reply to post by mrmonsoon
The Korean war, at its peak, was North Korean communists, Chinese (and perhaps Soviet backing) vs. South Korean capitalists and the UN. The war never
officially ended- a stalemate was reached at the 38th parallel. Both sides dug in there, creating a demilitarized zone between North and South, and
the country was divided.
South Korea is a successful, highly modern society, and is a valuable member of the international community. North Korea is a pariah- living mostly on
aid from China and South Korea. The N. Korean government doesn't have many friends in the world, certainly nobody willing to go to the mat with the
United States over them. Ironically, the one nation they can threaten militarily, South Korea, is their number one source of aid, IIRC. North Korea is
under heavy international sanctions, and they have no exports to speak of. Their food production is limited by the government to keep the society
functioning at near starvation levels. There is nothing wrong with the North Korean people, except perhaps 50 years or so of brainwashing. The North
Korean people are the real victims here- they live under the most repressive conditions imaginable.
If North Korea starts a war in the region, several things will happen- first, and worst, Seoul would be wiped out- flattened. The damage to the region
would be catastrophic. Imagine what would happen to Europe if Paris or London were nuked- and you start to get the picture. I've spent a lot of time
in Seoul, I have family there. It is one of the nicest, friendliest, cleanest and most fun cities in the world. The people there are awesome. If it
were to be annihilated, it would be a tragedy beyond imagining- it would be Holocaust bad.
Once the North wiped out Seoul, and crushed the 20,000 or so US troops in the region, they would press south and raid. Taegu would be the next major
city to be wiped out- another wonderful place, my wife's home town. About that point, the North Korean soldiers would probably start to look around
and realize that they've been lied to their entire lives. And Pyongyang would have been devastated by American airstrikes by then. The North Korean
Regime would be destroyed- if not outright in the American air or nuclear counterstrike, then shortly thereafter by the North Korean people
themselves. Seoul would be a smoking hole by the time North Koreans saw it, but once they got a look at what the rest of the South looks like, they'd
put the pieces back together. Take a North Korean to Lotte World, and show them an Iphone, and their head will explode.
If war hits, Korea would be unified, but it would be a mess- the economy would collapse, they'd be set back to the 1950s. And there would be untold
civil strife and anger over the loss of life and devastation. Notice I didn't mention Japan? That's because Japan wouldn't have to do anything.
Beyond ballistic missiles, North Korea presents no threat to them whatsoever. They simply have no way to project power across the Sea of Japan.
Besides which, the Japanese have the US in their corner. We have a defense agreement with them, as we do with Taiwan, which says we have their backs.
If Japan is attacked, we are automatically at war. Similarly, if South Korea attacks, we are at war, the same goes for Taiwan. The UN is on the side
of the South Koreans as well, so besides the US, Kim Jong Il has to worry about them as well. I believe that if North Korea starts a fight, China will
step away, and let the rest of the world deal with the mess. They would be sorely tempted to have a go at Taiwan.
Japan would probably go after a few of the Korean islands which are in dispute, and take them. I'm not sure if the US would let them get away with
that, but I suspect we would.