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In a statement made by Department of Defense officials, the most likely scenario of a United States-led North Korea War is through a ground invasion. This was following the findings of a report on the military options and issues in relation to North Korea.
Officials assess that North Korea “may consider the use of biological weapons as an option“, even though it would be in direct contradiction to its obligations under the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention.
Despite the economic and diplomatic pressure campaigns and sanctions against the rogue country, there has been no retraction or leeway made in a change to the “offensive posture of North Korea’s forces”.
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they “continually evaluate” any possible actions North Korea may take, and its possibility of attacking nearby allied states such as Japan, Guam or Seoul with “long-range artillery, rockets, and ballistic missiles”.
With the vulnerability of these areas and their mass populations, casualties will “vary significantly depending upon the nature, intensity, and duration of a North Korean attack”.
For the safety of the citizens in those areas, officials say that an important factor in “calculating safety estimates” is how much advance warning they have before a strike is made on any of those areas by North Korea.
“More advanced warning means that more civilians – US, ROK, and other countries’ – can reach one of the thousands of underground shelters in the ROK, dramatically increasing their chances of survival.”
The fear from the US is that as North Korea is not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and it has been running a chemical weapons program for some time, there is a chance this may be weaponized using one of the existing and previously tested missile’s to weaponize a chemical agent.
They said North Korea has the “capability to produce nerve, blister, blood, and choking agents, and it likely possesses a CW (Chemical Weapons) stockpile”.
While the concern is shared by many over the possible US-led invasion of North Korea, the US has said that they have regarded “possible opposition from China or Russia”. They said the Department of Defense maintains a “set of up-to-date contingency plans to secure our vital national security interests”.
They said, “these plans account for a wide range of possibilities, including third-party intervention, and address how to best contain escalation” during a North Korea war.
In response to this statement, Congressman Ted Liu and a number of Veteran Members said they found the idea of a ground invasion “deeply disturbing”. In their statement, the Members wrote that North Korea war “could result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting.”
“The President needs to stop making provocative statements that hinder diplomatic options and put American troops further at risk.”
At this time, President Trump arrived in Japan, an ally of the US in the region and a country under immediate threat by North Korea. This year has seen tensions between the United States and North Korea multiply with no sign of diplomatic talks any time soon and what has been seen as a public name-calling contest between the two countries, sparked by North Korea’s blatant missile testing program.
There have been a number of possible strategies identified by security professionals on the likelihood of a successful attack against the US or any of its allies by North Korea, primarily being an EMP Attack, Nuclear Attack, Cyber Attack or Chemical Attack.
All of those possibilities, aside from a cyber attack, are attacks using ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles). This is what North Korea has been testing to trial flight distances, launch procedures and dynamics of these weapons in a bid to measure its possibility of an attack against US allies.