North Korea’s military may be armed with obsolete conventional weapons, but at 1.2 million men, it poses a very real threat to its neighbour and nemesis to the south.
Equipped with 20,000 artillery pieces, 1,000 short- and medium-range missiles, 70 submarines, more than 400 patrol/missile boats and 563 combat aircraft, the Hermit Kingdom’s forces are poised to do maximum damage in a sneak attack against South Korea.
Its 10 plutonium-based nuclear warheads and evolving missile technology exists to project power beyond the peninsula, but there is little doubt that the rogue nation’s first target should it declare war will be South Korea.
A strike against Seoul would be devastating. At 25 million people, it is the most densely populated city in the world.
Seoul is just 30 miles from the demilitarized zone, the contested boundary between North and South which are still technically at war and restrained only by an armistice in place since 1953.
Pyongyang has an estimated 4,000 artillery guns and rockets placed on the heights north of Seoul just across the DMZ, many of them on rails so they can be moved into place in time to avoid detection.
Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said America needs to wield “credible combat power all the time” to face whatever threats come out of North Korea, “I think the lack of a strong, credible combat deterrence is actually an encouragement to Kim Jong Un to do things that are provocative or dangerous or both… that threaten those millions who live in Seoul.”
The U.S. military regularly conducts combat simulations with experts from the private sector and the Pentagon to determine the outcomes of a North Korean attack on the South.
Former Army Intelligence Officer Michael Pregent served in rapid response units that would deploy to Korea in the event of a conflict.
Now a fellow at the Hudson Institute, he took part in war games that simulated a North Korean offensive against South Korea when he was with the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.
Read more: Foxnews