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North Korea Two Basis Scenarios

January 3, 2018

North Korea Two Basis Scenarios by Lushfun

Basis Scenario A – North Korea invaded and folds under. 90%

Basis Scenario B – North Korea survives and wins against South.  10%

Let us first note that in each scenario these truths will more or less occur. Korea as a whole will have around 70 million people. The combined economy will need to spend tens of billions to modernize infrastructure. Energy consumption and demand for most goods will go up significantly. As a market a lot of additional capacity will be available for all external and internal actors. Military spending as a combined aggregate will go down.

 

Several North Korean scenarios.

Basis Scenario A – North Korea invaded and folds under. 90% likelihood in my opinion.

Variation of Scenario As are below.

Variation 1 of North Korean invasion goes as follows.

Russia and China are negotiated down to receive certain guarantees. There are global trade offs, some of which are economic others are geopolitical. North Korea is on its’ own and is essentially bombarded by conventional munitions for about a week, with no ability to retaliate as any trajectories outside the peninsula are intercepted and shot down. Regime collapses as landings occur in weakly defended points on the coasts and communications are cut off. Most of the assets that were flaunted including artillery are destroyed with low losses via consistent bombardment by high altitude and long range missile strikes. Full destruction of the regime is apparent in the first week. Armed forces of North Korea give up to the South Koreans and it becomes clear that the North is essentially liquidated to be folded into the South.

What is the likelihood of this scenario? Well it depends on what the U.S. trades for said force projection. Theoretically even if the price is steep the additional stature in having said victory under the belt would re-configure perceptions on U.S. foreign policy and allow exits from different areas that the U.S. needs to get out of without loosing prestige, or face, or general perception of weakness. This is extremely important since it would provide a background of strength for actions that may provide overarching agreements to modify and minimize certain commitments without them seeming disadvantageous.

What could Russia and China actually get? Both could get a certain sphere of influence where U.S. involvement not just ends but the abandonment of U.S. support provides significant asymmetric bargaining positions for these countries. Economic amelioration of sanctions for Russia and China in certain spheres, in addition to possible re-financing of certain areas of their economies via third parties. Economic participation in accessing a combined Korean market to supply infrastructure development, capital goods, and raw materials, and so on. One of the biggest benefits for all three parties would be a reduction in direct confrontational forces. Ergo, Neither South Korea, China, Russia, or United States would need to expend as much on conventional warfare capabilities in that focal point to offset each other without the overwhelming mass forces of the North Koreans foreshadowing presence. If one goes back in time one can see China cutting forces, perhaps in anticipation[i] of said dividend in regard to lower strategic density required in a post NK world.

Variation 2 is more or less the same as the above, ergo Russia and China do not intervene. The only difference is there are major casualties from the liquidation of North Korea. U.S. still looks strong on the global stage with it and allies willing to take pain to remove a strategic threat. There are still trade-offs for Russia and China.

Variation 3

Everything goes wrong. Russia and China provide covert support, massive casualties and expending of energy, people, and other aspects with the eventual subjugation of the North. Multiple hidden agreements with China and Russia to pay for cutting off aid in the conflict and essentially sell down the North Koreans.

On the facade U.S. power will still seem strong, however the cost of said conflict will require major re-configuration of power the U.S. projects. South Korea and China border will essentially have token forces on opposite sides and have relatively open trade relations. U.S. will remain in the South but at a lower capacity and mostly in the missile intercept, air support capacity, with limited ground.

Russia will probably gain a pipeline into the combine Korea and be able to finalize the peace treaty with Japan. Essentially a reset of the region.

[i] https://sputniknews.com/asia/201703111051467574-china-reduce-army-reserves/

 

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