September 9th, 2017

The dangerous threat from North Korea: would Seoul survive?

I’ve been meaning to write a big and very comprehensive post on North Korea, but I’ve been putting it off. I have a rough draft, but it’s very rough and I cannot bring myself to work on it today.

The reason is fairly clear. It’s a weekend, of course, and there are some other things I’d like to do outside of blogging. But that’s not the real reason. The real reason is twofold: it’s a huge topic, and it’s an overwhelmingly depressing one. In fact, in all my years as a blogger, I can’t recall a single situation in which all alternatives seem so terrible.

I hope I’m just being pessimistic. But I don’t think so. And the piece I’m about to recommend in the present (somewhat less comprehensive) post certainly isn’t optimistic, either. It’s by Caroline Glick, and it seems to me it states the facts of what we face in stark and uncompromisingly realistic terms.

North Korea is a problem that’s been a long time coming. We’ve watched it unfold, step by step, administration by administration, with growing anxiety and frustration and anger. How can we be so impotent in the face of such a growing danger? The answer is that North Korea has, in effect, held South Korea (particularly Seoul) hostage. As Glick puts it:

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all sought to appease North Korea’s aggressive nuclear adventurism because they didn’t believe they had a credible military option to deal with it.

In the 1980s, North Korea developed and deployed a conventional arsenal of bombs and artillery along the demilitarized zone capable of vaporizing Seoul.

Any US military strike against North Korea’s nuclear installation it was and continues to be argued, would cause the destruction of Seoul and the murder of millions of South Koreans.

So US efforts to appease Pyongyang on behalf of Seoul emptied the US-South Korean alliance of meaning. The US can only serve as the protector of its allies, and so assert its great power status in the Pacific and worldwide, if it prevents its allies from being held hostage by its enemies.

And now, not only does the US lack a clear means of defending South Korea, and Japan, America itself is threatened by the criminal regime it demurred from effectively confronting.

The Seoul “Capitol area” (that’s not just the city, but the general metropolitan area) has a population of about 24 million people. That’s a lot of people to hold hostage. It is very close to the North Korean border. In retrospect, this seems like quite an oversight, but there’s not much to do about it now (evacuating 24 million people would be quite an undertaking). The government of South Korea doesn’t seem to know what to do about the entire situation except keep its fingers crossed and hope for the best. Nor, apparently, do we, at least so far, and the failings on that score have been bipartisan, and inextricably linked to the fact that Seoul is at grave risk no matter what we do.

So the question becomes twofold: do we have the guts/brains to figure out what is best (or least bad) to do? And what would be the cost to Seoul? In regard to that second question, here’s an attempt (I have no idea how realistic an attempt) to evaluate South Korea’s defenses:

Since the 1990s, right about the time the Clinton administration decided not to undertake military action against North Korea’s nuclear program, the general consensus has been that Pyongyang had enough artillery to turn nearby Seoul, home to approximately 25 million South Koreans, into a “sea of fire” that could see up to one million civilians killed. This apocalyptic scenario has been a trump card against strong military action against Pyongyang, with fears it could order a bombardment of the city as an act of retaliation.

A 2011 study by the Nautilus Institute throws a considerable amount of cold water on this scenario. While the sheer number of artillery tubes could theoretically kill a large number of civilians, operational issues complicate matters and push the number of civilian casualties greatly downward. Despite the thousands of artillery pieces, only 700 heavier guns and rocket launchers, plus the newer 300-millimeter MRLs, have the range to strike Seoul. Only a third would normally be fired at once, and notional rates of fire would be slowed tremendously by the need to withdraw guns into their hardened artillery sites (HARTS) to shelter them from counter battery fire.

Other factors reduce the projected loss of life in the greater Seoul metropolitan area. The city has extensive air raid shelters for civilians that will quickly reduce the exposed population density. The North will struggle to keep these heavy artillery units supplied with shells, particularly with its aging supply system. Finally, U.S. and ROK forces will quickly begin hunting down units participating in the bombardment, causing their numbers to drop almost immediately.

Finally, the North would face a strategic dilemma. Artillery used to bomb Seoul could not be used to soften up border defenses for a general invasion, and in wartime it would be critical to capture the enemy capital quickly as possible. An all-out bombardment of the South Korean capital might very well leave Pyongyang without the ability to actually capture it, while at the same time ensuring a U.S./South Korean counteroffensive that would spell the end of the regime of Kim Jong-un. Even if a million civilians were killed in Seoul it would ensure Kim’s untimely demise, and from his perspective that is still almost certainly a very bad trade.

