I have reprinted a post sent out to a large e-mail list not long ago. Although, the Mideast has taken center stage in the last month, the problem in North Korea and its threats have not stopped in spite of seeming softening on their part. It is a façade and makes for great propaganda. The truth is, China is transporting troops into North Korea as I enter this post on line. Regardless of the fact that the media portrays North Korea and its leadership as something that is “insane” (although that word is rarely used), the facts show that the dictator, “their dear leader”, is quite crafty, and has plans that are well thought through and executed.
I believe that North Korea will most assuredly hit the mainstream news coverage again very soon. North Korea is an important part of the “last day’s” scenario with its connection to the “the kings of the east”, that the Bible speaks of. I have a strong feeling that North Korea will again become a serious problem at a time when the United States can least likely afford to have to deal with this kind of threat. Their developments have exceeded what our intelligence sources had thought, and I believe that they are well able to hit our west coast with their nuclear long range missiles. Their nuclear capabilities have also now been proven to be way beyond what it was thought. Keep in mind that America is their #1 enemy, not really South Korea. I believe they will successfully sink one of our super air-craft carriers, in spite of how our think tanks tend to downgrade North Korea’s attack abilities. It’s something to watch and see, for sure. Now to the original post…
At the request of a number of people, I’ve completed a longer post that I had been working on and then abandoned because I was afraid that most would not have interest in all the detail. It is a little lengthy, but full of pertinent facts that most are not aware of. As long as it is however, it still only covers little more than the basics, as professional military folks would confirm. I pulled information from several sources, and the facts were confirmed.
Another unfortunate fact is that the majority of it is several years old now, but this type of information is very difficult to get out of North Korea. I suspect, if all the newest information were compiled, the situation would be even more critical than represented by the facts below. Very few people are aware of the true facts of this very closed society, and especially their military—no matter how good our information harvesting systems are today. After reading the facts, you will understand why we as the U.S. military know less than we wish we did. The U.S. has never been very successful at getting spies into the country. Most of you will find it pretty enlightening regardless.
I appreciate the commentary that has been coming back on different subjects. It’s always interesting and helpful, and thought-provoking.
Now let’s talk about North Korea:
From talking with people that I know, most people don’t realize how great the danger that North Korea poses. We think of it as a little country, that only controls 1/2 of a small peninsula a long way from the United States of America. How could this little man that is known as “The Dear Leader” of this small country be of any real danger to the United States of America, the only superpower on earth today? Well, I hope to convince you that it is much different than we might think, and the danger is a very grave danger, indeed.
First of all, I would like to provide some facts. Most of us know that America and Korea fought a gruesome and brutal war early in the 50’s. For those my age or older, it is something that will never be forgotten. For those that are younger, it is just a historical fact, for the most part. Yet, for many that fought in both WWII and Korea, the Korean war was the worst, but there is not time to go into the horror that these soldiers endured in this post.
When just looking at the numbers though, the United States had 54,229 killed in action, 103,248 injured, 8,142 missing in action, and 3746 captured. South Korea had 227,800 killed, 717,100 injured, 43,500 missing, and it is not known how many were captured. I have heard it said that North Korea lost somewhere between 20-30% of their population. China was also heavily involved in this war, and I did not look up the statistics of their losses. I know they were severe as well.
America didn’t win this war. An armistice agreement was come to instead. General MacArthur made some mistakes in the way he handled some of his disagreements with those over him and had to be disciplined, but one thing he had absolutely right: The Korean war should have been finished. MacArthur said that if the war was not finished then, America would have to fight North Korea again, and next time it would be a whole lot worse. He was right.
America has had tens of thousands of troops in South Korea ever since and North Korea is much more powerful now than it was then. We get the idea that this is a starving little country that has not had the means to become a credible threat, but this is an error. Some of you might be bored with some of these military facts, but there is a point to what I am saying with all this.
