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A Brief History of the Second Korean War

Obviously this is a hypothetical and I most sincerely hope it remains so!

The Second Korean War began the night of Sunday, August 20, 2017, though few people knew it at the time. Power started going down in Pyongyang and the few other North Korean cities with significant electrification. Residents in the countryside reported a strange black fibrous substance falling from the sky and hanging from electrical wires, power substations, and other systems. A few reported seeing parachutists or men gliding down from the sky.

Tensions had been high since the launch of four North Korean missiles toward the US unincorporated territory of Guam earlier that week. One missile had malfunctioned on launch, another suffered a mysterious in-flight malfunction and exploded, but two had arrived time on target near US territorial waters. In response, first North Korea, followed by South Korea and Japan, had announced a full mobilization. The US went to DEFCON 4, and remained in a status of watchful readiness as increasingly frantic international efforts were made to resolve the Korea Crisis, as it came to be called.

On Friday, the 18th of August, the US had quietly gone to DEFCON 3, and all US Air Force, SOCOM, and Marine assets were mobilized. The EU and NATO members, except the UK and former Warsaw Pact members, plus Turkey, declared neutrality. Australia declared solidarity with the US, but New Zealand declared it was withdrawing from the ANZUS Pact. Canada likewise declared neutrality.

China began to mobilize its mobile forces, and Chinese positions along the Yalu river were reinforced by several hundred thousand troops.

As with the Gulf War, the US planned to begin offensive operations against North Korea on the dark of the moon, first inserting Special Operations and UK SAS and SBS troops as forward observers, and then dropping conductive carbon-fiber chaff to disrupt electrical and communications facilities.

The war began in earnest that night at 04:00 South Korean time (+9:00 UTC) when the South Korean port of Busan went up in a mushroom cloud. The underwater burst also resulted in a large tsunami which did significant damage along the coast. It is believed that the device was delivered either via a North Korean suicide sub or half-submarine, or else in container freight. The US amphibious assault ship USS America, the already damaged destroyer USS John McCain, the destroyer USS Chafee, the US hospital ship USNS Mercy, and a number of support and logistics vessels were severely damaged and irradiated and had to be evacuated and scuttled. The US 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit suffered 80% casualties.

Surprisingly, Russia declared solidarity with the US and South Korea, allowing its airspace and ports to be used by the US (but not Japan or South Korea). As a result, China declared a full mobilization, followed by Russia, Eastern Europe, and then NATO.

The US 7th Fleet dispersed as it expected to be a prime target for any additional nuclear weapons, and the US went to DEFCON 2.

President Trump went to Congress and gained an almost-unanimous Declaration of War. As soon as he had this in hand, Trump announced the firing and detention of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and imposed a nationwide State of Emergency and dusk-to-dawn curfew under NSPD-51.

All interstate highways were closed to non-military traffic. All civil air traffic in the US was shut down, and civilian airliners were drafted for use as troop and supply transports. As in the Cuban Missile crisis, young children were wowed by the distinctive quadruple contrails of ancient B-52’s going to and from their fail-safe points, and US citizens particularly in the US midwest and west were rocked by near-constant sonic booms as fighters scrambled to fly combat air patrol missions over American cities.

Several US cities experienced mass protests and rioting, which were put down with military force, resulting in thousands of casualties. Washington, DC, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon had their municipal governments replaced by military governors.

Following the US Declaration of War, the US went to DEFCON I, and strategic, non-nuclear strikes began against North Korean air defense, command and control, and strategic missile facilities.

In response, North Korea attempted to launch its remaining medium and long-range nuclear missiles. None of these reached ground or naval targets and successfully detonated, but two nuclear devices were detonated at an altitude of 400 km, one over Seoul, and one over southern Japan, resulting in substantial electromagnetic pulses. The fear created by this massive aurora and disruption of the earth’s magnetic field, and the failure of many electrical transformers and computer systems created great unrest and political dislocation resulting in the fall of both the Japanese and South Korean Governments. But with different results, whereas Japan declared neutrality and banned combatant ships and planes from its territory, the new South Korean government declared all-out war.