That was written in April, and doesn’t mention nuclear weapons. It doesn’t have to; even without them the scenario is bad enough. If you look at the comments to the article, you’ll see that the consensus is that the author is painting too rosy a picture in terms of the damage that could and would be done.

Take a look at this piece, for example, and you’ll see that a lot of things have been left out of that first article, such as chemical and biological and cyber warfare, locating weapons in relatively impenetrable locations such as caves, and the number of US casualties that would be sustained in any attack on Seoul by the North, as well as the possibility of China and/or Russia becoming involved on the side of the Norks.

One could go on and on and on reading these things, careening between a more optimistic (for example, this piece on THAAD defenses) and a more pessimistic prognostication. I’ll arbitrarily stop here, for now. But first I want to reiterate a couple of things:

(1) The time to have acted was long ago, before the threat to our shores materialized—and that threat was very predictable and easy to foresee.

(2) What stopped us then is the same thing that stops us now: fear of the ensuing conflagration, which will almost undoubtedly cause a huge loss of life. Since WWII we have gotten out of the habit of accepting such a magnitude of human loss as an inevitable consequence of large-scale war. We want (and I include myself here in that “want”—although you can’t always get what you want) sanitized wars, clear targets, minimal loss of life. But this is almost certainly not going to be possible in Korea, and time is not our friend.

It is truly a horrific prospect, and we may not have the will, heart, or guts to do it, or the knowledge to know what is best to do. That is why until now we’ve hoped for a diplomatic solution, but I think it’s been clear for a long time that that’s not possible, even though I dearly hope I’m wrong about that.

45 Responses to “The dangerous threat from North Korea: would Seoul survive?”

  1. parker Says:

    Appeasement never works. Sheesh, WW2 is within living memory.

  2. Zigzag Says:

    Au Contraire, Parker:

    Appeasement ALWAYS works for a certain kind of sociopathic scum who always seems to float to the top smelling of roses and (in recent years) seems immune to any of the consequences of their treachery.

    Something Must be Done about this. Sadly it will take conflagration and rivers of innocent blood before this becomes possible. That is unless Trump offers himself up as a sacrificial lamb and allows himself to go down in history (as nearly always written by wankers rather than doers) as the devil incarnate for taking the least bad remaining option right now rather than allowing the can to rattle down the road a bit longer.

  3. parker Says:

    Zigzag,

    Yes the crazy benefit from appeasement for a while. Eventually they must be treated as one would treat a rabid dog.We in the West need a Winston. Trump does not fill the shoes.

  4. klm Says:

    After years of what US done during WMD with Iraq and all the games and tricks that UN, David Kay, and other UN inspectors also International Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear verification activities in Iraq, followed by Libya and Syria, it’s hard to make NK to move or ease towered US or other UN sanctions and any restrictions that may US would.

    Only option to resolve this matter by dialoged without any pre conditions, this only way.

    Bear in mind Israel have never followed more than 99 UN resolution, UN and other nations never been pressure Israel to obey UN resolutions.

    As for Israel nuclear power there is nothing said about even Israel never allow inspectors, singing treaty of other form of world discussion of its power.

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    It was not a lack of a credible military action that Clinton, Bush and Obama faced, it was a supportive consensus for the use of the needed level of military force that was absent. Even now, neither a majority in Congress or among the public support decisive military action.

    We do have the ability to take out the leadership in Pyongyang and the troops assigned to the artillery that threatens Seoul.

    But we won’t launch a preemptive attack because that would make us ‘killers’ and because we’re not willing to throw the nuclear gauntlet down at China’s feet.)

    At some point, the demands will begin. The preconditions for nuclear blackmail are being formed as we speak.

    The only real question is how many outside N. Korea are going to die.

    Those who insist that only a non-violent ‘solution’ is acceptable will be responsible for the much higher death toll that lies at the end of the path they insist upon. Not only will they never accept responsibility for their obstructing our acting now but they will never be held to account.

    The refusal to accept responsibility is on them, the refusal to hold them accountable is on us.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    klm,

    Isreal only asks to be left alone. The UN is a cesspool. The only thing N.K will accept is S.Korea’s unconditional surrender.

    You’re backing the same side as Satan. The only question is whether you’re smart enough to know it.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Of course Clinton, Bush, and Obama could have launched a military action. The problem was that the action would have had repercussions that were very extreme and considered unconscionable by most people.

    That’s still the problem. The threat grows, however, and at some point it may be too late, and the repercussions of that will also be extreme.

