North Korea specialist: How an apocalyptic invasion of South Korea would play out

A North Korean invasion of the South would ultimately fall to the superior military technology of the U.S. and South Korea, but “not without four to six months of high-intensity combat and many dead,” a former White House adviser said.

In his new book “The Impossible State”, Victor Cha describes how a North Korean invasion would play out, a war that would cost the West “$100 billion to fight and cause $1 trillion worth of damage.”

Cha, who worked under President George W. Bush, said in an interview with The Daily Star that the invasion would begin with North Korean special forces launching a series of predawn airdrops and shore landings, sabotaging power stations, communication networks and bridges in order to “paralyze the population.”

The North’s artillery – “the largest artillery force in the world” – would pound the South Korean capital Seoul with shells at a rate of 500,000 per hour — leaving its people only 45 seconds to take cover.

An arsenal of 600 chemically-armed missiles would cripple airports, making escape impossible, while 100 more trained on Japan would slow the arrival of U.S. reinforcements.

Road networks would be impassable as millions of civilians flee, leaving defensive forces helpless, Cha wrote.

The battlefield would be polluted with up to 5,000 metric tons of chemical agents, including nerve gas, mustard gas, choking and vomiting agents, and perhaps even weaponized diseases.

Before South Korea and its American allies could neutralize the North’s invasion, hundreds of thousands would be left dead.

Short of dropping tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield it would be impossible to neutralize all of this without the North first inflicting major damage on Seoul,” Cha wrote.

“The obsolescence of DPRK equipment and training does not mean they are rendered harmless. No matter how old the gun or artillery system is, it can still fire on Seoul and do damage — [but] it does mean they will ultimately be defeated by U.S.-ROK combined forces.”

Full article: North Korea specialist: How an apocalyptic invasion of South Korea would play out (World Tribune)

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