posted on Mar, 22 2013 @ 01:36 PM
Good day ATS!
I will start off by saying, PLEASE do not just post more comments like "china will never allow it" or " its just saber rattling".
I've heard it, and I know enough about psychology, mass-psychology, world wars, and general history to know that a nuclear country is a dangerous one.
Particularly when they already have NOTHING to lose. I also roundly dismiss the idea that they would be instantly obliterated if they were to attack
South Korea, particularly if they attack Japan as well. While researching North Korean strategy I found this fantastic analysis based on some of
RAND's think-tanks on the subject as well. Some highlights:
Expected Damages and Consequence Management
As discussed earlier, even a small nuclear detonation of four kilotons or less, such as the North Korean test of 2009, would probably kill tens of
thousands of people if it occurred in a densely populated area. According to Rand analyst Bruce Bennett, even a one-kiloton nuclear attack against a
city like Busan could cause up to 72,000 casualties, depending on where the weapon was detonated (an attack on Seoul would likely cause even more
casualties).  This is important for North Korea because if Pyongyang did choose to conduct a nuclear attack the two most likely countries targeted
would be Japan or South Korea. This becomes all the more compelling if one is to consider the fact that some 220,000 foreigners live in Seoul.  In
this author’s view, Seoul would be a less likely target of a nuclear weapon than another major city in South Korea because of its close proximity to
North Korea and because this is considered the historic “crown jewel” of Korean art, culture, and society by both North and South Korea (besides,
North Korea can rain havoc on Seoul with chemical weapons fired by missiles and long-range artillery). But there are large numbers of foreigners in
other South Korean metropolitan areas as well, and certainly the same applies to Japan. What all this means is that a nuclear attack on South Korea or
Japan will not just kill civilian nationals. It is likely to also kill a great number of foreigners (many of them Americans), and if certain key
metropolitan areas are targeted, a large number of military personnel as well.
Given the asymmetric thinking that the North Koreans are well known for integrating into their planning process, there are a number of delivery
systems for a plutonium bomb that the North Koreans could use. The first and most obvious method would be to simply drop a plutonium bomb from an
aircraft. The North Koreans have aircraft that are assessed to be capable of conducting such a mission. The H-5 aircraft is the Chinese version of the
old Soviet IL-28 light bomber. The Chinese are thought have given many of these aircraft to the North Koreans sometime during or after the 1960s, and
there are currently around 80 H-5s in the North Korean air force inventory.  The H-5 is an old aircraft (though likely well maintained by the
North Korean air force), it is very vulnerable to air defenses in both South Korea and Japan, and the North Koreans would likely have to limit the
weight of the weapon that it carried just for it to get off of the ground. The weight limits of the H-5 are important for consideration. This may have
been the reason for the relatively low projected yield of the nuclear weapons the North Koreans tested underground in 2006 and 2009. By limiting the
size of the weapon, they may have been testing a device that would be small enough to fit onto one of their aircraft, yet large enough to produce an
explosion that would kill tens of thousands of people.  Despite the sophistication of Japanese and South Korean air defenses, using asymmetry, and
even trickery, it is possible that a North Korean aircraft might be able to trick its way into South Korean or Japanese airspace. But it would take
intricate planning, and a lot of luck. Thus, one has to believe that if this is one of the planned delivery systems for a nuclear weapon, it is
unlikely to be the primary choice.
Another delivery means for a nuclear weapon that is far more ominous would be that of using a ship disguised as a merchant cargo vessel or a trawler.
This is far more ominous than it sounds on the surface. In times of tension, Japanese and South Korean port authorities would likely be on the lookout
for North Korean ships transiting their ports. But what must be considered in the North Korean modus operandi is that the method of surprise has often
been a key aspect of any operation or provocation. What makes the scenario of a ship sailing into a Japanese or South Korean port and then detonating
a nuclear weapon even more compelling is the fact that the North Koreans often “re-flag” their ships, sailing under the flags of other nations
(this has been a largely successful mode of operation for them in the past).  There are two key advantages for using a merchant ship or a
specially equipped fishing trawler as a delivery means for a nuclear weapon: 1) It would be much easier to get this delivery means past defensive
measures in South Korea or Japan because of the high scale of merchant vessel traffic that transits their ports; and 2) a primitive weapon would
probably be less limited by size than a weapon carried on an aircraft such as the H-5.