    A rock and a hard place.

  8. parker Says:

    GB,

    Glad you are alive, well, and posting. As far as kim is concerned there is a place where the sun don’t shine.

  9. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Unconventional times call for unconventional solutions. Or, attempts at solutions.

    Some headlines say that the governor of Florida has ordered over 5 million people to evacuate. And to get out of the way, most probably must travel 200 or 300 miles.

    Evacuate Seoul. The population only needs to get out of artillery range.

    Sure, that’s a crazy idea, but lacking any other solutions, we’d better start thinking about crazy ones? Anybody out there have a better solution? If we do nothing, we’ll either pay billions if not trillions in blackmail, or lose Seattle or L.A., and after that, blow up North Korea anyway.

  10. parker Says:

    We let the ball fall in NK’s court. Millions will die eventually. Should have starved them out many moons ago. We need a Winston. If one is not preparded to be ruthless, show no quarter, no mercy, and be total badasses; there is no point in fighting the likes of kim jung whatever. Wimper and die. Not my style, but then again I am a 30+ year NRA member.

  11. blert Says:

    neo…

    Bill Clinton DID launch a military action.

    It was throttled by Carter.

    I was an eye witness to the crazed mobilization that Clinton authorized — as a sky train lifted astounding amounts of American military power to Korea.

    Now largely forgotten, Carter flew into inaction and got Kim il-sung to ‘negotiate’ on his death bed. He was dead ninety-days later.

    Clinton has NEVER forgiven Carter for his intrusion.

    Clinton was on the verge of taking out Kim’s atomic program.

    Carter stopped Clinton — COLD.

    Fact, not conjecture.

    The mass mobilization of American power to Korea — is to this day — largely denied in the MSM.

    Whereas, I saw it in person.

    The sky-train was ASTOUNDING.

    EVERY C-5 and C-141 in the MAC was employed.

    This mobilization STILL fixates the mind of Kim Jong-un.

    To talk about North Korea without admitting this salient event is to talk in the blind.

    IT — this mass mobilization — is what drives Kim Jong-un’s strategic policy.

    Clinton WAS intending to decapitate Kim — BEFORE he attained atomic powers.

    All other notions are delusional.

    Kim is NOT motivated because of Saddam or Kaddafy.

    He’s motivated because of what almost happened to his Grandfather.

    He’s vicious — but not deluded.

  12. geokstr Says:

    Here’s an article posted by Instapundit on how the Democrats during Reagan’s terms and then Clinton and Obama during theirs, sold us down the river by crippling our anti-missile development programs for the last three decades:
    How Democrats left America naked before North Korea’s nukes

    We had successfully tested three systems that could have literally negated both the Korean and Iranian nuclear missiles without a preemptive strike.

    It’s too bad there’s no way to prosecute Obama for treason.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo,

    My point is that the reason why we face this problem is twofold; the mentality of those who find a preemptive strike to be “unconscionable” and, because we refuse to hold those that are willfully blind… accountable.

    Because there are no consequences for those who are unwilling to face reality, sooner or later millions are going to die as a result.

    We have allowed the immature and the morally cowardly to determine our fate.

    What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice and madness without restraint.” Edmund Burke

  14. M J R Says:

    Geoffrey Britain, 8:22 pm — “Not only will they never accept responsibility for their obstructing our acting now but they will never be held to account.”

    Not only will they never be held to account, but when the time eventually does come, it will be USA’s fault — whatever USA determines is the best thing to do in the circumstance.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Cap’n Rusty:

    Weirdly enough, I actually thought of that, too. It can’t and won’t happen, though. What’s more, if somehow it did begin to happen, that might be the signal for the North to attack, before the population dispersed. If the population of Seoul wasn’t there, Kim would lose his hostage and much of his leverage.

  16. Richard Aubrey Says:

    neo
    If Skor starts evacuating Seoul and Kim thinks he’s losing his hostage and thus starts shooting, it would look like it’s his idea to start the war.
    But the left would make the case that Seoul was so menacing by removing hostages that it was Skor’s fault, and by extension, ours.
    Just finished Liddell-Hart’s book on WW I, and Showalter’s on Tannenberg. Both give extensive detail on pre-war manuvering. Dueling practice mobilizations and crises and partial mobilizations and changing which army group was in charge….eventually somebody decided that war was inevitable and struck first, or somebody decided that striking first would get him what he wanted. For a smaller version, see Wiki on the Austro-Sardinian war.
    It is said that Golda Meier planned to accept casualties and risks to let the Egyptians strike first in 1973 in order to not look like villains. Didn’t do squat worth of good in that respect.
    The future cannot be perfectly predicted, so any move on our part would be considered unnecessary since Kim would have seen the light and backed off, for certain sure, and so we got millions killed for the profits of the military industrial complex.
    It is difficult to believe the left actually believes what they say, but it’s also tough to figure out what they’re trying to do without positing extremely nefarious motives.

