North Korea's Military Capability

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by Dook, Jan 14, 2019.

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  1. Dook
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    Dook New Member
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    The idea that North Korea has a significant military capability is completely false. You can go to a satellite view website and search the entire country and see that they barely have any military capability whatsoever. Their soldiers are starving. They can barely operate their equipment because of a lack of fuel. They don't have spare parts to fix their equipment and they almost certainly don't have the food stores to fight a war.

    I searched the entire coastline and found 14 large submarines and 3 tiny submarines. I could not zoom in on the Mayang-Do base so they surely have a few more submarines than I saw but nothing close to the 70 or so stated by the media. Even WW2 era submarines are dangerous to ships but if the South conducted a first strike with F-35's and GPS bombs they could all be taken out in about 15 minutes.

    When you look at their airbases you usually see one runway, not two or three like most US airfields. Two bombs on that one runway and one on the taxiway and their aircraft cannot take off. On satellite view you can see some aircraft lined up on their ramps, ready to go, but almost all of them are ancient Mig-19's and Mig-21's and each airfield has an aircraft junkyard. It looks like they are using those junk aircraft for parts.

    The only bomber aircraft they have are a few 1960's IL-28 medium bombers that can't carry very much, maybe 6 bombs, if they are even operational. Even if they can take off with a bomb load they won't get through.

    When looking at their navy bases, all of the destroyers and patrol craft are sitting in port. The smaller patrol craft are lined up side by side and the destroyers and frigates generally have their tails to the dock with a small boarding ladder off the rear. How would you reload heavy shells? Hardly any ships were at sea because they don't have the fuel to operate them. Only supply freighters were at sea. Even if these combat ships do leave port they are WW2 era ships and don't have modern aiming or over the horizon strike capability. They are no threat in a modern battle. The small rocket boats are a threat to large civilian populations but they are not a realistic military threat since their rockets are unguided.

    As for the threat from their ballistic missiles, they are also a threat to civilian populations but not much of a military threat because they are probably not accurate enough. The Iraqi's launched 88 SCUD's in the first Persian Gulf War and only one hit a valuable target, a barracks.

    I searched the mainland and could not find any sizeable numbers of armor. The US military says that they have everything underground but there is no way they have 7,000 tanks and armored vehicles underground. They might be camouflaged somewhere but they're not all underground. Even if they do have that many tanks and armored vehicles they are no match for the M1 Abrams tank, Apache attack helicopters, and F-35's with their infrared detectors and carrying 8 internal SDB. The Iraqi's learned that lesson the hard way.

    The nuclear threat is probably no where near as realistic as some people think. Anyone can take some uranium and put it into a pile in a tunnel under a mountain and place explosives on top of it and set off a nuclear explosion but that is not a realistic weapon. It has to be small and it has to be in the right design. If it's not exactly right it will fizzle and you will just get a small explosion and a lot of radioactive material thrown out. They very likely do not have the ability to build a small nuclear bomb and have it deploy from a ballistic missile correctly.

    North Korea has a large infantry force but ground troops are not going to be able to do much against armor, attack helicopters, a hundred F-16's, and stealth fighters.

    If we went to war in a sneak attack it would moslty be over in 1 day. Start at midnight, submarines and destroyers launch 300 cruise missiles at military barracks, stealth bombers hit all the runways with GPS bombs, F-35's drop GPS bombs on all the destroyers and submarines, M1 tanks and Bradley's make a run to Pyongyang and Wonsan and every city in between, they will get there in 3 hours, MD-500 helicopters strafe all combat aircraft on the ground, A-10's and Apache helictopters patrol the 60 mile artillery zone, Osprey's land troops at the missile bases. If NK uses ballistic missiles with chemical or biological weapons the people just have to stay inside and any artillery that fires would be attacked by A-10's in minutes.
     
