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TOP SECRET – U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

Page Count: 53 pages
Date: October 2015
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Originating Organization: TRADOC G-2 ACE Threats Integration
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The Korean peninsula is a location of strategic interest for the US in the Pacific Command (PACOM), and many observers note that North Korea is an unpredictable and potentially volatile actor. According to the Department of Defense in its report to Congress and the intelligence community, the DPRK “remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” Some of the latest evidence of irrational behavior is the elevation of Kim Jong Un’s 26-year old sister to a high governmental post late in 2014, the computer hacking of the Sony Corporation supposedly by North Korea during late 2014 over the possible release of a film that mocked Kim Jong Un, and the April 2015 execution of a defense chief for allegedly nodding off during a meeting. Over the past 50 years, North Korea has sporadically conducted operations directed against its enemies, especially South Korea. These actions included attacks on South Korean naval vessels, the capturing of a US ship and holding American hostages for 11 months, the hijacking of a South Korean airline jet, electronic warfare against South Korean signals including global positioning satellites (GPS), and assassinations or attempted assassinations on South Korean officials including the ROK president. The attempted 1968 Blue House Raid by North Korean elite military personnel resulted in the death or capture of all 31 infiltrators involved in the assassination attempt as well as the death of 71 personnel, including three Americans, and the injury of 66 others as the North Korean SPF personnel attempted to escape back to DPRK territory.

The purpose of this North Korean Threat Tactics Report (TTR) is to explain to the Army training community how North Korea fights including its doctrine, force structure, weapons and equipment, and the warfighting functions. A TTR also identifies where the conditions specific to the actor are present in Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) and other training materials so that these conditions can easily be implemented across all training venues.

Executive Summary

  • North Korea is an oligarchy with Kim Jong Un as its supreme leader.
  • The DPRK is a militaristic society with about 1.2 million active duty personnel in uniform out of a population of 24 million with another 7.7 million in the reserve forces.
  • All military personnel serve under the umbrella of the Korean People’s Army (KPA); the Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN) primarily support the KPA ground forces.
  • The KPAF focuses on homeland defense and close air support to the KPA.
  • The KPN’s primary mission is to protect the North Korean coastline and support the KPA special purpose forces (SPF) in mission execution.
  • Much of the equipment in all military branches is old and obsolete, but the KPA has concentrated its modernization efforts on missile technology that may provide the means to successfully launch a nuclear warhead.
  • North Korea possesses a nuclear weapon and is modernizing its missile fleet in order to increase the attack range for its nuclear arsenal.
  • North Korea possesses both chemical and biological weapons.
  • The KPA practices both passive and active camouflage to hide its units, headquarters, and other important resources from the air.

Weaknesses

Although the North Korean military may feature some positive attributes as a fighting force, the KPA also suffers from many weaknesses as well. Much of the military’s equipment is old and obsolete. The North Korean military consciously refuses to rid itself of any equipment and still operate tanks that date back to World War II. This wide range of military hardware from many generations of warfare also generates logistical issues. The KPA’s supply personnel must not only find the spare parts for a large variety of equipment, the KPA maintenance personnel must be well-versed in the repair of a great assortment of vehicles and weapons. In addition, the DPRK lacks the logistical capability to support the KPA beyond a few months. Due to the shortage of fuel and the cost to operate vehicles for a cash-strapped country, many of the KPA soldiers find themselves involved in public works projects or helping farmers bring in their rice crops. Any time spent in non-military support is less time that the KPA soldiers can spend training for combat. Even the mechanized and armor forces, due to resource restraints, spend much of their training time doing light infantry training instead of mounted operations. While KPA soldiers may be well trained in individual skills or small unit tactics, the amount of time spent on larger exercises pales in comparison to most Western militaries. Without adequate time and resources to practice large scale military operations, the KPA will always face a steep learning curve when the KPA is forced to perform them in actual combat for the first time.

The DPRK’s unorthodox use of provocation in order to obtain concessions from its enemies—especially the US, South Korea, and Japan—is a danger. One never knows what North Korea will do next as, in the past, the DPRK has sanctioned assassination attempts on South Korean political leaders and conducted bombings when South Korean contingents are in another country, unannounced attacks on ships by submarines, unprovoked artillery attacks, or has tunneled underground into another country. US military personnel stationed in South Korea must be prepared for the unexpected from the DPRK.

