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An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

This is a discussion on An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea within the Strategic Defense forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA518626 A badly reasoned thesis written probably by a South Korean naval officer for Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. ...

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    nemo is offline Member
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    An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA518626

    A badly reasoned thesis written probably by a South Korean naval officer for Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. He comes to an suspect conclusion that reunified Korean army is twice is powerful as what PLA army can spare on Korean front.

    From a cursory look, I think he screwed up TOE of the PLA by severely undercounting, particularly on the artillery, while overcounting on the Korean side by including equipment not yet in service.

    It's at least good for a laugh.

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    xywdx is offline Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    To summarize what he wrote:

    China has internal problems->attacking Korea will solve China's problem->Korea will win

    Actually, based on his logic, the entire world's problems will be solved by attacking Korea. Isreal, Palestine, Iran, Syria, Greek, etc. should take note.

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    pakje is offline New Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    I wonder if he realizes that China could win that war in 1 day. Just launch some nuclear cruise missiles/icbms

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    nemo is offline Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by pakje View Post
    I wonder if he realizes that China could win that war in 1 day. Just launch some nuclear cruise missiles/icbms
    Well, Korea will be a nuclear power when it annexed North Korea. So for argument's sake let's leave the nukes out of the equation.

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    pakje is offline New Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by nemo View Post
    Well, Korea will be a nuclear power when it annexed North Korea. So for argument's sake let's leave the nukes out of the equation.
    oke fair enough

    btw i found this funny quote

    However, because of Beijing MRs own mission, and the threat of other neighboring
    countries such as Russia and Mongolia
    Genghis Khan II is coming for us!!!
    airsuperiority likes this.

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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Note he made a great deal on Korea's claim on Manchuria. Then he claims Korean army is twice as powerful as PLA. The logical implication, although unstated, is Greater Korea!

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    japhetmadison is offline New Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Korea has been a great opponent of China all throughout the years and even Kim Jong Il is dead, they will still be in power over China that's what I guess.

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    nemo is offline Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Enough laughs. Although I think most of his analysis pertaining PLA is worthless, he does bring up an interesting fact that he may have intentionally evade -- both Koreas have reserves larger than PLA, even when PLA's own reserver is counted (4.5 millions each). South Korea's reserve is probably of less value, due to less time in military service, but each male in North Korea serve over 3 years in the military, which is equal to a term in countries that uses professional instead of drafts.

    So if unified Korea wanted to pursue Greater Korea, there is a window -- before the North Korea reserve degrade into uselessness, start the war. Instead of calling up reserve in South Korea (that will cripple the economy), call up reserve in North Korea only since their economy is worthless anyway. With North and South Korea regular army plus Northern Reserves, the unified Korea out numbers PLA around 3 to 1 -- and that is total, not only troops PLA can devote to Korean front. And with Southern economy untouched, they can sustain the war.

    And US may take the opportunity to cut China down to size, now China is in numerical disadvantage...

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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by nemo View Post
    Enough laughs. Although I think most of his analysis pertaining PLA is worthless, he does bring up an interesting fact that he may have intentionally evade -- both Koreas have reserves larger than PLA, even when PLA's own reserver is counted (4.5 millions each). South Korea's reserve is probably of less value, due to less time in military service, but each male in North Korea serve over 3 years in the military, which is equal to a term in countries that uses professional instead of drafts.

    So if unified Korea wanted to pursue Greater Korea, there is a window -- before the North Korea reserve degrade into uselessness, start the war. Instead of calling up reserve in South Korea (that will cripple the economy), call up reserve in North Korea only since their economy is worthless anyway. With North and South Korea regular army plus Northern Reserves, the unified Korea out numbers PLA around 3 to 1 -- and that is total, not only troops PLA can devote to Korean front. And with Southern economy untouched, they can sustain the war.

    And US may take the opportunity to cut China down to size, now China is in numerical disadvantage...
    5 million soldiers aren't worth anything if you can give them 5 million guns to fight with. Not to mention logistics and supplies. Assuming the US stays out of this (if they don't, that's a whole other can of worms), there's no way Korea's air force can stand against the PLAAF. Once China achieve air superiority, the millions of reserves will be about as helpless as all their civilians.

    There's also the question of military doctrine. The PLA was founded on the concept of "People's War". Meanwhile, South Korea has been trained in US military doctrine, while the NK is basically the PLA's pupil, without any experience in actual warfare. A huge army without an effective leadership and strong cohesion is worthless, as demonstrated by the Battle of Fei River (淝水之战).

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    nemo is offline Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by solarz View Post
    5 million soldiers aren't worth anything if you can give them 5 million guns to fight with. Not to mention logistics and supplies. Assuming the US stays out of this (if they don't, that's a whole other can of worms), there's no way Korea's air force can stand against the PLAAF. Once China achieve air superiority, the millions of reserves will be about as helpless as all their civilians.

