If a battle between North Korea and the United States abruptly broke out, U.S. troops in South Korea could be “outnumbered” and undersupplied, warns Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, the previous deputy commander of U.S. Forces in Korea.
“The 28,500 U.S. Armed Forces personnel in South Korea are vastly outnumbered by North Korean forces, as well as [South Korean] forces that will conduct the overwhelming majority of the fighting. Unlike every conflict since the last Korean War, we will not be able to build up our forces prior to the start of hostilities,” Jouas wrote in a November 7 letter obtained by Newsweek to a number of Democratic members of Congress. It’s estimated North Korea has roughly 1.2 million troops.
Jouas’s letter is addressed to Representatives Ted Lieu and Ruben Gallego and Senator Tammy Duckworth, all veterans of the U.S. navy who’ve not too long ago expressed grave concern over President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and stance towards North Korea.
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It’s estimated a battle between North Korea and the U.S. might result in thousands and thousands of deaths. Getty Images
From January 2012 to December 2014, Jouas was intimately concerned in formulating plans to counter a North Korean badault on South Korea. “This threat was the most dangerous I’d faced since the end of the Cold War, and planning for it the most challenging problem I’d encountered in my 35-year career,” he mentioned.
According to Jouas, it will take days to months for the mandatory U.S. reinforcements, provides and gear to achieve the Korean Peninsula. Once the troops lastly arrive, Jouas added, “they may well find their bases subject to attack by conventional or chemical weapons, which will further delay their entry into the war.”
Jouas additionally highlighted the danger a battle would pose to each South Korean and American civilians dwelling within the area. He mentioned it will take “days” to remove North Korean artillery, rockets and missiles that threaten the South Korean capital of Seoul, which is house to 25 million folks. Meanwhile, “an enormous casualty and evacuee crisis will develop and include over a hundred thousand non-combatant Americans, many of who will turn to U.S. forces to get them off the peninsula,” Jouas added.
He additionally warned that the safety of South Korean civilians and evacuation of U.S. civilians could be “significantly complicated” by the “expected use” of nuclear and chemical weapons by Kim Jong Un’s regime.
It’s estimated North Korea has as many as 60 nuclear weapons. Getty Images
Finally, Jouas emphasised any navy motion towards North Korea by the U.S., “no matter how limited,” would possible spark a full-scale battle and be unlikely to “completely eliminate North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.”
Jouas’s letter comes not lengthy after the Pentagon mentioned a floor invasion of North Korea could be needed so as to remove its nuclear arsenal. This badertion was prompted by a request from Lieu and Gallego directed at Defense Secretary James Mattis for an in depth report on what a battle with Kim’s regime would seem like.
Lieu, who served within the U.S. Air Force and was at one level stationed in Guam, advised Newsweek what actually “jumped out” to him concerning the letter was how clear it outlines the logistical points the U.S. navy faces when it comes to coping with North Korea. Unlike conflicts within the Middle East, the U.S. “can’t just send over troops and equipment right now because that would provoke a North Korean attack,” Lieu mentioned. “It would take many days to get rid of North Korea’s artillery and all their other weapons. In the meantime, a lot of people are going to die.”
The California congressman additionally famous that though the U.S. has a particularly superior navy and “the best air force in the world,” its benefit on this regard would primarily be eradicated as soon as “North Korea sends their mbadive army down to population centers in South Korea.” Seoul is simply 35 miles from the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. If the North Korean navy broke by way of and reached the capital, U.S. and South Korean troops would possible discover themselves overwhelmed and with out air badist.
North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear check in early September. Getty Images
The Pentagon has not given specifics on what number of casualties may end result from a battle between the U.S. and North Korea, however a latest evaluation from the Congressional Research Service estimated as many as 300,000 might die within the first few days of preventing, even with out the usage of nukes. Experts have additionally warned a U.S. floor invasion might flip “very bloody, very quickly.”
As Kim’s regime has refused to step away from its nuclear program and ramped up its long-range missile checks, Trump has issued various bombastic threats towards the reclusive nation. In late September, for instance, the president warned North Korea it will be met with “total destruction” if the U.S. was pressured to defend itself or its allies. Some have accused Trump of intentionally pushing the U.S. towards battle.
During a visit to Asia in early November, Trump softened his tone and adopted a considerably extra diplomatic strategy, calling for North Korea to “come to the table” and discover a peaceable settlement to the 2 international locations’ variations. Pyongyang, nevertheless, responded by stating it is heard sufficient from “mad dog” Trump and is seemingly disinterested in negotiating.