One of these incidents could ignite the Korean peninsula back into a full-blown war. While an armistice has been in place since 1953, an armistice is just a ceasefire waiting for a peace treaty to be signed or for the resumption of hostilities. Any conflict between North and South Korea would inevitably bring the US into the conflict as the ROK has been an ally for over six decades.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and the missiles to transport it up to 9,650 km makes it a threat to US forces stationed in Korea, Japan, Alaska, or even the west coast of the continental United States. Even more concerning was the DPRK’s first successful test launch of a KN-11 missile from a submarine on 23 January 2015 since, in the near future, the North Korean submarines could silently move closer to their targets before launching a nuclear missile that would give the US less warning time. If the DPRK thought that the survival of its country or the Kim regime was at stake, North Korea might use any nuclear weapons at its disposal. The KPA also possesses chemical weapons and its doctrine calls for their employment. The DPRK is also involved in biological weapons research and would likely use those with offensive capabilities. US military personnel training for deployment to South Korea must be prepared to fight in a chemical, biological, or nuclear environment.

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EXPOSED – U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

The Korean peninsula is a location of strategic interest for the US in the Pacific Command (PACOM), and many observers note that North Korea is an unpredictable and potentially volatile actor. According to the Department of Defense in its report to Congress and the intelligence community, the DPRK “remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” Some of the latest evidence of irrational behavior is the elevation of Kim Jong Un’s 26-year old sister to a high governmental post late in 2014, the computer hacking of the Sony Corporation supposedly by North Korea during late 2014 over the possible release of a film that mocked Kim Jong Un, and the April 2015 execution of a defense chief for allegedly nodding off during a meeting. Over the past 50 years, North Korea has sporadically conducted operations directed against its enemies, especially South Korea. These actions included attacks on South Korean naval vessels, the capturing of a US ship and holding American hostages for 11 months, the hijacking of a South Korean airline jet, electronic warfare against South Korean signals including global positioning satellites (GPS), and assassinations or attempted assassinations on South Korean officials including the ROK president. The attempted 1968 Blue House Raid by North Korean elite military personnel resulted in the death or capture of all 31 infiltrators involved in the assassination attempt as well as the death of 71 personnel, including three Americans, and the injury of 66 others as the North Korean SPF personnel attempted to escape back to DPRK territory.

The purpose of this North Korean Threat Tactics Report (TTR) is to explain to the Army training community how North Korea fights including its doctrine, force structure, weapons and equipment, and the warfighting functions. A TTR also identifies where the conditions specific to the actor are present in Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) and other training materials so that these conditions can easily be implemented across all training venues.

Executive Summary

North Korea is an oligarchy with Kim Jong Un as its supreme leader.
The DPRK is a militaristic society with about 1.2 million active duty personnel in uniform out of a population of 24 million with another 7.7 million in the reserve forces.
All military personnel serve under the umbrella of the Korean People’s Army (KPA); the Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN) primarily support the KPA ground forces.
The KPAF focuses on homeland defense and close air support to the KPA.
The KPN’s primary mission is to protect the North Korean coastline and support the KPA special purpose forces (SPF) in mission execution.
Much of the equipment in all military branches is old and obsolete, but the KPA has concentrated its modernization efforts on missile technology that may provide the means to successfully launch a nuclear warhead.
North Korea possesses a nuclear weapon and is modernizing its missile fleet in order to increase the attack range for its nuclear arsenal.
North Korea possesses both chemical and biological weapons.
The KPA practices both passive and active camouflage to hide its units, headquarters, and other important resources from the air.

Weaknesses

Although the North Korean military may feature some positive attributes as a fighting force, the KPA also suffers from many weaknesses as well. Much of the military’s equipment is old and obsolete. The North Korean military consciously refuses to rid itself of any equipment and still operate tanks that date back to World War II. This wide range of military hardware from many generations of warfare also generates logistical issues. The KPA’s supply personnel must not only find the spare parts for a large variety of equipment, the KPA maintenance personnel must be well-versed in the repair of a great assortment of vehicles and weapons. In addition, the DPRK lacks the logistical capability to support the KPA beyond a few months. Due to the shortage of fuel and the cost to operate vehicles for a cash-strapped country, many of the KPA soldiers find themselves involved in public works projects or helping farmers bring in their rice crops. Any time spent in non-military support is less time that the KPA soldiers can spend training for combat. Even the mechanized and armor forces, due to resource restraints, spend much of their training time doing light infantry training instead of mounted operations. While KPA soldiers may be well trained in individual skills or small unit tactics, the amount of time spent on larger exercises pales in comparison to most Western militaries. Without adequate time and resources to practice large scale military operations, the KPA will always face a steep learning curve when the KPA is forced to perform them in actual combat for the first time.

The DPRK’s unorthodox use of provocation in order to obtain concessions from its enemies—especially the US, South Korea, and Japan—is a danger. One never knows what North Korea will do next as, in the past, the DPRK has sanctioned assassination attempts on South Korean political leaders and conducted bombings when South Korean contingents are in another country, unannounced attacks on ships by submarines, unprovoked artillery attacks, or has tunneled underground into another country. US military personnel stationed in South Korea must be prepared for the unexpected from the DPRK.