North Korea is one of the very few nations which can and is willing to face up to the United States, the only military superpower on earth. The press insists on describing North Korea as an impoverished, weak little nation that can not live up to the threats it so often sends out. The people of the country are impoverished, that is a fact. Yet, one can not say that this has kept the military from building up a monster of a war machine. North Korea sees America as its #1 threat. It’s not even South Korea. It’s America. And, unlike a few other nations that have a powerful military force, N. Korea is quite willing to wage total war against the U.S., not just on the Korean peninsula, but making sure to hit U.S. interests wherever they are located. They are not expecting help from China, nor are they expecting help from Russia. They are willing and able to go it alone. They have a strategy that includes massive conventional warfare and then nuclear weapons. N. Korea’s strategy goes beyond repelling any force that invades, also goes beyond dealing with South Korea, but has as its ultimate goal: the complete destruction of the United States. This seems totally absurd, but apparently not to U.S. war planners.
When one takes a good look at North Korea’s military capability, one begins to realize that this is no small blustering foolish enemy. It is quite hard to get information inside N. Korea because it is probably the most tightly closed nation on earth. But, here are some things that America’s war planners do know.
1. North Korea makes its own weapons. It manufactures about 200,000 AK automatic guns, 3,000 heavy guns, 200 battle tanks, 400 armored cars and amphibious crafts each and every year. It also makes its own submarines, landing crafts, high-speed missile-boats, and other types of warships. North Korea’s defense industry is made of three groups: weapon production, production of military supplies, and military-civilian dual-use product manufacturing.
The country has 17 plants for guns and artillery, 35 plants for ammunition, 5 plants for tanks and armored cars, 8 plants for airplanes, 5 plants for warships, 3 plants for guided missiles, 5 plants for communication equipment, and 8 plants for biochemical warheads – 134 plants total. Many other plants are designed so that they can be made to produce military items with minimum modification. About 180 of defence related plants are built underground in the rugged mountainous areas of Jagangdo. Several small to medium hydro-power plants serve these plants so that it would be nearly impossible to the US to cut off power to the plants.
2. North Korea has its own war plans
North Korea’s terrain is mountainous and its coasts are long and jagged. The Korean peninsula is narrow in the middle. N. Korea’s weapons and war tactics are designed for its unique geography. Their war plans are unique to fighting the U.S. in a unique way. The military is divided into several independent, totally integrated and self-sufficient fighting units, that are ready for action at any time.
3. The North Koreans are well indoctrinated and absolutely combat ready
One thing that is the case with the North Korean military, that is not with many others, is that they are totally committed. They are in total support for war, military commanders’ ability and power, and the political leadership. Iraqi soldiers quit easily because they thought that Allah was going to protect them, or at least rescue them. This is not the case with the North Koreans. They are taught to fight to the bitter end, and will either win, or die trying. They have a fighting spirit and will never quit.
North Korea has a regular army which is for offensive actions whereas its militias are homeland defense. North Korea’s regular army consists of 4 corps in the front area, 8 corps in the rear area, one tank corps, 5 armored corps, 2 artillery corps, and 1 corps for the defense of Pyongyuang, South Korea has 19 infantry divisions whereas North Korea has 80 divisions and brigades.
A North Korean infantry division has 3 infantry regiments, 1 artillery regiment (3 battalions of 122 mm rocket launchers and 1 battalion of 152 mortars), one tank battalion of 31 tanks, one anti-tank battalion, one anti-aircraft battalion, one engineer battalion, one communication battalion, one light-infantry battalion, one recon battalion, and one chemical warfare battalion.
North Korea’s militias consist of 1.6 million self-defense units, 100,000 people’s guards, 3.9 million workers militia, 900,000 youth guard units. These are all tasked to defend the homeland. They are fully armed and undergo military trainings regularly.
