you tried to see things from the perspective of the "Other "?

I don't see why the responsibility for sorting out the world's problems (or perceived problems) falls to the USA!

I resent that. And I'm not the only one.

Johnny foreigner needs to be saved from themselves, because they are merely just animals. They haven't a clue what they are doing, bless them. Captain America to the rescue!
The US was defeated in Korea?:shock:

They Won!

Mission accomplished.

Yes they lost the Vietnam War (as I knew they would)

They certainly didn't lose in Iraq or Afghanistan militarily

- but there is no doubt their Strategy in Iraq in particular was immoral and counter productive
 

Kevin Parlon

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Catalpast

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If only the US high command had listened to you!
Indeed!

Trouble is they were backing up a series of Tin Pot dictators there

But the Communists by their vicious and ruthless methods alienated soo many people that resistance to their Rule was much greater than it otherwise would have been

For the US to 'win' in Vietnam they would have needed an Force of over a Million men

- they never had that.

Total Mess
 

ireallyshouldknowbetter

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For the US to 'win' in Vietnam they would have needed an Force of over a Million men
For the US to 'win' in Vietnam, they'd have needed competent proxies on the ground. A lesson they seem to have learned for future conflicts. In Afghanistan for example, they left most of the fighting and dying to the Northern Alliance. Ditto in Syria with the Kurdish forces.
 

ffc

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I still don't believe the US is convinced NK has the capability to strike the US mainland with a nuclear tipped ICBM. I think the second that becomes clear (and in my view that is a matter of months away) they are going to make their move. Kim hasn't fired a missile in weeks now despite massive military exercises in the region because of Trump's tough talk. Trump won't get credit for that from liberals but putting it up to NK has seen them back down to some extent. Obama was more interested in appearing on pro liberal late night chat shows than addressing the issue.
Well, surely if they believe it is inevitable, now is the time to strike.
Why wait until NK has the capability? Even 1 nuclear strike on a major US city would be a devastation thousands of times more crippling than 9/11.
Personally, I think they have accepted a nuclear NK and will deal with them as a nuclear power, same as Israel, Pakistan and India. By which I mean they will leave them the phuck alone.
 


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