With recent tensions on the rise regarding North Korea let's see what are the options on the table for either party.
Without getting involved in the usual politics a simple look at the strategic situation at hands, North Korea vs the U.S.A.
It might just happen this time although that has been said before so no one really knows what to expect and hopes that it will all blow over.
Sure the United States has a formidable arsenal but let's not forget that North Koreans are fanatics and do have a decent arsenal.
Let's dive into the subject matter and see where it will lead, and rest assure it will take more than a glorious big explosion to retain a foreign nuclear arsenal.



North Korea

Without refraining to the usual mainstream insults, an objective look at North Korea the ups and downs of actual capabilities.
Starting with the outer perimeter the North Korean is the Navy what is surely no match for the advanced US Navy.
It does have a lot of ships counting at roughly 810 in total
It's the biggest asset for an actual engagement would be the submarines but those are rather old and do not offer the same performance of modern subs.
While being Diesel/Electric powered and are considered to be silent compared to other propulsion such as Nuclear Powered.
With some larger surface ships such as frigates and more recent enhanced anti-submarine capabilities in the form of Nampo helicopter light frigate.
But this will be easy pickings for the US navy as their numbers are too small to offer an effective fighting force vs a carrier task group or force.
What does poses a problem of some sorts is that massive amount of small torpedo and missile crafts that when deployed all in could swarm a task force.
In such a case damage can be dished out combined with submarine attacks but this would require a massive amount of command & control to be truly effective.

Next up is the North Korean Army Air Force but reports show a total number of aircraft sitting around 940 aircraft of all types.
But the inventory is outdated and reports also show that there is a shortage of parts(spare) and fuel and not enough training.
The only aircraft is worth mentioning here is the M-29 variants but are mainly used for the defence of the capital.
In any case, these will be the primary objective for carrier F-18's preferable to be taken down while still on the ground.
As it stands the air force can play no real role in the outer perimeter defence and only in the defence of Pyongyang.

But the main goal for the U.S.A. as stated in the news is the nuclear arsenal and preventing them from completing the development.
The objective would be to gain control and/or prevent further development of said arsenal.
While the development can be stalled with a cruise missile barrage it must be said North Korea should have anticipated such an attack in it's planning.
And will most likely have backs up and secondary location to proceed with development of their nuclear program.

What would be a game changer is when the U.S.A. deems is necessary to physically enter North Korea to gain access and remove/destroy their entire arsenal.
This would require ground troops and they would face a somewhat well equipped North Korean Army and Reserves.
In time and given a full blown war the U.S.A. is, of course, more than capable of invading and occupying North Korea, but it would come at a high cost.
This cost does not reflect the currency from spending it would be more a human cost of American lives and a population that has grown tired of wars.
Since that would not be a real option quick strike with mobile troops that are in and out of North Korea in less than a day.
Being there less then a day would be a huge task that while being possible would stretch the minds of most general to its limits.
Current figures place the active combined North Korean Armed Forces at roughly 1.190.000 with 600.000 reserves.
Being armed with a wide range of somewhat modern weaponry and some old weaponry it does poses a problem for an in and out ground strike scenario.
Purely based on a lot of numbers of troops and that the location that needs to be invaded will be well guarded with nearby reinforcements.
What also is a big problem for military planners is that the South Korean capital is well within artillery range for most North Korea artillery batteries.
That the South Korea capital basically held hostage by North Korea and that all sides are well aware of this should be apparent.

 

Unites States

If need be the United States can bring to bear its full carrier fleet of carrier task groups for a long range strike with devastating effect.
Bringing all carrier groups to North Korea would take time and relocating these from around the globe would take time and give North Korea ample warning.
With 2 options on the table being the most likely and safe bet would be the long standoff range strike using cruise missiles and JDAM's.
This option will only slow down the actual development of North Korea's Nuclear weapons program and could throw the North Korean problem in the next Presidents lap.
As mentioned above if the U.S.A. does decide to physically move in it would have to fully mobilise it's Air Mobile and Paratroop assets.
This would consist of the 101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Combat Brigade, 3 Marine Expeditionary Forces and SOCOM but more specific 75th Rangers Regiment.
Either or full or partial deployment of the above-mentioned manoeuvre units, however, the more troops to more of a logistical nightmare it would be.
A strong point for the Americans the advanced command and control that allows it to form up for multiple pronged attacks and attempt to hit all locations simultaneously.
Something the North Koreans lack but given time the element of surprise will be lost and North Korea can mobilise and attempt to pin down a unit or units where it deems possibly.
These most likely locations would be the North Korean sites that are located deep in North Korea close to the Chinese border.
Buying extra time would come in the form of hitting the command and control assets of the North Koreans in an attempt to delay counter attacks and bringing up reserves.
Roads, bridges, communications etc are an obvious target must be added that the North Koreans do not really have a way of defending all if any of the vital infrastructure.
It will be almost certain the United States will have absolute air supremacy and will be able to attack reinforcements forming up and moving around on North Korea's infrastructure.

Why would a quick strike be in less than a day that is straight forward if said units do not move fast enough the North Koreans could pin down a unit and attempt to wipe it out.
In order to complete it;s mission and extract it would have to move faster than that the North Koreans can mobilise and move into position.
The longer you linger inside North Korea the more time they will have to form a plan of attack.
Even if all the planning is excellent and everything goes exactly according to plan there will be casualties, the more casualties the bigger the strain will be on logistics.

What offers complication to the physically entering of North Korea it would negate the ceasefire in effect and North Koreans could and most likely will attack South Korea.
As mentioned above the South Korean capital is well within North Korean artillery range and will suffer greatly if the Americans do attack.
Even if they only attack using standoff munitions the North Korea leader will be forced to show strength and retaliate on South Korea.
Taking into account that the North Korea does not have a great chance of doing damage to the US Navy it most likely target would be South Korea.

Conclusion

The military option is not really an option the American people have grown tired of war and will most likely opt out.
While it could very well be possible for the United States and Allies undertake this is pressed hard enough as it stands there will be tension but it will be highly unlikely.
Neither side can really win even though a military victory for either side will be very costly especially on the human side of this story.
All in all, tensions will remain either China will exert some influence if it still can and wants to.
As it stands the option that has the least violence and suffering involved will be for North Korea to collapse and somehow reunites with South Korea.
Where both the united States and China will be able to reach an agreement to secure the nuclear materials and research to prevent it from entering the black market.

 

"As a tactician/strategist your in it for the win and not for comparing dick size" - Paul Ripmeester

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