The territory along the North Korea/South Korea border, particularly the 30 km from the border to the outskirts of Seoul, became a hellish free-fire zone. It is estimated that 300,000 shells landed on Seoul in the first hour following the South Korean official Declaration of War. The bombardment and subsequent firestorm, as well as the use of nerve gas and biological agents, resulted in huge loss of life. The South Korean highways were jammed with people trying to flee in all directions, even in some cases, toward the front lines, and military maneuver became all but impossible for mechanized and armored units.

Although the advance by North Korean troops toward Seoul was stymied a mere 20 km into South Korea, and also stopped just over the border at the eastern coastal road, infiltration units quickly cut off pockets of ROK and US troops between the cities of Yeoncheon, Cheorwan, Yangu, and Goesong. The ROK troops fought stoutly for a week, but following another underwater nuclear blast in the channel near Inchon, and widespread use of North Korean school children as sappers to clear minefields and as human bombs, the northern pockets became demoralized and surrendered between August 30 and September 2. Small groups of special forces and SAS troops as well as local ad hoc groupings of ROK forces and militia kept up a guerrilla war in the besieged cities and mountains, until they were decimated and forced to retreat by the use of chemical weapons, which also killed the better part of the civilian populations in those cities.

Meanwhile, a UN Security Council resolution supporting South Korea and the US under Article 7 was vetoed by China. However, as in the first Korean War, a General Assembly resolution by the US was overwhelmingly passed. Unlike the First Korean War, this resolution was co-sponsored and supported by Russia.

Consequently, a small trickle of reinforcements from nations which could provide their own transport, such as the UK, Turkey, India, and Australia, began to arrive in theater. The US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, The US Third Marine Division, comprised of 3, 4, and 12 Marine Regiment, and 1 Battalion, First Special Forces Group, arrived from Japan. They were joined by the US 75th Ranger Regiment, US 10th Mountain Division, 86 Brigade Combat Team and 36 Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. US 3 and 4 Marine Regiments along with the British 1 and 2 battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles, reinforced the East Coast road, setting up roadblocks and ambushes along the road and inland strategic passes.

The remaining reinforcements, joined by Turkish 4 Commando Brigade, were airdropped/airlifted into central Korea and attempted to stabilize a front there, using Chuncheon as their command post under the rubric of UN First Army. They were also unofficially reinforced by elements of the Russian 10th Separate Special Purpose Brigade, and French 2nd Foreign Paratroop regiment, operating as “volunteers” with the sanction of their respective governments.

While the ROK units proved to be stalwart in static defense of prepared positions and urban areas, they quickly became demoralized in the confused central highlands and began to flee south, jamming the roads and making reinforcements and logistics very difficult.

In the meanwhile, the US and allied airforces had established air superiority over North Korea by mid-September and began to bomb front line troops and rear areas and roads and other strategic targets almost at will. This resulted in a large migration of North Koreans fleeing north to China, mirroring the bug-out which was now fleeing south in north-central South Korea. This threatened to overwhelm the Chinese on the frontier until the US, probably with tacit Chinese approval, used cruise missiles and drones to take out the bridges over the Yalu.

Surviving elements of the US 2nd Division and ROK forces in the Seoul theater actually managed to move forward and cross the North Korean frontier, supported by an armored thrust from the newly-arrived 2nd Armored Combat Team, 4rth Cavalry Regiment, and support units from the US 1st Infantry Division, as well as 2 Brigade, US 25th Infantry Division and US 40 Division, 81st Infantry Brigade. They were stopped when, ten miles into North Korea, their second-echelon forces were crippled by a concealed North Korean crude atomic bomb, the “mother of all IED’s” as one officer bitterly, and famously, described it to an embedded reporter.

This left the leading elements exposed, and a brutal close-quarters fight ensued, where human waves of North Korean schoolchildren strapped with mines and crude improvised bombs were mowed down by the trapped US and ROK forces. Until their ammunition ran low. At that point it became a literal hand-to-hand and house-to-house fight, with heavy casualties on both sides.