  2. antiterror13
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    antiterror13 Colonel

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    @Dook
    yeahhh ... do you ever wonder why SK needs US soldiers to protect them? ... yeahh NK has no military capabilities :p ..... why SK spends $40B on military and like 2.6% of GDP (while China only ~1.5% and Japan 1% )

    you believe what you want to believe .. thats fine
     
  3. gelgoog
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    gelgoog Senior Member
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    The main issue people usually mention regarding invading North Korea is their artillery. They have rather old high caliber artillery, like 170mm guns.
    Those have enough range to bomb Seoul from the North Korean side.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koksan_(artillery)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2S7_Pion

    So it is not like they would not lose but the chance of harm to the main populated areas of South Korea is quite high. Besides, the South Koreans do not want to have a war with the North Koreans. So good luck with that.

    I would not take the North Korean ballistic missiles lightly. The ones they developed a couple of years back seem to be quite capable.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwasong-12
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwasong-15

    There is a decent enough probability they could launch a couple of these missiles if they were attacked. Also with regards to their nuclear weapons payload there is a high possibility that they have conducted a thermonuclear weapons test. That alone indicates they should have a decent ability to do warhead miniaturization.

    It is not like you could not do a plan to invade the place but without South Korean support it would be extremely difficult.
     
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  4. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Senior Member
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    2.6% GDP is actually quite sustainable and if it contributes to SK military superiority over NK then it should not be too surprising . While the factor of the US-SK alliance is somewhat mislead in this statement, while it is true on paper that the security treaty is on paper for the protection of SK, remember that it was drafted during the 1950s, back then NK's military capability was greater than SK's. Fastforward 70 years later, the nature of the treaty has subtly changed, nearly every defense expert agrees that the treaty now has China more in mind that NK. Maintaining the treaty at least gives the US a pretext to maintain a presence on the peninsular.
    Also in reality, the actual security details listed out are rather meager, 20 thousand US troops in SK represents a mere token force. Their presence there is more of a tripwire to galvanise US public opinion in the event of any actual attack with the pictures of US servicemen wounded or killed. Regardless of any real damage NK can actually cause.
    While I disagree with the OP's assertion that NK's military capability is non-existant, belittling SK military capacity is neither helpful nor truthful in anyway.
    The main danger NK represents is not in the way of conventional military might but rather that of asymmetrical. The idea that NK will only restrict itself to conventional munitions is absurd to say the least, in the event of a SK first strike everything will be on the table.
    And this is a nation that has prepared for nearly a century for total warfare. Extensive articles have been written regarding NK tunnel network and underground installations, and real life experiances like Desert Storm has shown that air power alone does little to blunt the enemy's capability.
    So the real issue is not whether NK can defeat SK, but rather how much damage it can inflict on SK before NK is defeated. And data shows that it wont be pretty.
     
    #4 Viktor Jav, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  5. Deino
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    Deino Brigadier
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    @Dook

    First of all welcome on board but then right from the beginning a kind reminder: We are NOT an ordinary forum, where you can spread propaganda and if an argument do not fit your agenda, you can insult and offend others.

    Calm down your tone ... if you want to discuss, then in in a proper way with arguments, if you want to troll, then face the consequences.

    Therefore, please read https://www.sinodefenceforum.com/sinodefence-forum-rules-of-behavior.t6748/


    Deino
     
  6. Dizasta1
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    Dizasta1 Senior Member

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    If North Koreans are such a failure, then why are there 30,000 troops of the American Military present in South Korea? With one of the largest F-16 fleets outside the United States, and one of the most powerful air force and navy in the world, why does South Korea need America to protect it from weak, rusting old North Korean military?

    Think before you type, buddy. Appearances and reality sit at opposite ends in today's world. Wake up, do some research and open your eyes to the reality, not what appears to be.
     
