War with North Korea... what would the US casualities be?


If we go to war with North korea, does anyone here think that it would be a walk in the park? What does N.K. have? A million man army? hah… half of them are starving to death. Remember the Gulf War? Iraq had 1.5 million, and what good did it do them? They got beat within a month.

But could this be different? Were not talking deserts here. N.K. is a very mountainous region that could pose some problems for the US. But… would it be hand to hand combat, or would we use our technological superority to kick some ass?

US casualities? big or small?

Remember last time? Many many casualties on all sides.

Also, will China get involved like last time? If so, welcome to WW3.

Which is why the whole North Korea thing is just posturing.

Likely more South Korean lives will be lost.

Remember the last time? Umm no! That was 50+ years ago. The world is a different place and we are a different country. Large numbers really don’t matter in today’s technological age.

“Large numbers really don’t matter in today’s technological age.”

Yea if you have months to set up your force in wide open and barren terrain. Also your Airforce gets to pound the enemy for weeks before moving in. NK wouldn’t win any war in the long run, but they could casue allot of damage to SK before the US could really intervene. This is assuming the US doesn’t do any sort of buildup as a precaution. Seoul is is a huge city( somrthing like 15 million) and only like 50 or 60 miles from the DMZ.

Seoul is within North Korea’s artillery range. Damage would be extensive.

If China were to get involved, then it might turn into nuclear war. There are many reasons Bush does not want to tackle North Korea first, despite the evident truth that they are a more clear danger than is Iraq.

Are you talking about NK invading SK, or the US invading NK? Because those are two very different prospects. If NK tried to invade SK, I imagine there would be extremely high Korean (both sides) casualties, and significant (say, high hundreds/low thousands) casualties among the 37K (or so) US troops in SK. Other than that, US casualties would be very small, I think. This is not 1950. US air power and naval power are tremendously better, especially US helicopters (which would be able to fight pretty well despite the mountainous terrain). US artillery is also immeasurably better. It would be a disaster for SK, though.

The US invading SK would be a trickier proposition but still easily doable. I assume the US would hook around the DMZ and try a surprise amphibious landing somewhere, to avoid the mines/tunnels/etc. at the border, maybe supported by a land push. Even so, it would probably be difficult and involve low-thousands of US casualties, even with extensive air and naval support. (I assume that the SK army would stay loyal despite all the problems in their country; if they defected in siginificant numbers or broke under bombing or artillery, that would make things a thousand times easier.)

In either case, I’d be surprised to see China get directly involved, because they don’t want to look weak when they lose and SK is not that important to them anymore. The wild card, though, is whether or not SK possesses nuclear weapons, and, if so, whether they would use them (either offensively, or defensively if they are getting pounded). I have no clue what the situation is on either question. And that makes the idea of a second Korean War very unsettling.

Of course, these are all just my opinions. I am no military expert (just a war and history buff :) )

Why are the so called American analyst predicting loses in the tens of thousands for US troops if we invade NK.

And then lets not forget the fact that NK has at least one nuclear warhead in their possession. If there getting beat pretty good, what’s not to say that they wouldn’t use it on our troops?

Wow! That that would be a hell of a surprise attack!

Anyway, I think the South Koreans would do quite well on their own – provided, of course, the North Koreans attacked them in Lineage, rather than real life.


Wow! That that would be a hell of a surprise attack!

I think we should go after, say, Nevada first. They would never see it coming.


Wow! That that would be a hell of a surprise attack!

Anyway, I think the South Koreans would do quite well on their own – provided, of course, the North Koreans attacked them in Lineage, rather than real life.


LOL. Whoops. It’s a good thing I don’t work at the Pentagon. (“Well, uh…okay…”)

Nobody knows whether NK has a nuclear weapon or not. They say they have one. They’ve never tested one and nobody has ever seen it. They are starting a crash program to get nuclear fuel. Maybe they already have one (or more) and just want to increase their arsenal. Maybe they’re just blustering because they were afraid Bush was going to attack after his “Axis of Evil” speech. Obviously that would be a crazy thing to do, but Kim Jong Il is kind of crazy by all accounts, so who knows?

