Secret US Plan To Crush North Korea


Despite summits between North Korea’s Kim
Jong Un and the United States’ President Trump, tensions on the Korean peninsula remain markedly
high. During his meetings with President Trump,
Kim Jong Un promised to stop, or at least heavily curtail, his nation’s nuclear program,
and yet American intelligence agencies have extensive intelligence showing that not only
is activity at North Korea’s secret nuclear labs not halting, they are in fact still fully
operational. The reason why is simple: North Korea needs
nuclear weapons if it’s to survive as an independent power, and Kim Jong Un needs nuclear weapons
if he is to personally remain in power. Not just a nation’s future, but its leader’s
future is wrapped up in the successful development of nuclear weapons, and thus no intelligence
official in the world believes that North Korea will ever halt its nuclear ambitions
unless forced to by military action. Yet despite an increasingly sophisticated
nuclear weapons program, the US has been hesitant to use military force against the hermit kingdom
for fear of sparking a full-blown war on the Korean peninsula. The stakes for inaction however are about
as high as taking action, with a nuclear North Korea completely destabilizing the security
environment of Asia’s eastern shores. Japan, long a target of North Korea’s ire,
has already taking the incredible steps of discarding large parts of its traditional
pacifist military doctrine and authorized the use of expeditionary forces to support
American operations in Asia. This means that for the first time since World
War II, Japan is officially sanctioning the use of military force preemptively against
foreign powers. Were North Korea to become nuclear armed,
it’s likely that Japan- Asia’s rising military power- would very quickly become even more
aggressive, if not preemptively launch a war against North Korea that would force the US
to follow suit. While Japan is protected under the US’s nuclear
umbrella it would have no reason to develop nuclear weapons of its own, but the Japanese
view a nuclear-armed North Korea as completely unacceptable and will stop at nothing to prevent
this from happening. For decades the United States prepared for
a war with North Korea alongside its South Korean allies, and for nearly that entire
time operational planning changed little in how that war would be executed. A new war between the Koreas would play out
much in the same way as the last war, with large formations of ground units maneuvering
against hordes of North Korean troops- the war would in essence be fully conventional
in every sense of the word, and aside from vastly improved technology on the US and South
Korean side, there would be little difference in execution from the way the last war was
fought in the late 1940s/early 1950s. In the last few years though the United States
and South Korea have rethought their strategy for defeating the North in a war. A new operational plan known as OPLAN 5015
has replaced the old wartime plan, OPLAN 5027, and differs sharply in scope and strategy. While many details of the new plan to crush
North Korea remain secret, there are many parts of it which have become public knowledge,
and other parts that can be guessed at given the state of US military doctrine and the
types of troops and equipment being deployed in the Korean peninsula. OPLAN 5015 has been largely shaped by greatly
improved intelligence gathering inside the hermit kingdom itself as well as new technological
developments by the US and new political developments within the country itself. High ranking North Korean defectors have given
the US and South Korea a better insight into the inner power and political circles of North
Korean politics, and revealed a nation that is completely under centralized control and
under the Kim family’s thumb, in a way that makes its military command and control uniquely
vulnerable to disruption. If Kim Jong Un were to be quickly removed
from power, unclear lines of succession and a total lack of independent authority from
local commanders means that the North Korean military would be completely paralyzed and
unable to operate effectively. Much like Soviet military units during the
Cold War, military commanders on the ground must always gain the approval of their superiors
before taking any action. The results of this type of extreme and suffocating
top-down command structure were on full display during the first Gulf War in the 1990s, when
American and allied troops completely dismantled Iraq’s formidable armies by taking apart its
communication systems. Without the ability to contact their superiors,
local battlefield commanders were all but paralyzed in their decision making process,
while NATO forces enjoyed a large degree of autonomy and independence that allowed them
to be a reactive and flexible force. A big part of OPLAN 5015 thus revolves around
the destruction of North Korea’s communications systems, which in this case means targeting
broadcast facilities and telephone networks either with special forces, kinetic strikes,
or electronic warfare. The disruption in communications would leave
North Korea’s highly rigid and inflexible commanders paralyzed, allowing US and South