N. Korea has 2 artillery corps and 30 artillery brigades equipped with 120 mm self-propelled guns, 152 mm self-propelled mortars, 170 mm guns with a range of 50 km, 240 mm multiple rockey launchers with a range of 45 km,a nd other heavy guns. N. Korea has about 18,000 heavy guns. Their 170 mm Goksan gun and 240 mm multiple-tube rocket launchers are the most powerful guns in the world. They can easily lob shells way beyond Seoul. The big guns are hidden in caves, and many of them are mounted on rails and can fire in all directions. They can rain 500,000 conventional and biochemical shells per hour on U.S. troops near the DMZ. The U.S. army bases at Yijong-bu, Paju, Yon-chun, Munsan, Ding-gu-chun, and Pochun will be obliterated in a matter of hours.
There are many more details about the guns used by the North Koreans but I’m sure most of you already wonder “why” all the military detail. Basically, without going into more and more of the reasons, General Thomas A Schwartz, a former U.S. army commander in Korea, stated that the U.S. army in Korea would be destroyed in less than three hours.
In looking back through history and studying tank battles, they have generally all been won on the open fields. In fact, American tanks, as is with most tanks in the world, they are designed for field battles, not the kind of terrain that one finds in North Korea. They have developed tanks ideally suited for the many rivers and mountains of Korea. They are called “Chun-ma-ho”, which can navigate steep slopes and cross rivers as much as 5.5 meters deep. North Korea’s main battle tanks, T-62s, have 155 mm guns and can travel as fast as 60 km per hour. The American main tanks- M1A have smaller guns and cannot travel faster than 55 km per hour. N. Korean tanks have skins 700 mm thick and TOW-II is the only anti-tank missile in the U.S. arsenal that can penetrate this armored skin. American and Western tank commanders do not know how to fight tank battles in rugged terrains like those of Korea. Tank battles in Korea will be fought on hilly terrains without any close air cover, because North Korean fighters will engage U.S. planes in close dog fights.
Today, North Korea’s anti-tank missiles are rated as the best in the world and are being bought by several countries. The U.S. army in Korea relies on 72 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to kill North Korean tanks. Each Apache has 16 Hell-Fire anti-tank missiles. As shown in the recent Iraq war, Apaches are fragile and can be easily shot down even with rifles. North Korea has about 15,000 shoulder-fired anti-air missiles (“wha-sung”) and Apaches will be easy targets for wha-sung missiles. On December 17, 1994, a wha-sung missile brought down an American OH-58C spy helicopter which strayed north of the DMZ.
North Korea has four mechanized corps and 24 mechanized brigades. Each brigade has 1 tank battalion (31 tanks), 1 armored battalion (46 armored cars), 4 infantry battalions, one 122mm battalion (18 guns), one 152 mm battalion (18 guns), anti-tank battalion (9 armored cars with anti-tank missiles and 12 anti-tank guns), one armored recon company (3 light armored cars, 7 armored cars, and 8 motorcycles), one mortar company (6 mortars), one engineer company, one chemical company, and one communication company. The U.S. army has A-10 attack planes to counter North Korea’s mechanized units. In case of war, the skies over Korea will be filled with fighters in close dog-fights and the A-10’s would be ineffective.
The bulk of North Korea’s mechanized and tank units are positioned to cross the DMZ at a moment’s notice and run over the U.S. and South Korean defenders. The attackers will be aided by SU-25 attack planes and attack helicopters. N. Korea today has 600 high-speed landing crafts, 140 hovercraft, 3000 K-60 and other pontoon bridges for river-crossing. They have 700,000 troops, 8,000 heavy guns, and 2,000 tanks placed in more than 4,000 hardened bunkers within 150 km of the DMZ. They are not only ready for war, I believe they want the war.
6. Underground Tunnel warfare
North Korea is the most-tunneled nation on earth. North Korea’s army runs on company-sized units. Tunnel warfare is conducted by independent company sized units. Tunnel entrances are built to withstand U.S. 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 N. 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 American troops. They began building their fortifications in the 1960’s. All key military facilities are built underground to withstand American bunker-buster bombs. N. Korea has 8,236 underground facilities that are linked by 547 km of tunnels. Beneath Pyongyang are a huge underground stadium and other facilities. About 1.2 million tons of food, 1.46 million tons of fuel, and 1.67 million tons of ammunition are stored in underground storage areas for wartime use.