In the central theater, things were not so good for the UN forces. The bugout of ROK troops which began in mid-September, became a rout by early October, which was only stopped by the advent of cold and mud season. Chinese troops from PRC 12 and 13 army groups were now filling in for the exhausted NK troops, once again under the rubric of being “volunteers.”

The entry of substantial numbers of Chinese elite special forces and chemical weapons troops caused the complete collapse and rout of the central front, with many ROK units surrendering en masse. The Gurkhas, US Marines, SAS and Turkish forces began a fighting withdrawal, eerily similar to the 1st Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir.

Russia and the US confronted China (rather hypocritically given their own use of “volunteer” forces) and demanded that the Chinese withdraw. China refused and withdrew its membership from the UN, leading to a further Chapter 7 Security Council Resolution which was passed 13-0, with only Uruguay abstaining.

Noting the defiance of China, Russian marines and special forces seized the North Korean ports of Chonjin and Sonbong.

China declared war on Russia and began a massive invasion along a wide front. This went badly for them. In areas, Russian armored and airborne units penetrated deep into China. China in turn, activated its nuclear mines along the primary Russian invasion routes. Russia retaliated by depopulating Harbin and Nanjing with enhanced-radiation “neutron” bombs in the “Second Nanjing Massacre.”

Fearing losing their strategic nuclear force, and feeling they were now in a use them or lose them posture, China launched a massive counterforce nuclear strike against Russia, South Korea, Japan and the US, resulting in the destruction of what was left of Seoul, Busan (again), several ports in Okinawa, Yokosuka, Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, Ulan-Ude, Vladivostok, and Petropavlosk, Russia, and Port Darwin, Australia. Japan’s declaration of neutrality was to no avail, as the US had perforce simply refused to quit its facilities there and in the turmoil surrounding the fall of the Liberal Party government, Japan was in no position to enforce its demands.

In the US were destroyed: Guam, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Nome, Alaska, Pearl Harbor, San Diego, San Francisco, and Livermore, California, Hanford, Washington State, Los Alamos, White Sands, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Groom Lake and the Nevada Test Site, Vandenberg AFB, Edwards AFB, Cape Canaveral, Colorado Springs, Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Aiken, South Carolina, Amarillo and Houston, Texas, Mount Weather, and Wallops and Norfolk, Virginia as well as Thule, Greenland and Portsmouth, Menwith Hill, and Scapa Flow, UK.

The resulting “limited” retaliatory strike from the US and Russia destroyed 50 strategic sites in China, as well as Shanghai and Guangzhou.

All the New England States except Maine, plus Texas, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington state, declared independence from the US and formed the Federal Republic of New England, with its capital at Boston, and The Pacific States of America, with its new capital in Bakersfield, California. Utah declared itself to be the Republic of Deseret. Nevada declared itself affiliated to the Pacific States, but disintegrated into Federal, Pacific, Deseret, and ungoverned territories. The Navajo and Great Sioux nations declared independence within their national territories in the Four Corners region, and Dakotas and western Minnesota and north-west Iowa. Mexico declared the Gadsden Purchase and annexation of former Mexican territories in the southwest null and void and began a series of incursions in the border regions. Texas declared independence, and declared war on Mexico. Alaska petitioned to join Canada, and was provisionally accepted as a Canadian self-governing territory.

The rump US government was overthrown by a military junta. The government in North Korea disintegrated and a ceasefire was declared on November 11, 2017, with a ceasefire in place, to be followed by a staged withdrawal to the 38th parallel. The EU, which had largely survived unscathed, emerged as the new world hyperpower, and guarantor of the cease-fire and armistice terms.