Korean forces to out maneuver and destroy them. Yet while this was always a part of the US’s
plans on fighting North Korea, where OPLAN 5015 differs is that for the first time it
hints at waging a very selective war rather than the total war scenario outlined in previous
war plans. Previously US and South Korean forces were
expected to initially fight a retreating action against North Korea’s overwhelming superiority
in numbers. While its military equipment is largely dated,
North Korea retains a huge amount of combat troops and the vehicles to quickly move them
from the north into the south, and on the ground North Korea features a massive concentration
of tens of thousands of artillery batteries which can completely overwhelm the American
and South Korean forces along the border. Yet intelligence has shown that North Korea
lacks the resources to continue an offensive deep into South Korea, and would completely
stall out in a matter of weeks. Thus old war plans called for a defense in
depth action against North Korea’s initial attacks, with US/ROK forces falling back along
predetermined defensive positions and bleeding DPRK forces as they did so. Once US airpower had transitioned into the
Pacific theater in force within a day or two, DPRK forces would be subjected to a bombing
campaign for the history books, and absolutely savaged from the air. Then US/ROK forces would begin the push back
and into North Korea to ultimately take Pyongyang. The new war plan calls for the US and South
Korea to resist the initial attack as before, only now instead of launching a full military
campaign into North Korea, the plan instead calls for a surgical war against select military
targets. In the opening stages of the war, an electronic
warfare campaign against the North’s forces would target their radar and communication
systems, blinding and confusing commanders on the ground. Simultaneously US B2 stealth bombers would
deliver ground-penetration munitions against North Korea’s nuclear sites, while a special
strike force would immediately launch an attack against North Korean government facilities. American and South Korean special forces would
penetrate deep into North Korea- likely using the same stealth Blackhawk helicopter design
briefly seen during the raid against Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, though they may also
be inserted via extremely high altitude, or HALO, jumps. The goal of these specialized kill teams would
be simple: the elimination of Kim Jong Un and his senior military leadership, and this
is an operation that the US and South Korea have trained for extensively. By eliminating Kim Jong Un and any immediate
successors, the North Korean government would be thrown into disarray. Completely centralized control may have allowed
the Kim family to rule North Korea with an iron grip, but it has also created a terrible
vulnerability which the US and its South Korean allies would very quickly exploit in the case
of war. As the testimony of high-ranking North Korean
defectors has shown, the internal political situation within North Korea is extremely
unstable, and relies on the continued rule of Kim Jong Un. This is a fact further attested to by the
spree of murders undertaken by Kim Jong Un upon his rise to power, as he consolidated
his right to rule by the elimination of discovered and imagined political rivals who were suspected
of wanting to seize power for himself- some of those killed were even members of the Kim
family itself. Without central control, and with a systemic
and overwhelming bombing campaign carried out by the US and South Korea, already low
morale North Korean troops would begin deserting en masse. It is believed that despite the heavy indoctrination
undergone by North Korean soldiers, the average soldier would be extremely vulnerable to psychological
warfare operations undertaken after the elimination of North Korea’s command structure, and further
helped by the intense bombardment and overwhelming firepower deployed by American and South Korean
air and naval forces. OPLAN 5015 differs wildly from its predecessors
by instead calling for a limited war that exploits the use of sophisticated new smart
weapon systems, intelligence gathered from years of reconnaissance of the North, and
the inherent political instabilities built into the North Korean command and control
system. While still fully prepared to fight a conventional
total war scenario, the US and South Korea hope to limit the scale and the cost of the
war for both sides by instead relying on a series of very rapid and precise surgical
strikes. This has the added benefit of curtailing a
possible Chinese response, as a full-scale military invasion of the north may once more
prompt China to dispatch large numbers of troops into the peninsula. While China lacks the military capabilities
to win a war against the US, it could make a ground war in the Korean peninsula a very
costly affair for America. Do you think the new war plan against North
Korea would be more or less effective in case of war? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments, and as always
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