Most of the underground facilities are drilled into granite rocks and the entrances face north in order to avoid direct hits by American bombs and missiles. The U.S. does not have a bunker buster bomb big enough to penetrate North Korea’s storage sites.
7. Special Forces
North Korea has the largest special forces in the world. They number 120,000 troops. One might think that with this large number the quality might be in question, but as the case is, they are some of the best in the world. These troops are grouped into light infantry brigades, attack brigades, air-borne brigades, and sea-born brigades – 25 brigades in total. these troops will be tasked to attack U.S. military installations in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam.
North Korea has the capacity to transport 20,000 special force troops at the same time. North Korea has 130 high-speed landing crafts and 140 hovercraft. A North Korean hovercraft can carry one platoon of troops at 90 km per hour. The N. Korean ancient transport planes are ridiculed as relics, but easily fly below radar. They also use hang-gliders that can carry 5-20 men each for short hops.
The North Korea has developed special bikes for mountain warfare. Special forces use these bikes for fast deployments on mountains. Switzerland is the only other nation that has bike-mounted special forces trained for mountain warfare. The rugged terrains of the Korean Peninsula are ideally suited for special forces operations. North Korea’s special forces will attack U.S. targets in Japan, Okinawa, and Guam as well. Japan’s self defense units are being reorganized to counter this threat.
8. Weapons of Mass Destruction
Without going into details about North Korea’s capabilities, it’s pretty well established that the North Korean’s have an abundance of chemical and biological weaponry, along with the ability to deliver each.
It is also clear that North Korea is one of the nations in the world capable of using nuclear weapons. They have perfected the ability to go both the uranium as well as the plutonium route to make their nuclear weapons. What is even more disturbing, it has just recently been discovered that N. Korea has many more facilities that the world was aware of. The latest that have been revealed appear to be as high-tech as anything that the United States has today.
This really leaves their capability is question. What was guessed to be their capabilities back seven years ago or so, which is how old most of the material in this article actually is, is underestimated for sure–and probably by quite a lot.
9. Air Defense
North Korea has a large number of ground-to-air missiles. It has SA-2 and SA-3 missiles against low-flying enemy planes, and SA-5 missiles for high-altitude planes. SA-5 missiles have an effective range of 250 km. SA-5 missiles can hit enemy planes flying over the middle of South Korea.
North Korea has re-engineered U.S. shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles captured in Vietnam, and designed its own missile, wha-sung, as mentioned earlier in this post. North Korea began to manufacture wha-sung missiles in 1980. It comes in two models: SA-7 that has an effective range of 5 km and SA-16 with 10 km range. North Korea has more than 15,000 of these missiles in place (last known, but probably many more now). In addition to the missiles, North Korea has 12,000 anti-aircraft guns, including 37mm twin-barrel guns, 23 mm automatics, 57mm, 87mm, and 100mm heavy guns. These are mostly manually operated and thus not subject to electronic warfare.
The U.S. military has a number of main objectives in a conflict. One of these is to “chop off the head of the snake”. With the top commanders eliminated, the troops would become demoralized and then surrender. The North Korean’s have set themselves up so that this would be nearly impossible. Besides this, the underground facilities make U.S. spy planes and the satellite system nearly worthless.
10. North Korea’s coastlines
N. Korea’s coastlines are long and jagged. Coastal guns are placed in fortified tunnels along the coastline. At last count, N. Korea had six ground-to-ship missiles bases. North Korea has anti-ship missiles of 95km range, and of 160km range. The larger ones are for hitting U.S. carrier battle groups over the horizon. N. Korean anti-ship missiles can hit ships anchored at Inchon on the west and Sokcho on the east. America’s main defense against anti-ship missiles, the Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers are ineffective outside 20-50 km from missile launch pads.
11. Sea Battles
One would think that a little country like N. Korea is spitting into the wind to try and take on the American Navy, but some of these facts show that battling this “little” country could prove to be a “big” problem. Saddam Hussein did a whole lot of bragging about the “mother of all wars” that American forces were going to face, but then proved out to be more hot air than fact. It does not look like this is the case with North Korea. As crazy as “The Dear Leader” may seem, he and his war professionals have known exactly what they were after.
