Over the past few months tensions between the United States and North Korea have risen to an all-time high, and threats from Pyongyang and Washington are near daily occurrences. Despite the large amount of harsh rhetoric coming from the White House, the country can expect these threats will not be met with action. A preemptive attack on North Korea would be catastrophic to the world and one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. Although, Donald Trump and most his supporters, do not seem to realize the hardships and losses the country, and the world, would have to deal with if a second Korean War were to occur.
North Korea is a force that should not be underestimated. For decades the Kim dynasty has actively worked to store a variety of WMD’s. These weapons of mass destruction include atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, and deadly biological weapons. North Korea also has over ten thousand heavy artillery guns, thousands of surface-to-air missiles, and hundreds of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s). Additionally they have 8.9 million members in their military, the largest amount of military personnel, including reserves, in the world. Even a ‘successful’ attack on North Korea would result in a vast amount of civilian and US personnel deaths.
In order to accomplish a ‘successful’ preemptive attack on North Korea, the United States military would need to locate and destroy Kim Jong-Un’s entire nuclear and ICBM arsenal in one coordinated attack. However, no member of the United States military is able to confidently say there is enough intelligence to perform this attack. If the United States is unable to takeout these missiles it would result in the death of at least one hundred thousand civilians. However even if the United States was able to take all ICBM’s, North Korea is still capable of firing 300,000 rounds of heavy artillery onto Seoul, the capital of South Korea, in one hour. This ‘surgical attack’ would result in 30,000 civilian death and billions of dollars in damages. North Korea could also release their chemical weapons and biological weapons, including smallpox, typhoid, anthrax, and the plague, on Seoul or Tokyo. Then after all this, to avoid annihilating North Korea with nuclear weapons, the United States will have to invade. Thomas McInerney, a retired Air force Lieutenant General and Fox News military analyst, stated “with remarkable optimism” an invasion will take 30-60 days. During this period an estimated 30,000 US soldiers will be killed in action and many more will be injured.
If the United States were to preform a preemptive attack on North Korea the repercussions would be catastrophic, the economy would be in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people would die. However all these events will never happen. North Korea’s only goal is to preserve the Kim Dynasty. Kim Jong-Un knows if he is to attack the United States, it would be the end to his dynasty. The only way to solve this situation is with strategic patience and diplomacy. Like General Mattis said, “we’re never out of diplomatic solutions.”