  17. ErisGuy Says:

    We can’t act against North Korea because it holds Soel hostage with conventional weapons. How can we act against North Korea when it holds Japan or America hostage with nuclear weapons?

  18. Dave Says:

    Just nuke nk and get it over with. Just like the saying today is always the day you are the youngest for the rest of your life, today is always the day nk poses the least danger. Nk will only get stronger and making the problem much more difficult to resolve each passing day of inaction.

  19. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “It is difficult to believe the left actually believes what they say, but it’s also tough to figure out what they’re trying to do without positing extremely nefarious motives.” Richard Aubrey

    My perception is that the Left is made up of three primary factions; Marxists and Liberal “useful idiots” with the Marxists composed of Stalinists, strictly in it for the power and control, while Trotskyites are the “true believers”.

    Liberals and Trotskyites do believe what they say with liberal gullibility and Trotskyite fanaticism being the motivations.

    Stalinists primarily want power and control with wealth simply their due and will do whatever is necessary to gain it. By definition, seizing the reins of power requires deposing those who currently hold those reins.

    Trotskyites are ideologues and accept that the emergence of the “new man” who will then construct a new world, can only occur upon the ashes of the old world. They are dedicated to the destruction of the old infrastructure and cultural norms.

    Liberals imagine that if only the right people are in charge, a better world can magically emerge.

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Dave,

    Again, we won’t launch a preemptive attack because that would make us ‘killers’ and because we’re not willing to throw the nuclear gauntlet down at China’s feet.

  21. vanderleun Says:

    I HAVE no idea what the military planners in China, North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Russia, etc… have in mind, but it would seem to me that the only way, if war there must be, to minimize South Korean casualties and losses among our own military would be an intense and immediate first strike across all sectors of North Korea.

    The “Fire and Fury the world has never seen” option.

    It’s a terrible choice to make but I think that is where the policies of over 60 years have taken us.

  22. Irv Says:

    While it’s interesting to argue how we got into this situation and who bears the majority of the blame, it doesn’t do much good. How about if we leave that to the historians and we discuss what our options are now.

    If we accept that this is a classic hostage situation it gives us some ideas.

    We know if we give in to the hostage takers then their demands will continue to grow until they become as disastrous to us as a war would have been in the first place.

    We know the power of the hostage takers is at the minimum it will ever be because the more you give in to hostage takers the more power you cede to them and the more dangerous they get.

    In this case there is a third party enemy that has power over the hostage takers but who receives benefits from the hostage takers reducing our power.

    So, we can either stop the hostage takers and accept the casualties that that entails or we can get the third party to stop the hostage takers. The way to get China to stop N. Korea is to convince them that if we stop N. Korea then China will be worse off than if they do it.

    The way to convince them is to tell them that if we stop N. Korea then the country will be reunified under S. Korean rule and China will lose its buffer state between them and the west. If they stop N. Korea then they retain that buffer state.

    If China is convinced that those are the only 2 options then they can slowly cut off shipments of petroleum and other supplies to N. Korea. By doing it slowly it allows N. Korea’s capabilities to diminish gradually until they realize that getting rid of their nuclear program is the only path to survival.

    N. Korea could go nuts and attack anyway, but they could do that under any scenario. If we keep a close watch on them we can preemptively minimize the effects of that.

    The consequences of doing nothing are spelled out clearly in Carolyn Glick’s article and they ensure the eventual destruction of the west and its allies.

    I really believe in the old saying “No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road….turn around!”

  23. huxley Says:

    I’m pretty sure North Korea will end badly and when it does, no one will be surprised.

  24. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy from the Arms Control Association. Long and depressing, e.g. “September 9, 1999: A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate reports that North Korea will ‘most likely’ develop an ICBM capable of delivering a 200-kilogram warhead to the U.S. mainland by 2015.”

    Eighteen timid years.

  25. The Other Chuck Says:

    North Korea wouldn’t have nukes and wouldn’t be a threat without the explicit help of Communist China. It is a client state and doing the bidding of its master, nothing more. There won’t be a solution unless China reverses course and decides the existence of the Kim regime is harming its interests, which I don’t see happening under any circumstances.

