B1 Intermediate 1527 Folder Collection
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Following alleged nuclear weapon tests by North Korea in January of 2016, the United
Nations and South Korea have imposed strict sanctions on the country, and warned dictator
Kim Jong Un against further nuclear development. That same week, the North Korean leader threatened
to release a “pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice" at both South Korea and the United
States. Such a threat could allegedly provide the basis for a legal declaration of war against
North Korea, and made us want to know: What would happen if the United States and North
Korea went to war?
Well, historically, the countries have been lifelong enemies. The United States was instrumental
in the post-World War Two division of Korea, with the US backing South Korea’s development,
and Russia backing North Korea. Since then, the US and South Korea have maintained a mutual
defense treaty, meaning that in case of aggression, the two countries will back each other against
an aggressor.
In fact, military alliances are where North Korea suffers the most. With very few exceptions,
most notably Russia and China, North Korea has no real allies. Moreover, even Russia
and China would be hard pressed to go to war with the United States over a relatively weak
and unstable country. It may be more accurate to describe them as friendly mediators than
actual, defensive military allies.
So with little to no support, how does North Korea fare on its own? Well, militarily it’s
a mixed bag. On the one hand, the country’s military dictatorship means that nearly all
eligible citizens would be included in their troop count. That’s an estimated 5 million
active troops, plus another 5 million fit for service through mandatory conscription.
By comparison, the US has only about two and a half million active troops. Unfortunately
for North Korea, that’s where their military superiority ends.
There is no question that the United States operates the most expensive and modern military
on the face of the earth. The biggest reason the US doesn’t have as many troops as North
Korea is that they don’t need them. Against technology like fighter drones, smart bombs,
and billions of dollars worth of tanks, jets, and battleships, North Korea’s outdated,
underfunded, and faulty Soviet-era equipment doesn’t stand a chance. Their annual defense
budget is estimated around 7.5 billion dollars, while the US spends more than 77 times that
on defense.
And while North Korea does have a slight edge of unpredictability concerning their nuclear
capabilities, realistically they’ve got fewer than ten, crude nuclear bombs. Even
one nuclear weapon seems like a big deal, but North Korea’s nuclear program is believed
to still be in its infancy, and largely ineffective. By comparison, the United States possesses
more than 7,000 nukes, located all around the world. This is alongside a powerful missile
defense system which would likely destroy a North Korean missile before it ever reached
the US. In the end, there is almost no way for a North Korean attack to end favorably
for North Korea. Kim Jong Un is undoubtedly aware of this, which explains why the country
regularly threatens to attack but has never actually done it, and likely never will.
But while North Korea may stand alone politically, that doesn’t mean they don’t have any
trade or diplomatic allies at all. Find out which countries support North Korea by watching
this video up top. Or you can get a bird’s eye view at North Korea’s military and economic
strength by watching this video below. Thanks for checking out Test Tube News, don’t forget
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What If North Korea And The U.S. Went To War?

1527 Folder Collection
richardwang published on March 13, 2016    ohyawow translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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