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North Korea's war strategy of massive retaliations against US attacks (Part II)
Han Ho Suk, Center for Korean Affairs
4/28/2003

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[What follows is the abstract to a piece written by Han Ho Suk, Director for the Center for Korean Affairs. It is currently featured on Korea WebWeekly. Part I was published on April 25, 2003.]

2. North Korea's Massive Retaliation Strategy
North Korea's war plan in case of an US attack is total war, not the 'low-intensity limited warfare' or 'regional conflict' talked about among the Western analysts. North Korea will mount a total war if attacked by the US. There are three aspects to this war plan.

First, total war is North Korea's avowed strategy in case of US preemptive attacks. The US war on Iraq shows that the US can and will mount preemptive strikes in clear violation of international laws, and the United Nations is powerless to stop the US. Any nation that is weak militarily may be attacked by the US at will. It is reasonable for North Korea to deter US attacks with threats of total war.

Second, North Korea expects no help from China, Russia, or other nations in case of war with the US. It knows that it will be fighting the superpower alone. Nominally, China and Russia are North Korea's allies but neither ally is expected to provide any assistance to North Korea in case of war. Neither nation can or is willing to protect North Korea from attacks by the US, and North Korea alone can and will protect itself from US attacks. This principle of self-defense applies to all nations.

Third, North Korea's total war plan has two components: massive conventional warfare and weapons of mass destruction. If the US mounts a preemptive strike on North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plants, North Korea will retaliate with weapons of mass destruction: North Korea will mount strategic nuclear attacks on the US targets. The US war planners know this and have drawn up their own nuclear war plan. In a nuclear exchange, there is no front or rear areas, no defensive positions or attack formations as in conventional warfare. Nuclear weapons are offensive weapons and there is no defense against nuclear attacks except retaliatory nuclear attacks. For this reason, North Korea's war plan is offensive in nature: North Korea's war plan goes beyond repulsing US attackers and calls for destruction of the United States.

The US war plan calls for military occupation of North Korea; it goes beyond the elimination of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction. The US military regards North Korea its main enemy and likewise North Korea regards the US its main enemy. South Korea, too, regards North Korea its main enemy but North Korea does not regard South Korea its main enemy because South Korea is a client state of the United States and has no ability or power to act independent of the US. North Korea's war plan is not for invading South Korea but for destroying the US.

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