North Korea is known for its willingness to bare its teeth in the face of the world. In recent years the dictatorship has followed through on missile and rocket launches despite global opposition. Its leader, Kim Jong-un, is known to be extremely proud of the country’s military and dedication millions of reservists show to their motherland.
Earlier this month, the North moved to follow a plan of strategic “military action” against its neighbour, South Korea.
It came after hundreds of thousands of balloons carrying anti-Kim propaganda entered the North from the South.
Non-government activists were thought to be behind the stunt.
Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, branded those responsible “human scum”.
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She later called the South “the enemy” before cutting a telecommunications line that had been in daily use between Pyongyang and Seoul since 2018.
Tensions climaxed when the North blew up a joint liaison office with the south in the border city of Kaesong.
Things from this point simmered as Kim announced the country would be suspending its military plans having taken the “prevailing situation” into consideration.
Many dismissed the aggression as the North attempting to gain attention in order to reopen diplomatic negotiations with Washington.
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Several times has Kim threatened the US with nuclear war.
During his New Year’s speech in 2018, he said: “The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table.”
“The entire area of the US mainland is within our nuclear strike range.
“The United States can never start a war against me and our country.”
Despite the supreme leader’s confidence in nuclear warfare, many experts believe that Kim and his generals know their forces are no match for the military skill of the US.
Journalist and war correspondent, Yochi Dreazen, in a 2018 report for Vox revealed the general consensus over Kim’s acknowledgement of this fact.
He wrote: “The experts I spoke to believe Kim and his generals know that US ground forces are better trained and equipped than North Korean troops, and that North Korea’s ageing fleet of 1,300 Soviet-era warplanes is no match for Washington’s state-of-the-art stealth fighters and other jets.”
US military personnel also seem to be aware of this.
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They have several scenarios and action plans in place should full-blown war with North Korea materialise.
Because of Kim’s unpredictability – his nuclear arsenal and seeming willingness to use it – the US has had to take multiple methods of intervention into consideration.
Many say that one of the most controversial yet logistically foolproof methods, given the gulf in class over the countries militaries, was floated in a letter from Admiral Michael Dumont in 2017, speaking on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to US representative Ted Lieu.
Writing in a blunt, matter of fact way, Admiral Dumont revealed how the only way to squeeze the North’s nuclear weapons programme – of which the US isn’t 100 percent certain about – would be to invade from the ground.
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He wrote: “The only way to ‘locate and destroy – with complete certainty – all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs’ is through a ground invasion.”
Yet, despite the US outweighing the North in terms of military skill and training, there remains a difference.
Retired South Korean, General In-Bum Chun, explained to Mr Dreazen that the difference rests with the fact that the North’s forces have been “indoctrinated since childhood with the belief that Kim and his family are literal gods whose government must be protected at all costs.”
“You’re talking about people who have basically been brainwashed their entire lives.
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“It would be like what you saw on Okinawa during World War II, where Japanese civilians and soldiers were all willing to fight to the death.
“This would be a hard and bloody war,” he explained.
Mr Dreazen noted that the North has a “different kind of weapon: 25million people” – its population.
In addition to this, the North’s repository of manpower includes 1.2million active-duty troops and several million reservists.