    There's also the question of military doctrine. The PLA was founded on the concept of "People's War". Meanwhile, South Korea has been trained in US military doctrine, while the NK is basically the PLA's pupil, without any experience in actual warfare. A huge army without an effective leadership and strong cohesion is worthless, as demonstrated by the Battle of Fei River (淝水之战).
    Both North and South Korea has 4.5 million reserve -- and have stored old weapons for them. If they only used Northern reserves, the equipment for the Southern reserves can be used by the Northern reserves, if there are any shortages,

    While US may not want to get into land war with China, they may offer air force on "humanitarian" ground. In that case, PLA will not have air superiority. Let's assume that US air-force will only conduct defensive operation.

    What made you think unified Korean army will not have unit cohesion? In the short term they can have independent commands that retains the old chain of command. At very minimum, you can have intact subunits, reinforced by other intact subunits -- such as North Korean Infantry reinforced by South Korean mechanized units. Yes, you will have doctrinal conflicts, but you can have a unit predominately Northern or Southern and operates accordingly in the assigned area of operation.

    Note neither Korean and PLA have actual combat experience -- what made you think PLA will have advantage?

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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by nemo View Post
    Both North and South Korea has 4.5 million reserve -- and have stored old weapons for them. If they only used Northern reserves, the equipment for the Southern reserves can be used by the Northern reserves, if there are any shortages,

    While US may not want to get into land war with China, they may offer air force on "humanitarian" ground. In that case, PLA will not have air superiority. Let's assume that US air-force will only conduct defensive operation.

    What made you think unified Korean army will not have unit cohesion? In the short term they can have independent commands that retains the old chain of command. At very minimum, you can have intact subunits, reinforced by other intact subunits -- such as North Korean Infantry reinforced by South Korean mechanized units. Yes, you will have doctrinal conflicts, but you can have a unit predominately Northern or Southern and operates accordingly in the assigned area of operation.

    Note neither Korean and PLA have actual combat experience -- what made you think PLA will have advantage?
    Does Korea, even united, have the industrial base for supplying an army of 5 million? I highly doubt it.

    Why do you think the US air force will conduct "defensive" operations? Are you positing a Chinese invasion of Korea? If you are, then the US would have no reason to restrict itself to "defensive" operations. If you are not, then how are defensive operations supposed to help an invading army of Koreans?

    As for you unit cohesion, do you seriously need to ask that question? Nevermind the fact that most NK military officers will have grown up hating SK guts, the simple fact that the two Korean militaries have vastly different military doctrines will ensure confusion in the chain of command. If this was a game of Starcraft, then yes, you can simply send the NK army forth as cannon fodder. However, if you're talking about real life, using such tactics will breed incredible resentment from the NK soldiers.

    While neither PLA nor NK soldiers have any direct combat experience in full-out wars, the PLA has a doctrinal heritage (civil war, korea, vietnam) to draw upon while the NK military does not. Remember that the NK army was all but wiped out during the Korean war.

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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Ok. Let's assume this scenario.

    United Korea either incites ethnic Koreans in Manchuria and/or send special forces posing as nationalists. China send troops to suppress, and Korea protests, invoke territorial claims, and send troops to protect its 'citizen'. US secretly involves in the war by repainting Korean insignia on US warplanes, but prohibit their use outside Korean territory, and ships military supply to Korea under cover. Since SK economy is still operating, it can afford to buy those supplies.

    While NK hates SK, it can be argued that they hate China more then they hate each other. Yes, different treatment is going to cause resentment, but SK can offer financial inducement to alleviate that.

    As for doctrine, NK is not exactly idiots and they do try to keep up with times, and they do have experience in special ops, if nothing else. SK have experience from cross training with US troops. They can work something out.

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    Talking Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Let's break things down.

    North Korea has a highly trained army on paper. I'm not sure it's the same on the ground because of the economic problems. These supply difficulties might make them devote lots of time to growing potatoes and be really good at that. But North Korea does have a good military reputation and is a major supplier of military training for African armies. I would count the professional core of the North Korean army as having a very combat proven education, giving confidence to their troops.

    South Koreans have more and diverse food since childhood, this means they are on average more capable (mentally and physically) than their less fortunate brothers in arms. I wouldn't dare to compare their education systems, but because South Korea is good in comparison to other countries, I'd also say that because of better training at knowledge adaption the output of training, including military training, is amplified.

    And of course, the South Koreans have more money to buy toys than the North that has to make do with other means. I wouldn't exactly count North Korea as China's pupil. They are influenced by Russia and China.

