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- North Korea might be planning to launch a war against
South Korea and take control of the peninsula while the U.S. military is
tied up in the Iraq business.
- In the first place, unification by force has always been
the basic policy of North Korea, and this policy has dictated North Korea's
force structure. In the second place, the economic situation might have
reached the point where war is preferable. If the above is true, then President
George Bush has played right into the hands of Kim Jong Il, the diminutive
dictator who's about 500 times smarter and a 1,000 times more dangerous
than Saddam Hussein.
- North Korea's military plans contemplate, among other
things, the complete destruction of Seoul, South Korea, in six minutes.
Yes, that's minutes. Apparently, North Korea has the capability of launching
a concentrated, massive artillery barrage like the world has never seen.
It has missiles that can reach American bases in Japan and Okinawa. It
has plans to use suicide planes to attack American ships. The strategy
is to take the southern half of the peninsula before American forces can
respond in enough strength to stop North Korea. And, of course, it might
have nuclear warheads.
- It is always important to remember that people act on
the basis of what they believe to be true, whether it is in fact true or
not. And the North Koreans believe that their blitzkrieg tactics, combined
with their 100,000 special-ops forces, can take the peninsula. Whether
that's true or not, nearly a million people could die in the process of
- The North Koreas have been studying us. They learned
from Kosovo how reluctant we are to lose lives. They learned from the first
Gulf War and the buildup for the second Gulf War how very long it takes
us to get our forces in place for an attack. And I doubt they believe the
Pentagon's heifer dust that the United States can fight two wars simultaneously.
- North Korea has 996,000 ground forces; 3,800 tanks; 2,270
armored personnel carriers; and 11,200 pieces of artillery, a high percentage
of which is mechanized. It has 100,000 special forces; 430 combat ships,
including 40 submarines; and 1,670 aircraft, most of them obsolete, though
that won't matter if they are used as flying suicide bombers. I don't know
how many missiles they have, but it's a lot more than Iraq possesses by
the several hundreds.
- Because they have planned from the beginning on a surprise
attack, 60 percent of their forces are forward deployed, which means the
attack could be launched without the telltale buildup that would tip us
off. All North Korea needs to do is issue the order, and boom, the war
starts. Unlike Iraq, which is helpless, North Korea will not give us the
luxury of time for extensive plans, conferences and the sluggish movement
of troops and equipment.
- My guess would be that Kim Jong Il would wait until Bush
launches his attack against Iraq and then strike. There is no telling how
Bush and his chicken hawks will react. They might panic and start tossing
nukes, in which case we then have to wonder what will be the reaction of
China and Russia. You can bet the family car that North Korea is much more
prepared to receive nuclear hits than either the Japanese or we are. Little
Kim Jong Il might not be blowing smoke when he talks about the Third World
- The trouble with President Bush is that he likes to run
off at the mouth. He's forgotten that Teddy Roosevelt, a real man, said,
"Speak softly but carry a big stick." What did Bush think the
reaction would be when he said he "loathed" the North Korean
leader, that North Korea was part of the "axis of evil," that
the United States would henceforth use pre-emptive attacks and nuclear
weapons on non-nuclear states it deemed possible future threats? Well,
the man he loathes might be about to show him. As any Korean War vet can
attest, the North Koreans know how to fight.
- © 2002 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.