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  7. TerraN_EmpirE
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    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

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    The main issue with North Korea isn't there tech. It's vintage at best. Most of there Air forces are relics even there most advanced Mig29 is in small numbers.
    It's the Huge numbers of army.
    The Navy is small.
    The Air force is obsolete at best.
    There artillery is huge. There armor corps are huge. There infantry numbers are massive.
    In a system to system fight South Korea has the edge. But numbers count for something. North Korean weapons are proverbial hash and trash but ever K2 tank has to kill a dozen cheaper types to wade through. Every South Korean soldier would have to deal with hundreds of poorly armed infantry in a active war.
    Add in nuclear weapons and it get suicidal at best.
     
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  8. Dook
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    Dook New Member
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    I did not say that North Korea's military capability is non-existant. I said it's nowhere near as significant as the media claims it to be.

    Maybe do a little research on your own. You can go to a satellite view website and take a look at the following airfields and navy bases: Koksan, Hwangju, navy base at Wonsan (a little south of Wonsan), Sunchon, Yongbyon, and the submarines are located on the east coast near Hamhung.

    Everyone knows that air power is dominant over ground forces. Their airfields only have ONE runway and one or two taxiways. Two F-35's with two GPS bombs each can eliminate North Korea's ability to launch aircraft from an airfield. Think of what 20 stealth bombers could do? Then South Korea's drone MD-500 attack helicopters would come in and strafe all of the aircraft on the ground. No air power means you lose.

    Desert Storm shows that air power does little to blunt an enemy's capability? WHAT? What war did you watch? I saw us win that war with air power. Iraq had the 4th largest army in the world at the time. And now, with the F-35's infrared detectors and 8 small diameter bombs, any heat source can be identified and a bomb dropped on 8 heat sources. That's 8 tanks destroyed by one F-35 and South Korea is ordering 40 of them.

    As for the North's nuclear weapons, satellites would identify any standing missiles and they would be taken out at the start of the attack. Osprey's full of special forces would be already on their way and come in from the Yellow Sea to the known missile sites and they would capture them in the first 15 minutes of the war.

    North Korea has prepared for war for nearly a century? They don't have access to modern technology and modern information. They don't know about stealth. Their tanks don't have computer controlled aiming. Their navy ships can't fire accurately over the horizon. Do they have some capability? Sure, they have a very large army which would be bombed to pieces.

    The real issue is how much damage NK can do to SK before it is defeated? Correct, but any artillery that fires will be identified and an A-10 would destroy it in minutes.

    If Seoul conducted NK invasion exercises and had the most exposed people move into underground bunkers they could sound the alarms at 11:45 pm, 15 minutes before the real sneak attack begins. They wouldn't tell the people an invasion of the North has begun until 12:30 or so.
     
  9. Dook
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    Dook New Member
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    Who told you that South Korea needed the US to protect them? South Korea needs the US to help more easily defeat the North if the North ever attacks.

    I should think before I type? I just spent a week looking at satellite views of all of North Korea so I know more than you do. You haven't done the work. You follow the media.

    And I've been to South Korea twice. How many times have you been there? Let me guess, none, right? So you're talking about something and you're only information has come from the media.

    What type of aircraft does NK have at the Sariwon airfield? You don't know. I have satellite pictures of the entire airfield.
     
  10. Dook
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    Dook New Member
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    This is all correct but you're not adding in air power. The F-35 can identify any vehicle heat source, armor engines, artillery firing, trucks and vehicles, possibly even soldiers. One F-35 can take out 8 tanks. SK just ordered 40 of them. That's 320 tanks per flight and that is only the F-35's. The F-15's, F-16's, Apache's, drone MD-500's, and A-10's will annihilate any troops.

    Other than the opening attack, SK would fight a defensive war. NK troops would have to move down into SK to fight. Plus, if 300 cruise missiles were launched at the start then that is 300 military barracks that would be taken out.

    Nukes are bad news, if they work. I doubt NK has figured it out. Anyone can explode a very large nuke under a mountain but reducing it's size is very difficult.

    It would mostly be over in a day.
     
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