    Russia and Mongolia are what remains of China's powerful northern neighbours, with all the horse-riding nomad threats becoming oblivion by motorized progress. Mongolia doesn't seem a threat on its own, but they are capable of serving as an excuse if Russia decides to support these "poor buggers" and reclaim some old Mongolia. Futhermore Mongolia is a nice geographic region for military operations, see Soviet final land battle against Japan to get a feeling of the geographic importance of Mongolia. What China and anyone else is unlikely to be afraid of, is the modern Mongolian army.

    Korea, especially North Korea, has a much neglected narrative that sets them apart from China and would actually serve as the reason for them to go on a warpath with China. It's the cleanest race narrative Amazon.com: The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters (9781933633916): B.R. Myers: Books
    From that point of view it's only a matter of preparation before a unified Korea frees her nationals from other "dirty" peoples and China will be one of the places to start. Money for the political groundwork will likely be donated by industries with strong competition from China.
    If Korea gets unified and the Korean border issue with China is not regarded as settled by the unified Koreans, then I would place my money on the Korean military to have the ability to get what they want by force and hold on to it. The war would be about a limited territorial grab of ancient lands (important psychological aspect) and a strong defense afterwards that exploits Chinese economic vulnerability to irregular naval warfare while keeping strong entrenched positions on land. The air control can be defended by a combination of light fighters and air defense, while China would need a several times more expensive force for an offensive achievement of air supremacy. You could also bet that the US wouldn't let the opportunity slip to test lots of new sensor arrays that give the Koreans the right information to hit and hurt back.

    The large numbers of military trained males and females in Korea are likely not decisive in a human wave attack in a military conflict and most of them would serve away from the fighting zone. The advantage of such a large registration and training of military skills is that you can assemble a large force of high quality soldiers out of the available trained manpool and do have ready replacements that already know a bit about military matters, thus will be more open to the rapid wartime trainings. I count on a very capable Korean force of 1-1.5 million soldiers to start the conflict and sustain their numbers and quality even during a prolonged fight. On short notice Chinese commandos could face well-organized "militias" throughout Korea that outnumber and pin them down until better troops arrive to settle the issue. This large number of part-time soldiers in local defense readiness would only need infantry equipment and communications. I mention them because I believe WWII showed the way and countermeasures for commandos in conflicts between competitors of equal military skill.

    So I bet on Korea in an armed conflict because the goals of a conflict would be more important to them than to China that could find a way to settle the issue without losing face. China and Korea could both strangle each other's economy (especially North Korean commandos are a feared force), but because of the importance of the national unity goal Korea would be willing to hold their breath for longer than their enemy.
    China has to lose prestige from a possible conflict, but could win politically by establishing a precendence for armed national unity (Taiwan & ?) and by achieving a Korean neutrality (finlandizing it), thus on a global scale weakening the US position by moving much of shipbuilding capacity out of their alliance structure.

    The likelihood of such an armed clash is small because the ends can be achieved by other means and likely will be unless someone in the region goes really crazy.

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    i.e. is offline Senior Member
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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    ok.
    so.

    he is arguing for using Human wave tactics against China.



    you guys should just starting laughing on cure right there and toss this pos into a garbage can where it belongs.

    "South Korean naval officer" - gurhhh....
    garbage like these is also another reason why Any combination of koreas would not win in a war against china.

    ---------- Post added at 03:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by pakje View Post
    Genghis Khan II is coming for us!!!
    ... and he is Korean!

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    Re: An Analysis of Size and Structure of the Army of Reunified Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by i.e. View Post
    ... and he is Korean!
    LOL, everything is Korean these days, at least according to the Koreans. :P

    Anyway, if Korea sends troops into modern-day China, it's pretty much GG, time to annex that peninsula.

    It's kind of hard to cover up their aggression, especially if they try to masquerade as nationalists. o.O

    Once it's come to light that Korea instigated and provoked an invasion of China, everyone in the world would think the Korean leader was crazy. Should the US government try to, for some reason or other, help Korea out, they'd face a huge backlash at home and among NATO allies.

    Even if, somehow, the Koreans manage to supply 5 million troops to break through the border at Northwestern China... what then? How large a territory do you think 5 million foot soldiers will be able to hold? Meanwhile, the rest of China will be mobilizing for war. China doesn't need to raise 5 million soldiers in a day: she can afford to keep sending in fresh troops over months or years while the 5 million Korean soldiers would become completely exhausted and run out of supplies. And this is just looking at foot soldiers.

    How many tanks does Korea, both of them, have again? More importantly, how much fuel do they have?

    We haven't even gone into airforce and missiles yet. How exactly is the US supposed to defense SK from missile attacks?

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