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On the Brink of War?

With tensions rising in Asia as North Korea launches yet another failed missile, President Trump is back to Twitter with his warnings about the current events.

President Trump tweeted this about the recent botched missile test by North Korea, “North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!”

The mid-range KN-17 ballistic missile was fired at around 5:30 a.m. Saturday local time from the northeast of Pyongyang, Bloomberg reports. This is the sixth test launch North Korea has conducted this year.

The missile broke up minutes after launch and flew as high as 44 miles in the air, the Wall Street Journal reports. The missile did not leave North Korean territory, according to a spokesman for Pacific Command. Officials believe that the missile is being tested to one day target ships According to Fox News.

Kim Jong Un has performed dozens of launches and conducted three nuclear tests since coming to power in 2011. In January, he claimed that Pyongyang was almost ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile that would threaten the U.S., Bloomberg reports.

In another report from Fox News, they discuss the fact that even though North Koreas equipment maybe outdated; the sheer size of North Korea’s military is no laughing matter.

“North Korea’s military may be armed with obsolete conventional weapons, but at 1.2 million men, it poses a very real threat to its neighbor and nemesis to the South.

Equipped with 20,000 artillery pieces, 1,000 short- and medium-range missiles, 70 submarines, more than 400 patrol/missile boats and 563 combat aircraft, the Hermit Kingdom’s forces are poised to do maximum damage in a sneak attack against South Korea.

Its 10 plutonium-based nuclear warheads and evolving missile technology exists to project power beyond the peninsula, but there is little doubt that the rogue nation’s first target should it declare war will be South Korea.

A strike against Seoul would be devastating. At 25 million people, it is the most densely populated city in the world. Seoul is just 30 miles from the demilitarized zone, the contested boundary between North and South which are still technically at war and restrained only by an armistice in place since 1953.

Pyongyang has an estimated 4,000 artillery guns and rockets placed on the heights north of Seoul just across the DMZ, many of them on rails so they can be moved into place in time to avoid detection.” (Read More)

With artillery and rockets positioned on the heights, a first strike by North Korea would be catastrophic. U.S. and South Korean retaliation would most likely take out the positions that struck first, but second and third waves of bombardment could inflict mass casualty numbers in the tens of thousands if not more.

North Korea’s “military first” policy is intended to blunt the effect of persistent civilian food and fuel shortages on its armed forces. A South Korean lawmaker has asserted that North Korea has about a million tons of wartime food provisions. Enough, he claimed, to feed the million-man army for 500 days according to an interview with Admiral Harry Harris, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific.

The Admiral goes on to say, that after the initial bombardment, “Hundreds of thousands of troops backed by armored vehicles would then be expected to swarm across the border, hoping to take advantage of the brief window of surprise to force a conclusion to the war practically before it started”.

When asked if a pre-emptive strike against these artillery and rocket emplacements by the U.S. would work he said, “It depends on the level of the pre-emptive strike.”

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