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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.
"A grim Ministry of Defense (MOD) “URGENT ACTION” bulletin to all Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) is warning these nuclear units to prepare for “Dead Hand” operations over growing fears that at least 5 atomic-bomb equipped North Korean submarines have “successfully evaded” US Naval Forces and are preparing to strike targets in South Korea, Japan and North America."
Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
reply to post by Vasa Croe
That is something that will never happen. That is the "impossible" my signature talks about - now to the "improbable".
Originally posted by daryllyn
This photo is available through many other sources as well.
Originally posted by GERRY041284
nk will commit suicide. One person in the pentagon can wipe them out with the flick of a switch. The drone will take off from area yes u guess it 51 why u think its so secure . . . .
Originally posted by Jauk3
A message for North Korea's soldiers incase of an attack
"'This is not how it must happen. We do not need war. We will give you food & shelter & electricity. Do not fight for your leader. Your government has lied to you, there is no need for this. No suffering, no pain and no more death. Think of your people. Lay down your weapons, and we will not destroy you''edit on 22-3-2013 by Jauk3 because: (no reason given)