We kicked North Korean ass pretty thoroughly in the last war. Without any warnings of North Korean aggression, from halfway around the world, we transported enough skilled troops and enough materiel to Korea to roll the North back to the 38th parallel within four months of the day they crossed it. (It was only Chinese entry into the war that prolonged it for four bloody years more without buying a foot of ground.)

That was fifty years ago. Our military’s gotten a lot better since then. Theirs hasn’t. And I don’t think the Chinese would save North Korea again. By now they’re probably sorry they did it last time.

The only real worry about a conflict with North Korea is that they’re crazy James-Bond-villian bugfuck evil. If they have any weapons of mass destruction, we can be certain they’ll use them against the civilian population of the South. If not, we can still be sure they’ll shell cities anyway, going for maximum civilian bodycount. The South Koreans, needless to say, aren’t too keen on either option.

A much more likely military response to NK is a surgical air strike on their nuclear reactors, much like the Israeli attack on Iraq in 1981 (for which the Isrealis were heavily criticized at the time by almost every country on earth except the U.S.).

NK’s response to such an attack might or might not be an attack on SK. IF they did attack SK, casualties on the SK and U.S. side would probably be high. Casualties on the NK side would be astronomical and it would almost certainly be the end of NK.

China’s response to all this is difficult to predict although, as someone pointed out above, NK is much less important to China than it once was. NK is clearly a psychotic country and it’s difficult to see how their possession of nukes is beneficial to China in any way. China is way, way, way more interested in trading partners than in communist revolution.

The North Korean response to any sort of attack would be to launch a lot of hardware at Seoul. And if it looked like the North would lose its nuclear capability, I could see Seoul getting nuked. The Kim Jong II (that’s Jesse Helms-speak) regime is the most paranoid on Earth. I mean, look at what his father did with kidnapping those Japanese civilians in the 1970s. Not exactly the act of a rational mind. You do anything aggressive to North Korea, you’d better make sure that you take the government out immediately. Otherwise, both Seoul and Tokyo could go up in a cloud of radioactive dust.

And if he blew Tokyo to bits, why should American’s care? Let’s stay out of what the Asians do and let them kill each other.

Well, it would suck if someone nuked Japan. Again. I mean, if an enemy nuked Japan. I mean–

Oh, hell, you’re right. Just let 'em have at each other. The Japanese have probably built up some kind of resistance to it by now, anyway.

Rather than dignify that comment with a serious response, I shall tailor my answer to the readership of the board:

Imagine what that would do to the prices of motherboards and RAM.

It’s not a question of whether the North Koreans could “win” a war; they can’t. They can’t sustain a long conflict, nor can they hope at this point to defeat South Korea in a “all your bases are belong to us” fashion. What they can do–and what they are implicitly threatening to do–is kill a whole boatload of South Koreans. That’s the guarantee–if there’s a war, lots of Koreans die. No way to stop it, whether you’re talking a nuke into Seoul, or just lots of rockets and artillery shells (plus terrorist-style suicide commando raids) into Seoul. Not to mention all the Korean soldiers along the DMZ, though more of the corpses there would be Northerners.

So the policy dynamic is sort of like Dirty Harry and the “did I fire five shots or six?” routine. If Pyongyang is bluffing, wait 'em out and stonewall them like the so-called “tailored containment” policy calls for. If they’re not bluffing, containment won’t work because the North Koreans will not accept being frozen out economically and diplomatically and will escalate. There’s good reason to think they are bluffing because anything else would be 1) horrible and 2) suicidal for Pyongyang. But then, faced with the realization that their Stalinist cult of personality based Communist system is an anachronism, their people are starving, and their importance to the world is about the same as a pimple on an elk’s ass, the leaders in Pyongyang might just figure what the fuck?

That makes surgical strikes at the nuke facilities risky. It makes not giving in to whatever they ask for risky. Of course, giving in is risky too–we’d end up, almost certainly, perpetually propping up a non-viable but very violent state, which would use the wealth of the world to sustain its hideous abortion of a national existence.

Not great choices either way. Best bet it seems is that they are bluffing, at least to the extent that they won’t really start a war. But how far can you push them with sanctions and isolation before they up the ante with some stunt designed to force the issue? A stunt that could range from a minor clash to “Korean apocalypse?”

Assuming this is not a joke …

You really are an absolute utter moron.

And people wonder why I criticise the United States.