Total immediate casualties of the war were as follows:

Australia: 100 thousand
China: 50 million (estimated)
Denmark: 2 thousand
France: 3 thousand
Japan: 3.2 million
Nepal: 3 thousand
North Korea: 15 million
Russia: 1.9 million
South Korea: 9.6 million
Turkey: 5 thousand
UK: 120 thousand
USA: 16.5 million

Other combatant nations: under 1,000 casualties each

Of these casualties, approximately 1/4 were killed, and 3/4 were severely wounded.

An additional 150 million in early mortality is expected over the next 50 years.

disclaimer: I have no knowledge of actual US planning or deployments aside from what is available from public sources, primarily gloabalsecurity dot org. The force deployments are hypothetical, and based on what I would do if I was the US commander in theater and could set my own order of battle. There’s not a lot of armor because its not that great in built up urban areas nor mountains and forest without a good road infrastructure and I didn’t want the logistical tail. I didn’t go into political events in the US, Koreas, and other countries but the general story is things went to shit as soon as nukes started to be used, which was on the second day of the war. I left out HQ, artillery, naval and air units, and support units, as well as any specific ROK units entirely in the interests of moving along the narrative. As I said, I hope to God this all never happens.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy


13 August, 2017 Posted by | history, Korea, Korean War, North Korea, nuclear war, scanlyze, South Korea, war | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The United States fetishizes gun Violence

The United States fetishizes gun Violence

I think it is very facile to attack guns for gun violence. That model fails to account for societies like Switzerland or Finland with high gun ownership but little gun violence.

What separates the United States is the degree to which it fetishizes gun violence. The stock character of the Western hero has morphed into the hard nosed cop and now into the faceless futuristic enforcer but the plot is the same: a lone man, using violence to right wrongs in society, then conveniently riding off into the sunset. “Hiyo, Silver, away!”

American Exceptionalism is the modern version of Manifest Destiny and White Man’s Burden. All are pinioned on the Idea that American Ideas are the Best, so much Better, in fact, that extreme violence and skullduggery are justified in their lofty pursuit of a greater good only America the Beautiful can provide.

Well, where’s the beef? Where are the benefits this benevolent violence are supposed to provide? Stable governments, democracy, prosperity, pluralism, tolerance, human rights, rule of law, all that?

Shall we ask Afghanistan? Or Libya? Or Yemen? Or Somalia? Or Iraq?

How’s that workin’ for ya USA? Is that the right model for Syria? Really?

I think it is very facile to attack guns for gun violence. That model fails to account for societies like Switzerland or Finland with high gun ownership but little gun violence.

What separates the United States is the degree to which it fetishizes gun violence. The stock character of the Western hero has morphed into the hard nosed cop and now into the faceless futuristic enforcer but the plot is the same: a lone man, using violence to right wrongs in society, then conveniently riding off into the sunset. “Hiyo, Silver, away!”

American Exceptionalism is the modern version of Manifest Destiny and White Man’s Burden. All are pinioned on the Idea that American Ideas are the Best, so much Better, in fact, that extreme violence and skullduggery are justified in their lofty pursuit of a greater good only America the Beautiful can provide.

Well, where’s the beef? Where are the benefits this benevolent violence are supposed to provide? Stable governments, democracy, prosperity, pluralism, tolerance, human rights, rule of law, all that?

Shall we ask Afghanistan? Or Libya? Or Yemen? Or Somalia? Or Iraq?

How’s that workin’ for ya USA? Is that the right model for Syria? Really?

Copyright © 2015 Henry Edward Hardy

30 October, 2015 Posted by | Afghanistan, anthropology, foreign policy, gun, Iraq, Libya, media, nonviolence, policy, scanlyze, Somalia, Syria, United States, violence, Where's the beef? | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“War on Christianity” meet “War on Islam”

“War on Christianity” meet “War on Islam” (using the US, and Afghanistan and Iraq as the templates)

People say things about you and your religion which you don’t like.

Both: Yes.

A nation of the other religion conquered your country and had executed the former leader.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: No.

The media considers the name of your religion to be synonymous with “extremism” and “terrorism”.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: Not so much.

Your country is being occupied by a superpower which is predominantly of the other religion.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: No.

