An attack on North Korea is not something to take lightly, as the rogue state is nuclear armed, and has since 1953 lived in a constant state of readiness for a U.S. invasion.
While boy-king Kim Jong Un this week has backed off his threats to strike at Guam, North Korean state media reported him as saying that he will strike if necessary.
North Korea is one of the world’s most impoverished nations, and its military capability is about the same as any third world African nation. Still, even his outdated arsenal of weapons can be a threat, mainly because they are so close to Seoul.
Kim has 11,000 artillery tubes aimed directly at Seoul, just a few miles from the North Korean border and well within range. Think of it this way – a gun is more dangerous than a baseball bat. But if someone is standing in front of you with that bat, it can be deadly.
Kim’s ultimate nightmare is ending up like Saddam Hussein, who was found in a hole and looking like a homeless man not long after U.S. forces invaded his country. Likewise, after the U.S.-led attack on Libya that toppled the thuggish leader Muamar Gaddafi, Gaddafi was killed by his own people and his body was put in a freezer in a local market for several days, where thousands of people went to gawk at the dead former president.
That’s why Kim won’t go down without a fight. For him, his nuclear program is the only guarantee that he won’t end up in a freezer next to the ice cream.
So, if the U.S. strikes at North Korea, here are five things that could happen:
- It would unleash a humanitarian catastrophe on North Korea’s people.
For average North Koreans, life is tough, and suffering is part of the everyday routine. Most people don’t get enough to eat on a day-to-day basis. There are very few real doctors in North Korea, and very few real hospitals. Treatable injuries and illnesses often result in death, based on what defectors and others familiar with North Korea have told Borderless in past interviews.
If North Korea is attacked, only the top 1 percent of the population will get any help. International food aid will be horded first by Kim’s inner circle – considering they are still alive after a U.S. attack – then by Kim’s personal security forces. The army ‘s top leadership will receive food aid, but it’s likely that low level soldiers will get nothing. Low level soldiers have defected to South Korea saying the army had no food and that they were starving.
The rest of the population will fend for themselves, as they did in the massive famine of the 1990s. At that time, people didn’t go hungry because there was no food. There was food, but it was stuck in warehouses and slowly being eaten by rats because the country’s socialist economy collapsed, and the system of distribution just didn’t work.
North Korea’s population has suffered mentally and physically under this regime for decades. A U.S. attack would unleash even more suffering.
- Large parts of Seoul could become a smoldering ruin
South Korean capital Seoul is one of the world’s most modern cities, with one of the world’s most reliable metro systems, a world class airport and lightning fast internet speeds.
Yet North Korea considers South Korea to be a U.S. puppet, and has made many threats to turn one of the world’s most modern cities – with its world-class metro system and lighting fast Internet speeds – into a “sea of fire.”
It’s unlikely that North Korea’s artillery would destroy the entire city of Seoul, but Kim could do some major damage. Also, like many smaller Asian nations, the vast majority of the nation’s wealth is tightly concentrated in the capital. Also, Seoul is a densely packed city, and last year the population was estimated at around 10 million, with 17,000 people per square kilometer and 45,000 people per square mile. The sprawling metro area has over 25 million residents.
If roads leading into Seoul are destroyed, getting food into the city would be difficult. Helicopters or other aircraft could make emergency deliveries but that wouldn’t bring as much food as large trucks. Food riots could occur.
3.North Korea could hit Los Angeles, Guam or elsewhere
North Korea says its missiles can hit West coast U.S. cities like Los Angeles, and earlier this week threatened the U.S. territory of Guam. It’s unlikely that the country has is able to mount a nuclear bomb on the end of a missile – yet. But the country is aggressively heading toward that goal. At any rate, if the U.S. hits North Korea with a first strike, and the military lives through it, Pyongyang will likely retaliate by hitting U.S. West coast cities with a missile strike.
- Spark a major flood of refugees into China.
There are already tens of thousands North Korean refugees in China. If a war occurs, it’s likely that unknown hordes of panicked refugees will flood into China.
In armed conflict, any number of unexpected disasters can happen. No one expected the Korean War, which ended over 60 years ago, to create a dangerous nation that could pull the region into disaster. Anything could happen.
The exception, of course, is if Trump were to launch an all-out nuclear assault on the entire country. That would likely lessen the chances of a response. But that would annihilate a major chunk of North Korea’s civilian population. And it’s not the fault of North Korea’s people that they have a belligerent slave master for a leader. Trump’s choices, if he decides to go with a military option, are between bad and worse.
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