The scenarios for using a ship as the delivery means for a nuclear weapon are diverse—and perhaps this is what makes them so ominous. A merchant
ship or a fishing trawler could be equipped with a primitive nuclear device and then sailed into a major South Korean port city such as Busan or
Pohang, or Ulsan. Once the weapon was detonated in such a populous area, it would likely kill tens of thousands of people (even if it were a primitive
weapon). In a port like Pohang, the possibility exists that is would also kill a large number of military personnel (in addition to the high civilian
casualty count), as it is also the home of a ROK Marine division. The Pohang area is also frequently the site of combined training with U.S. and ROK
Marines, and if it was during such a time period the possibility exists that many U.S. personnel would be counted among the casualties as well. 
Busan is a key reception and staging portal to the Peninsula.  Detonating a nuclear weapon there would shut down a key shipping and air node.
Busan would be very vulnerable to an attack due to the high population and symbolism—it was the only spot not overrun by the DPRK during the Korean
War and thus, from Pyongyang’s perspective, carries with it the shame associated with the notion of a “foreign stronghold” in Korea.  There
is also a large Japanese presence there.  Last, it is located in the province where much of the political power comes from in South Korea.
Literally all the presidents (up to and including Lee Myungbak), with the exception of Kim Dae-jung, have hailed from Gyeongsang-do. 
Merchant and naval ports would also be very susceptible to attack if North Korea chose to use a ship as the delivery means to attack Japan. A merchant
ship or fishing trawler could make a port call at the cities of Yokohama or Sasebo (among many others). Yokohama opens into Tokyo Bay, and is a highly
populated area where Japanese casualties would be maximized. Sasebo is also the home of a large U.S. Navy base. A detonation of a nuclear device there
would cause not only a large amount of Japanese deaths (likely in the thousands), but would also have the potential to kill thousands of
Americans—both military and civilians. 
If one is to wonder why North Korea would attack Japan instead of South Korea (or in addition to South Korea), the answer is rather simple: A nuclear
attack on Japan immediately before a full-scale war were to commence on the Korean peninsula (or soon thereafter) would create immense problems in
both the ROK-U.S. alliance and the Japan-U.S. alliance. Such an attack would likely cause such outrage among the Japanese populace, that the Prime
Minister would be pressured to take immediate action against the North Koreans. This would of course cause great angst in Seoul, where any direct
Japanese involvement in a war on the Korean peninsula would likely be simply unacceptable. As the United States sought to navigate the diplomatic and
military minefields that seeking an acceptable solution to both of its key allies in East Asia would cause, North Korean conventional forces could be
advancing through the Cheorwon Valley and the Kaesong-Munsan Corridor. Indeed, a North Korean nuclear attack on Japan would strike not only a tragic
blow to the country affected, but would likely be successful in causing political turmoil that would create vulnerabilities in the military reactions
of the United States, South Korea, and Japan.
This seems like a very reasonable analysis of how the situation might occur. However, I'm not sure it would be their only, and best option. Anyone
else have another STRATEGIC idea?
In fact, just today I saw this pop up on the net...
Seems that this slightly aged report does match with their own perceptions of how to attack. Also, they've been hack attacking fervently over the last
few weeks. Perhaps their waiting to attack until they finally score a major digital hit on the infrastructure?
Thanks again for everyone's participation in advance.
edit on 22-3-2013 by auto73912621 because: Added material
22-3-2013 by auto73912621 because: added link
Mod Note: Posting work written by others.– Please Review This
edit on 3/25/2013 by Blaine91555 because: Adding tags and note
Mod Note: You Have An Urgent U2U- Click Here.
edit on 3/25/2013 by Blaine91555
because: (no reason given)