Civilians in your country are subject to illegal assassination carried out by remotely piloted aircraft.

Islam: Yes.
Christianity: No.

Your religion is subjected to occasional terrorist attacks.

Both: Yes, but in the case of the victims of the other religion, each religion’s fanatics blames the victims.

The terrorist attacks on your religion are reported as a major world news event.

Christianity: Yes.
Islam: Not so much.

Your country possesses, and asserts the right to strike first with nuclear weapons.

Christianity: Yes.
Islam: No.

What do you think of my analysis?

Copyright © 2015 Henry Edward Hardy

7 May, 2015 Posted by | Christianity, Iraq, Islam, peace, politics, scanlyze, war | , , , , | 1 Comment

Secret drone court? No, thanks!

The idea of establishing a secret “drone court” modeled on the FISA court is an exceptionally bad one. Here in brief are some of my objections:

The court and its proceedings would be secret. It would be even worse than the infamous English Star Chamber. Even in the Star Chamber you had to be accused of doing *something*. As I understand it, the standard being articulated by the US administration now is “imminent danger”. Hello, “Minority Report” scenario anyone?

These death warrants would constitute a “Bill of Attainder” which is very expressly and categorically prohibited in the US Constitution Article I Section 9.

It is a fundamental and blatant violation of customary international law, in particular the 1923 Hague Convention. No you cannot bomb civilians. No you cannot bomb mosques and hospitals. No you cannot bomb people away from the battlefield.

Granted these prohibitions were blatantly ignored in the latter phases of WWII by all major participants. Nonetheless the principals in the German V-1 and V-2 rocket program were tried for war crimes in the Dora trial of 1947. But they were acquitted of all charges and found refuge in the US, where their work became the basis of the US space and missile programs. The drone is the modern inheritor of the Nazi V-1 buzz bomb both in scientific development and in the shocking lack of ethics.

It is murder. It is lying. It is covert and unaccountable. It is a grim violation of international law and simple human decency. It is clearly unconstitutional.

Come on Congress and President Obama. Think about this. How hard can it be to see what is right?

International Law on the Bombing of Civilians

Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy

21 February, 2013 Posted by | drone, drones, law, military, news, peace, politics, scanlyze, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Junior High

On Junior High

I went to Roxboro Junior High in Cleveland Heights, Ohio from 1970 to 1974.

The first two years were the most interesting. Viet Nam was reaching it’s genocidal conclusion and the east side of Cleveland was a hotbed of radicalism. Cleveland had I think the fourth-largest SDS chapter at one time. Twenty six thousand people? That’s the membership number I remember. Never actually had any documentary evidence of it tho’ just word of mouth.

There had already been down-and-out fighting between some in the city’s black community of Hough and the police and 1600 National Guardsmen in the summer of 1966 (June 18-23, 1966). These were characterized as riots by the press and government but had some revolutionary characteristics. A Grand Jury investigation later found that , “The jury finds that the outbreak of lawlessness and disorder was both organized, precipitated and exploited by a relatively small group of trained and disciplined professionals at the business. They were aided and abetted, willingly or otherwise, by misguided people of all ages and colors, many of whom are avowed believers in violence and extremism, and some of whom are either members or officers of the Communist Party.”

There had been major tension in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, culminating in the “Glenville shootout” of July 23-28, 1968 in which seven people were killed (officially), including three police officers, and (officially) 15 were wounded.

On September 20, 1969, there was a demonstration at the Davis Cup tennis finals about a half mile from my house in which about 300 SDS’ers, including Bernadine Dohrn, were beaten and thrown in garbage trucks (the kind for fallen tree branches) They had marched around chanting, “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh is going to win”. Mental facepalm once again. Nixon was supposed to come and they repaved all the roads from the airport right to the Clark courts (which was oddly on the Junior High grounds). But Nixon didn’t show. Officially 20 were arrested. I saw the whole thing from inside the stadium. News coverage, despite presence of the international media? None.