North Korea has two fleets, the West and East fleets. The West Fleet has 6 squadrons of 320 ships and the East Fleet has 10 squadron of 460 ships. The navy has a total manpower of 46,000 at last count–which may be outdated by now. North Korean ships are sheltered from U.S. attacks in about 20 large bunkers. The North Korean ships are small and agile, designed for coastal defense. North Korean ships carry 46km range ship-to-ship missiles and 22-channel multiple rocket launchers.
The main enemy of the North Korean navy has always been planned to be U.S. carrier task forces. The Russian navy has developed a tactic to deal with U.S. carriers task forces: massive simultaneous missile attacks. In addition, Russia has developed the anti-carrier missile, “jun-gal”, that can destroy a carrier. China has developed similar tactics for destroying U.S. carriers. On April 1, 2003, North Korea test-fired a high-speed ground-to-ship missile of 60km range. A U.S. carrier task force of Nimitz class has 6,000 men, 70 planes, and a price tag of 4.5 billion dollars. Destroying even a single carrier task force would be devastating.
A carrier is protected by a shield of 6 Aegis destroyers and nuclear attack submarines. An Aegis destroyer has an AN/SPY-1 high-capacity radar system that can track more than 100 targets at the same time. An Aegis can fire about 20 anti-missile at the same time. So, a carrier force can track a total of 600 targets at a time and fire 120 anti-missile missiles at the same time. The anti-missile missiles have about 50% success under ideal conditions. In a real battle, the success rate is much lower. It is estimated that the Aegis shield can intercept at most 55 incoming missiles. Therefore, a volley of about 60 missiles and rockets will penetrate the Aegis shield and hit the carrier.
North Korea has been building its own missile boats since 1981. It has more than 50 missile boats, each equipped with 4 missiles of 46 km range and multiple rocket launchers. In addition, North Korea has about 300 speed boats, 200 torpedo boats and 170 other gunboats. In case of war, N. Korea’s small crafts and submarines will swarm around U.S. carrier task forces and destroy them. One does not dare underestimate them.
North Korea also has 35 submarines and 65 submersibles. These crafts are equipped with torpedoes and will be used to attack U.S. carriers. They will also lay mines and block enemy harbors. North Korea has a large supply of mines. N. Korean subs are small but equipped with 8 km rocket launchers and 70 km anti-ship missiles, and they could really do serious damage.
12. Air Combat
N. Korea has three air commands. Each command has a fighter regiment, a bomber regiment, an AN-2 regiment, an attack helicopter regiment, a missile regiment, and a radar regiment. Each command can operate independently. North Korea has 70 airbases, which are fortified against U.S. attacks. Underground hangars protect the planes and have multiple exits for the planes to take off on different runways. North Korea has several fake airfields and fake planes to confuse U.S. attackers.
It is said that N. Korea’s planes are obsolete and no match for u.S. planes, but are they really? I hope we don’t have to find out. North Korea has 770 fighters, 80 bombers, 700 transports, 290 helicopters, and 84,000 men to run them all. In case of war, North Korean planes will fly low hugging the terrains and attack enemy targets. U.S. planes are parked above ground at bases in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Guam, and make easy targets for missile, rocket and air attacks. when war does break out, North Korean missiles, rockets and heavy guns will destroy the 8 U.S. airbases in South Korea, and any plane in the air would have no place to land.
North Korean fighter planes aren’t competitive in air-to-air combats at long distances, but they can do well in close quarter combat. MiG-21 fighters from Bongchun and U.S. F-15s would meet within about 5 minutes, assuming they left about the same time. In abut five minutes, hundreds of planes from both sides would be swirling over the skies of Korea. Ground-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles would have a real hard time distinguishing the difference between friend or foe. F-15E’s are equipped with a radar system that lock on at 180 km for large objects and 90 km for small objects. Sidewinder missiles have an effective range of 16km, AMRAAM missiles of 50 km, and Sparrow of 55 km.
