North Korea's War Strategy of Massive Retaliations against US Attacks
Do not underestimate the Democratic People's Rupublic of Korea, they'r in the mood to slay a giant.
North Korea is one of the few nations that can engage in a total war with the United States. The US war planners recognize this fact. For example, on March 7, 2000, Gen. Thomas A Schwartz, the US commander in Korea at the time, testified at a US congressional hearing that "North Korea is the country most likely to involve the United States in a large-scale war."
North Korea, which can and is willing to face up to the sole military superpower of the world, cannot be called a weak nation. Nevertheless, Western press and analysts distort the truth and depict North Korea as an "impoverished" nation, starving and on the brink of imminent collapse. An impoverished, starving nation cannot face down a military superpower. Today few nations have military assets strong enough to challenge the US military. Russia, though weakened by the collapse of the Soviet Union, has enough assets to face up to the US. China, somewhat weaker than Russia, too, has strong military that can challenge the US. However, both Russia and China lack the political will to face down the US. North Korea's war plan in case of an US attack is total war, not the 'low-intensity limited warfare' or 'regional conflict' talked about among the Western analysts. North Korea will mount a total war if attacked by the US. There are three aspects to this war plan.
First, total war is North Korea's avowed strategy in case of US preemptive attacks. The US war on Iraq shows that the US can and will mount preemptive strikes in clear violation of international laws, and the United Nations is powerless to stop the US. Any nation that is weak militarily may be attacked by the US at will. It is reasonable for North Korea to deter US attacks with threats of total war.
Second, North Korea expects no help from China, Russia, or other nations in case of war with the US. It knows that it will be fighting the superpower alone. Nominally, China and Russia are North Korea's allies but neither ally is expected to provide any assistance to North Korea in case of war. Neither nation can or is willing to protect North Korea from attacks by the US, and North Korea alone can and will protect itself from US attacks. This principle of self-defense applies to all nations
Third, North Korea's total war plan has two components: massive conventional warfare and weapons of mass destruction. If the US mounts a preemptive strike on North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plants, North Korea will retaliate with weapons of mass destruction: North Korea will mount strategic nuclear attacks on the US targets. The US war planners know this and have drawn up their own nuclear war plan. In a nuclear exchange, there is no front or rear areas, no defensive positions or attack formations as in conventional warfare. Nuclear weapons are offensive weapons and there is no defense against nuclear attacks except retaliatory nuclear attacks. For this reason, North Korea's war plan is offensive in nature: North Korea's war plan goes beyond repulsing US attackers and calls for destruction of the United States.
The US war plan '5027' calls for military occupation of North Korea; it goes beyond the elimination of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction. The US military regards North Korea its main enemy and likewise North Korea regards the US its main enemy. South Korea, too, regards North Korea its main enemy but North Korea does not regard South Korea its main enemy because South Korea is a client state of the United States and has no ability or power to act independent of the US. North Korea's war plan is not for invading South Korea but for destroying the US.
The US commanders admit that North Korean soldiers are highly motivated and loyal to Kim Jong Il, and that they will fight well in case of war. Karl von Clausewitz said that people's support for war, military commanders' ability and power, and the political leadership are the three essentials for winning war. He failed to include the political indoctrination of the soldiers, which is perhaps more important than the other factors cited.
During the Iraq War just ended, the main cause of Iraq's defeat was the low moral of its soldiers. Iraqi soldiers had no will to stand and fight, and they ran away or surrendered without fight. Iraqi soldiers believed in Allah protecting them and became easy preys to the US military. North Korean soldiers are taught to fight to the bitter end. In September 1996, a North Korean submarine got stranded at Kangrung, South Korea, and its crew abandoned the ship. Eleven of the crew committed suicide and the rest fought to the last man except one who was captured. In June 1998, another submarine got caught in fishing nets at Sokcho and its crew killed themselves. Such is the fighting spirit of North Korean soldiers.
North Korea is the world most-tunneled nation. North Korea's expertise in digging tunnels for warfare was demonstrated during the Vietnam War. North Korea sent about 100 tunnel warfare experts to Vietnam to help dig the 250 km tunnels for the North Vietnamese and Viet Gong troops in South Vietnam. The tunnels were instrumental in the Vietnamese victory.
North Korea's army runs on company-size units. Tunnel warfare is conducted by independent company-size units. Tunnel entrances are built to withstand US chemical and biological attacks. Tunnels run zig-zag and have seals, air-purification units, and safe places for the troops to rest. It is believed that North Korea has built about 20 large tunnels near the DMZ. A large tunnel can transport 15,000 troops per hour across the DMZ and place them behind the US troops.
Military power dictates the outcome of war. In assessing the next war in Korea, the military power of the opponents must be examined objectively. Until now, North Korea's military power has not been properly studied. In general, Western experts tend to underestimate North Korea's military strength. Politicians in America and South Korea play down North Korean threats for political reasons.
It has been said that North Korean army is large in numbers but their equipment are obsolete, and hence it is a weak army. The US war planners assess North Korean army using computer simulations of war in Korea. US war plan for the recent Iraq war was refined using more than 40 computer-simulated wars in Iraq. The computer simulation models use weapon system features among other factors to determine the outcome.
It is true that the advanced weapons were instrumental in the US victory in the Gulf War, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. On the other hand, the US army was defeated by ill-equipped foes in Korea and Vietnam. The latter two wars show that superior weapons do not always lead to a victory. North Korean and Chinese forces in Korea and the Vietnamese forces fought with superior tactics and stronger fighting fighting spirits.
In the next war in Korea, the US army will face an enemy much more determined and better equipped than the army in the Korean War of 1950-53.
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article