    As Stilwell misjudged the Nationalists, Nixon did the same with Mao’s successors. Conferring most favored trade status, Greenspan’s fawning embrace of their great leap to capitalism, subsequent investment in the billions if not trillions, Albright’s belief that it is time China shouldered the responsibility of keeping world order (as if it would be an impartial and civilized arbiter), and now Trump’s mistaken belief that the current Communist Leader is “a good man, a very good man,” are indicative of America’s disconnect from reality.

    The people running China are the heirs of a regime that butchered and starved millions. It is a regime that is now building a world class navy, investing in cyber war technology, and is nuclear armed. Because we have put our economy at their mercy we are already being blackmailed. Forget about North Korea, China is the problem and the solution, if there be one.

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Irv,

    “We know if we give in to the hostage takers then their demands will continue to grow until they become as disastrous to us as a war would have been in the first place.”

    WE do know that. The half of America that voted for Hillary Clinton adamantly deny that to be the case. Why do you insist on being a warmonger? What greed (you must have nefarious motives!) leads you to refuse to give peace a chance? Why can’t you see, that this time it might be different and that, even the slimmest chance of that cannot be dismissed, given the deaths that war will bring? Why can’t you accept that N.Koreans simply want to ensure that they can’t be invaded?

    “The way to get China to stop N. Korea is to convince them that if we stop N. Korea then China will be worse off than if they do it.

    The way to convince them is to tell them that if we stop N. Korea then the country will be reunified under S. Korean rule and China will lose its buffer state between them and the west. If they stop N. Korea then they retain that buffer state.

    If China is convinced that those are the only 2 options then they can slowly cut off shipments of petroleum and other supplies to N. Korea.

    That’s logic that rests upon arguably questionable premises.

    It would violate credulity to imagine that the Chinese have not thought deeply about the situation and did not long ago decide that having a nuclear armed pit bull is to their advantage. So the Chinese have already decided that it is achievable.

    You assume that the Chinese will believe us, not having already concluded that, when push comes to shove, political correctness and an unwillingness to risk escalation into a nuclear conflict with China will prove decisive, resulting in our doing nothing.

    You assume that S. Korea is willing to reunify the country and accept 25 million indoctrinated communists.

    You assume that if we attack, China has to passively accept the loss of their buffer state, when China has already declared it will defend N.K. if we launch a preemptive attack.

    You assume that if China slowly cuts off shipments of petroleum and other supplies to N. Korea that it will stop the Norks from attaining nuclear ICBM capability.

    Once they have them, it’s a ‘game changer’.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Forget about North Korea, China is the problem and the solution, if there be one.” The Other Chuck

    Bingo. Nothing less than accepting that the Chinese are using capitalism to achieve military parity with America with which to challenge us for dominance will allow for a strategy for dealing with them.

    To continue to believe that economics is their primary motivation is to continue to sell them the rope with which they plan to hang us…

    There’s no shortage of groups that wish to push America off the top of the heap and China is the foremost international threat we face.

  28. groundhog Says:

    Seoul has thousands of bomb shelters and extra deep subways with businesses operating below the surface.

    The window of opportunity for survival of many was at least better facing a conventional attack. So far as I can see that window gets smaller and smaller and never better.

  29. huxley Says:

    The Other Chuck. Yep. China is at the heart of the Nork problem.

    The Chinese are more sane than the Norks and Iranians. But I think a lot of people underestimate, as you map out, China’s barbarism and its hostility to the West.

  30. vanderleun Says:

    A scenario.

    What War With North Korea Would Look Like: 20K NK Dead A Day

    http://breakingdefense.com/2017/09/what-war-with-north-korea-would-look-like-20k-nk-dead-a-day/

  31. AesopFan Says:

    No legacy-minded President would launch a “preemptive” attack on NK after seeing what the nay-sayers (including his own party) did to GWB despite his having: multiple, manifest reasons to doubt Hussein’s peaceful intentions (continually breaking UN resolutions), building a large international coalition, and having the initial (although short-lived) support of the opposition party.
    You don’t even have to get to the WMD question, although he was given what looked like credible evidence at the time.

    People’s attitudes have hardened on this so much, I don’t have any designs to change minds on the Iraq war, just to point out that GWB was not the “lone cowboy” of the Left’s memes– so why not just pull the trigger without qualms, after sufficiently warning the North (50 + years is sufficient, isn’t it?).

