Surgical Strike on N.Korea 'Could Have Catastrophic Results'
Jenny Park, July 10, 2017, 9:26 a.m.
Experts have warned that any U.S. surgical strike on North Korea's nuclear and missile sites could have catastrophic consequences and lead "to the worst kind of fighting," the New York Times reported last week.
A study by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability in 2012 "concluded that an initial artillery barrage by the North focused on military targets would result in nearly 3,000 fatalities, while one targeting civilians would kill nearly 30,000 people," the daily said.
U.S. military experts told the paper that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "would only turn to such weapons if he needed to repel a full-scale invasion or felt a nuclear attack or other attempt on his life was imminent."
It pointed out that the North has positioned as many as 8,000 artillery cannons and rocket launchers along the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas "capable of raining up to 300,000 rounds on the South in the first hour of a counterattack" and "inflict tremendous damage without resorting to weapons of mass destruction."
Early detection could result in North Korea losing about 20 percent of its artillery on the first day of fighting, but it would take three to four more days for the North's entire artillery arsenal to be decimated, it said.
That would mean massive damage in South Korea, because North Korea could focus its artillery attacks over a short period. According to the Nautilus Institute, 60,000 casualties could result from the first day of attack if the North focuses its artillery on military targets in the Seoul metropolitan area, with the casualty count surging to 300,000 if the artillery lands on civilian targets.