Later there were some bombings, popularly (and probably wrongly) attributed by the press to the Weatherman faction of SDS, in which things like one of Rodin’s “Thinker” (March 24, 1970) and the Shaker Heights police station (February 1, 1970) were blown up.

And then there was Kent State about 40 miles from us, where on May 4, 1970, Ohio national guardsmen shot and killed four unarmed students, wounding at least nine others. This led to a student strike by an estimated four million people.

Events are somewhat jumbled in my mind but I remember a lot of chaos (and fun) in that time. The school was essentially ruled by the AV club. They had keys to everything kept on a big keyring hidden in a false bottom of a “safe locker” (and spare sets). They held “trials” of students accused of stealing things without authorization or misusing access to the keys. Or losing them.

A key amnesty was used to turn in the worst malefactors and tighten up on key security. Some people also ran a pirate TV station, 1/4 watt, broadcasting Star Trek in black and white up to 5 hours a day on school days.

The AV crew also spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to write “Page Bites” in the most improbable places, including in invisible ink on a white sweater which became visible after drying poor Mrs. Page’s sweater.

Kids who were thought to be wimpy got a rough time. Beaten with wet towels, clothes stolen, locked in wet used towel box. I let several of these go. In those days nobody wanted to fight me as I was heavyweight intramural wrestling champion of my grade in 7th and 8th grade. Well I did get punched in the mouth in the library, which aggravated me and prompted me to tell them they should leave now. lol. “No fighting in the library”.

The worst malefactors were kept somewhat under control by quite rough treatment when we played “Bloodball” or rugby football. Some, who stole AV equipment or keys or who repeatedly tear-gassed Ms. Barber’s science class, were strongly encouraged to mend their ways after being subjected to drumhead student courts.

I guess I would consider myself to be a liberal then. I refused to boycott school, and said we should Occupy instead. I did not participate in any of the big fights, like when about 200 people put the beatdown on some gangsters who had come looking for one of our brothers. Mr N_____ who was a former Marine Corps Sergeant, saved them from being beaten unconscious or worse. Or when the Nazi’s were invited to speak to the 9th grade Humanistic Curriculum program and ended up leaving abruptly pursued by a student version of the basic Frankenstein’s monster chasing mob. With baseball bats, knives and a machete in place of pitchforks and torches.

There were frequent bombings in the school, ranging from strings of firecrackers, to M-80’s, to toilet bombs, homemade incendiaries, and finally the bombing of the administration offices, which left them a burnt out shell and did more than a quarter million dollars worth of damage. All other kinds of monkeywrenching and Anarchist Cookbook stuff was done. Such as the old wrap a wet sponge with rubber bands tightly, let it dry hard, take off bands and flush it down the toilet. I didn’t do that I found it annoying as well as not in accord with my nonviolent principles, even moreso annoying when the toilets were actually exploded.

The Paris Peace Accords of Jan 27, 1973, changed the revolutionary ardor of the students completely. We had won the right to make a Student Union, but after the war “ended” only one person (and me) ever showed up to another meeting and it fell apart. The war of course was not over for the Vietnamese. What changed was US American student’s older brothers were no longer being drafted and coming home insane or in a box.

I was more inspired by the Yippie’s pranksterism. I remember in the Humanistic Curriculum getting the teachers to agree that we should study bipedalism by going around on quasi all fours like apes one day and the traditional school teachers and administrators being quite disconcerted as we ran around on all fours eating bananas and pant-hooting at them. The Yippies continued to be a presence up through the end of high school in 1977. But basically the antiwar movement, which pretended to such high ideals, was dead, its leaders dead, imprisoned, underground, or exiled and the self-interest in avoiding the draft gone as a major motivating factor. That year after 9th grade they re-keyed the entire school at a cost of 60 thousand dollars and brought in security guards/police to “monitor” the halls.

Then came high school where the real fun began.

1970 Explosion Destroys Cleveland Police Station

Copyright © 2012 Henry Edward Hardy

5 September, 2012 Posted by | civil rights, Cleveland, Kent State, peace, scanlyze, Viet Nam, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment