No Real Military Option.
July 5, 2006 2:30 AM Subscribe
The biggest concern in striking North Korean nuclear facilities is the threat of North Korean counter-attacks. When considering the text of the "strong statement" promised by President Bush in response to yesterday's missile tests by North Korea, military planners face a grim tactical situation. Seoul, the South Korean capitol and home to 10 million, lies within easy range of North Korean long-range artillery. Five hundred self-propelled 170mm Koksan guns and thousands of mobile multiple-launch rocket systems could hit Seoul with artillery shells and chemical weapons, causing panic and massive civilian casualties. North Korea has between five and six hundred Scud missiles that could strike targets throughout South Korea with conventional warheads or chemical weapons. North Korea could hit Japan with its 100 No-dong missiles. Seventy percent of North Korean army ground units (approximately 700,000 troops, over 8,000 artillery systems, and 2,000 tanks) is postured within 90 miles of the demilitarized zone positioned to undertake offensive ground operations. These units could fire up to 500,000 artillery rounds per hour against South Korean defenses for several hours. So forget about forcibly dismantling North Korea's nuclear-production facilities.
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