    This nuclear proliferation should never have been acceptable, at any time; a war with China over the question in the Sixties, while certainly a terrible thing to contemplate, would have been significantly less disastrous than waiting until now.

  32. AesopFan Says:

    https://pjmedia.com/parenting/2017/08/31/handle-two-year-olds-tantrums/

    Need I say more?

  33. Irv Says:

    To be successful you have to have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity, especially by the people who oppose you anyway.

  34. The Other Chuck Says:

    Irv, do you think President Trump has read The Guns of August and/or Stilwell and the American Experience in China, and if not does that make him simply uninformed, ignorant of 20th Century history, or stupid? I expect that he hasn’t read either of them which in my mind makes him stupid – not for having never read them, but for having aspired to lead the free world in ignorance.

    The person you describe was Reagan, not Trump I’m afraid.

  35. Megaera Says:

    No one has yet mentioned the fact that the US has many thousands of hostages to fortune involved in this slow-motion disaster in the form of our military garrisons in South Korea and what used to be called the DMZ — plus their dependents, who usually live in Seoul. And no one has talked about the fundamental impossibility of “evacuating” the civilian population of Seoul, which is isolated by the Han River, wide, deep and fast, from its surroundings. Years ago I had a family member who lived there for a year, and she always described the obligatory briefings about what to do in the event of attack as black humor because everything depended on movement over the Han River bridges chokepoints. I seriously doubt that anything since that time has strategically altered that monstrous problem in any significant sense,

  36. Dave Gore Says:

    Kim’s plan is to prevent US involvement by directly threatening the US with nuclear weapons. He will then attack South Korea. His plan is working.

    The US should immediately turn over a creditable armory of its weapons to South Korea – perhaps even a ballistic missile submarine or two. South Korea will then be able to defend itself, and the US can withdraw its soldiers. Kim then has good reason not to attack the US.

  37. neo-neocon Says:

    Megaera:

    Losses among our military in South Korea were discussed in this comment. And my discussion with Cap’n Rusty made it clear we both thought it fairly impossible to evacuate Seoul.

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave Gore:

    Do you really think Kim needs a credible excuse or a “good reason” to attack the US?

  39. Dave Gore Says:

    Neo-neocon said: “Do you really think Kim needs a credible excuse or a “good reason” to attack the US?”

    I doubt Kim wants North Korea to be incinerated, which is what would happen if he attacked the US. That’s a good reason not to attack. On the other hand, if he’s losing a war and expects to die or live in shame he could very well sacrifice North Korea for a chance to destroy his enemies. Let’s not be one of his enemies.

  40. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave Gore:

    I could say you’re a dreamer, and you’re not the only one.

    Let’s not be one of Kim’s enemies?? That horse left the barn long long ago. Kim considers us a permanent enemy, and what’s more every powerful nation in the world except China is his enemy. We can’t be Switzerland here.

  41. blert Says:

    Megaera Says:
    September 11th, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    What of the city’s subway system. It’s huge and expanding every month.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul_Metropolitan_Subway

    It has been described as the world’s longest multi-operator metro system by route length.[11] The system was rated as one of the world’s best subway systems…

    The first line of the Seoul Subway network started construction in 1971 with economic and technical assistance from Japan.[8] The first section of subway was built using the cheaper cut and cover construction method. Line 1 opened in 1974 with through services joining surrounding Korail suburban railway lines — similar to the Tokyo subway.[9]

    Today, many of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway’s lines are operated by Korail, South Korea’s national passenger and freight railway operator.

    Op. cit.

    It can obviously move the city’s population in 48 hours… if the power stays on.

  42. AesopFan Says:

    Irv Says:
    September 10th, 2017 at 6:29 pm
    To be successful you have to have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity, especially by the people who oppose you anyway.
    * * *
    Well said.

  43. AesopFan Says:

    With the wisdom of hindsight, South Korea should have changed its capital to one much further south 60 years ago, and let the northern part of the country go fallow.

    A conventional attack from NK would then have had to go a long way to the major population center, and given lots of time to get stopped.

    I have no idea what the population and infrastructure was then, but it was certainly less than now.

    Surely not staying within shooting distance of the enemy should have at least reached the discussion stage.

  44. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The Koreans still thought of re unifying their country and blamed Americans for failing to live up to promises. The hazards of being the world police.

  45. klm Says:

    You’re backing the same side as Satan.??

    Oh yah……….you see have empty Glass
    think again who is?

    go get life man.

    there are some Deaf and Blind never been under Sun light

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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