Korea is 100 km wide and 125 km long, and so U.S. air-to-air missiles would be of limited use and effectiveness, because North Korean MiGs would approach the U.S. planes in close proximity and commingle with U.S. planes, and air-to-air missiles will become useless and machine guns will have to be used. North Korean pilots are trained to hug their enemy planes real close so that air-to-air missiles are impossible to use. American pilots however are trained to fight from a distance and lack on with a missile that can be fired to destroy the enemy. Another problem for American pilots is the fact that the MiG’s, although not near the fighting machine that the American planes are, they are much, much heavier because of all the electronics and missiles. They cannot maneuver as quick. They can’t turn as fast, nor can they climb as quickly. It really leaves them vulnerable.
There are many more details that could be added here, but I won’t add it all to this post. The comparisons of the weights of the different jets and their abilities are easily found and can be verified. America found themselves in a bit of the same kind of a problem in Vietnam. The American planes had to jettison auxiliary gas tanks and bombs just so they could engage the MiGs.
I hope my commentary is not misunderstood. I am not saying that the North Korean military is superior to the United States military. There is no military on earth like America’s military force as it stands today. What I am saying though is that a war with North Korea would be a horrible event. North Korea has been preparing themselves for one main target for all these years—the United States of America. They know quite well what the capabilities of the American military is. They have however found a way to become our worst nightmare, in almost every way. Like I said earlier, the United States could decide to wipe North Korea out in one blow with nuclear devices, That however is not how America fights wars. The majority of the people are innocent. But, because of this, a war with North Korea now will be the greatest challenge since WWII. It will prove to be much harder than the war with North Korea that was waged between 1950 and 1953.
No one in the world has been able to compete with America when it comes to advanced electronic warfare capabilities. Most people have no idea what America’s capabilities are, but North Korea has been aware of that as well. It is believed that North Korea has developed its own electronic warfare methods. It is now believed that North Korea has advanced electronic warfare ability. They however rely heavily on non-electronic command and control means, and so U.S. e-bombs which worked so well in Iraq would have limited success in N. Korea.
North Korea has an ongoing program that trains professional hackers. They are known to have computer virus battalions in place. These hackers are capable of interrupting U.S. communication networks. In a war game conducted in 1991 by U.S. war planners, North Korea came out the victor with and without nuclear weapons. I’m sure there has been new information of its kind assembled, but I have not been able to find it, but I haven’t devoted a great deal of time into looking either. Bottom line is this: The leadership of North Korea has no doubt that they can beat the U.S. army in a war. Whether that is in fact the case or not, one thing is for sure. North Korea cannot be underestimated.
I’m afraid much of North Korean capabilities are possibly being played down for political purposes.
There are many reasons for this and this is not the time or place to analyze this. We also need to remember what was mentioned earlier in this post: China is not our friend. They have much to gain from North Korea taking the U.S. on in a war. So does Russia. We dare not forget that fact.
Just a quick disclaimer: Most things, no matter how genuine, and carefully picked for the information it offers, has errors and often some misconceptions. The preponderance of evidence for the facts brought to you in this post though leaves it troubling, to say the least—even if only half of it were accurate. The Bible speaks of the Kings of the East being a major force at the time of Jesus’ return, but not many have considered North Korea an important part of this. Maybe that has been a misconception??
I would like to tie all this in with a simple Bible story from the Old Testament that applies to our situation today as a nation. I really hope you take the time to read it when it comes out.
Thanks for all the comments from different ones of you. It is encouraging and helps me to “fine-tune” what I believe God is asking of me in these days.
Keep your eyes turned UP! We really are out of time and the KING is coming. Where would you stand if He interrupted all of earth’s events for the blink of an eye and took His own home? Another question: Is this something that you look forward to? Is it something that excites you? It is easier to see at my age than with those that are younger but, there is nothing on this earth that even compares to the things that God has planned for His own after we pass on! NOTHING!