The North Korea Thread


Dude, if they fire a weapon at a US strike group like that, it’s going to be interpreted, rightly, as the first move in the final fight.

The us isn’t going to hold back in that situation.

The us is going to absolutely obliterate North Korea, in order to neutralize its offensive power. There will be no proportional response. North Korea will be a hole in the group. They will be hit with absolutely everything.


Trying to ascribe rationality to insanity is a tricky thing. That said, this is just barely a step above a mental exercise as I think there’s next to no chance of the DPRK using nukes in a pre-emptive strike.

What if China immediately invaded? Would we strike and potentially kill Chinese troops, or just let China handle it? If we did, how weak would that make the US look, and would Trump allow such “weakness” to be a blight on his regime—er, I mean administration? I suspect you’re right, however; a launch from nearby subs would likely hit Pyongyang before China had much of a chance to do anything.


That would require a lot of things the DPRK doesn’t remotely have though.

  1. A nuke small enough to be in a torpedo or the like
  2. Subs capable of delivering said weapon
  3. Subs capable of getting close enough to deliver it.

There is no way some shit sub from the 50’s is getting close enough to a carrier group to do much of anything. They can’t catch the carrier and they can’t avoid the ASW of the fleet. Their homegrown subs are like under 500-tons designed mostly to land special ops troops and cause havoc, not infiltrate a carrier group and fire on a CVN.

I mean the Soviets at their height might have been able to pull it off. Maybe. But not reliably and they had amazing submarines.

An ICBM you, theoretically, lob from 500 miles away from a land facility. The problem there is accuracy and guidance, which they also lack. But if you could do it, it would be a viable option, which is why the Chinese have been working on for a while now.


Eh, interesting idea, but they’d have to be fast… Faster than I think they can be.

Once that missile is in the air, and the trajectory is calculated, it’s on. And that’s only gonna take a minute or so. The response is going to be immediate.

And I don’t think China is going to then move it’s men into position to act as some kind of human shields to protect North Korea.


Yeah, it’s unlikely China could mobilize in time. The response could be measured in minutes. The carrier group being fired on might be the one doing the retaliation for that matter. Those missiles would be there before the first Chinese soldier got on a train to head to the border.


Yeah, it’s gonna be like… A billion cruise missiles hitting every single thing that could be remotely thought to be an Artillery piece.


At the very least. If intel knew the ICBM was nuclear, the carrier group likely has that capability in it as well and could retaliate in kind.

A sort of mini-MAD scenario.


Yeah, but I kind of doubt it’d be necessary.

We can bring down so much conventional pain on a country, we don’t really need to use nukes.


True, but if someone tries to nuke a carrier group, I would see that as a probable response.

I mean we threatened Iraq with nukes if they used chemical weapons on ground troops. This is a step beyond that, I can’t see it not being used for a variety of reasons. The biggest one probably being: “This is what happens if you even try to use a nuke against us.”

It would require confirmed intel that the ICBM was nuclear and enough time for the carrier group to ready the weapons though, so odds do trend towards a conventional response.


Any way to slice it, North Korea doesn’t exist for more than a few hours after shooting anything at one of our carrier groups.


No, as I said upthread, you plant nuclear mines with your crappy subs (or even with fishing boats) and wait for the carrier group to approach and then you go for your ridiculous attack with the group’s approach to the mine being the signal to begin hostilities. Of course if the carrier group is at anchor during wartime you might have difficulties towing the mine to the target undetected, but this assumes your goal is destroying a carrier group during peacetime. If you have a registered SK fishing boat as an intelligence asset you can even approach the hove-to group on the surface given recent 7th Fleet incompetence, but now we’re in Clancy thriller territory.


This is why it won’t happen, of course.


Well, we’d have to wait to see if anything lobbed at us actually exploded, and what kind of bang it made, I think. If, for example, a missile was in the air and seemed to all indications to be heading towards a carrier group’s location, either we would shoot it down, in which case we would with any luck be able to recover parts of it and see what was on it, or we would not/could not shoot it down, and it would do whatever it did, in which case our response would depend on, well, what it did.

Worst case is we don’t shoot it down, it has a nuke, and bad things happen. Even with everything else working right, I suspect there would be a delay of some significance between confirmation of what happened, and any response we’d make. A knee-jerk response would be unlikely to be either as effective or as efficient as something a bit more considered, perhaps.

In the best case, we shoot it down, and find out there was nada or just a conventional warhead. In that case, our response would definitely be more proportional. And if we shoot it down and there actually was a nuke–or the nuke doesn’t go off and we recover it–we’d have an interesting dilemma on our hands I think.

I agree that if, god forbid, by some bizarre confluence of insanity and bad judgment the NK’s actually do make a real nuclear attack on any American forces, the retaliation would be extraordinary. I’m not sure it would be turning NK into a big hole in the ground, though. There are too many strategic reasons to consider less drastic options. But I suppose it’s entirely possible.


You must think someone else is President.

He’d nuke them in under an hour.


Yeah, I agree. The situation @TheWombat describes is what would happen with a rational, intelligent, person at the helm. Say, for example, Obama.

Trump is pure ID, the world would have ended had he been the one in the Siberian missile defense radar station that night in the 19080’s.


You are all arguing as if Kim isn’t aware of the purpose of nuclear weaponry. He certainly is. Your “president” on the other hand…


I can’t imagine NK launching a nuke at a US carrier group without simultaneously going all in on a ground or nuclear war in SK. It’s going to have to be a doomsday scenario for Kim to do that - and sadly (or maybe, happily) he’s not half as crazy as Trump.


All good points. I also believe that this is all thankfully moot. The North Koreans are playing a long con, and aren’t going to jeopardize what is really for them a sweet situation. Even Trump, I think, will shy away from actually intentionally attacking North Korea (or rather there will be enough natural or generated friction to prevent a knee-jerk decision for disaster on our part).

The danger, for me, is that in this atmosphere a 1980s-esque gut check moment of accident will happen and we’ll fail that gut check.


This thread is starting to read like the War Room discussion from Strangelove.