One of these incidents could ignite the Korean peninsula back into a full-blown war. While an armistice has been in place since 1953, an armistice is just a ceasefire waiting for a peace treaty to be signed or for the resumption of hostilities. Any conflict between North and South Korea would inevitably bring the US into the conflict as the ROK has been an ally for over six decades.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and the missiles to transport it up to 9,650 km makes it a threat to US forces stationed in Korea, Japan, Alaska, or even the west coast of the continental United States. Even more concerning was the DPRK’s first successful test launch of a KN-11 missile from a submarine on 23 January 2015 since, in the near future, the North Korean submarines could silently move closer to their targets before launching a nuclear missile that would give the US less warning time. If the DPRK thought that the survival of its country or the Kim regime was at stake, North Korea might use any nuclear weapons at its disposal. The KPA also possesses chemical weapons and its doctrine calls for their employment. The DPRK is also involved in biological weapons research and would likely use those with offensive capabilities. US military personnel training for deployment to South Korea must be prepared to fight in a chemical, biological, or nuclear environment.

 

China’s hold over ‘Rocket Man’ is key to avoiding nuclear war in East Asia

 

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un are playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship while also trading personal insults.

 

Most recently, Trump blasted the “Rocket Man” in his inaugural speech to the United Nations, promising to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the U.S. or its allies. The Trump Administration also added new sanctions aimed at strangling its ability to work with banks.

Kim, for his part, resorted to calling Trump “mentally deranged” and a “dotard,” while his foreign minister threatened to test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.

 

With tensions escalating, it is important to be realistic about how we can get out of this mess.

 

In short, any nonmilitary solution will rely on China choosing to apply its massive economic leverage over the North Korean regime. In a positive sign, China’s central bank recently told Chinese financial companies to stop doing business with North Korea.

 

Overall, however, it appears that China has increased its trade with North Korea in recent years while doing fairly little to forestall North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. China’s foremost objective seems to be promoting greater stability from its volatile neighbor, in part because it fears being faced with a massive humanitarian crisis should the regime collapse.

 

But while the poor quality of the data hinders a detailed analysis, a quick look shows just how much leverage China has, if it wishes to use it.

 

 

North Korea’s primary patron

 

In general, exports from one country to another can be mostly explained by the distance between them and the sizes of their markets, a pattern that holds for China and North Korea.

 

Geographically, they share a long border, which makes China a natural, though not inevitable, partner for trade. As a case in point, North Korea also shares a long border with South Korea, but these countries have almost no trade between them. In addition, North Korea shares a small border with Russia, with whom it has little, though ever-increasing, trade.

 

China’s large market, proximity and – most importantly – willingness to trade with North Korea has led to a situation in which North Korea has become highly dependent on trade with what has become its primary patron. About half of North Korean exports and imports go directly to and from China and most of the rest of its trade is handled indirectly by Chinese middlemen.

 

North Korea’s dependence on its neighbor has grown alongside China’s increasing economic dominance of East Asia, which gained momentum 15 years ago when China joined the World Trade Organization. Since then, both Chinese gross domestic product as well as its annual trade with North Korea have increased nearly tenfold, to around US$11 trillion and $6 billion, respectively.

 

North Korea imports nearly everything from China, from rubber tires to refined petroleum to pears, with no single category dominating. Meanwhile, coal constitutes about 40 percent of North Korean exports to China.

 

Time to use that leverage?

 

However, recent events – such as the use of front companies by Chinese firms to evade sanctions imposed on North Korea and China’s reluctance to cut off energy supplies to the country – have led to some uncertainty about the extent to which China is willing to use this economic leverage to rein in North Korea’s military ambitions.

 

On one hand, China previously claimed to have stopped coal imports from North Korea as part of recent efforts to punish the regime for missile tests and the suspected assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This was an important signal of China’s willingness to support U.S. concerns about the missile program since oil represents about a third ($930 million) of North Korea’s import revenue.

 

On the other hand, there is evidence that coal shipments in fact never ceased. And, in any case, China may have increased its imports of iron ore from North Korea to offset the lost coal revenues.

 

This is consistent with the idea that China carefully considers the resources and revenue that are available to the North Korean regime at any moment, and uses trade as a lever to control them. In this way, China walks a fine line between providing too many resources, and thus allowing the regime to prosper, and not enough resources, such that North Korea is in danger of collapsing. Ultimately, trade may be used as a lever to do some light scolding, but China’s overwhelming concern is preventing North Korea’s collapse.

 

Further evidence that China has tight control over the North Korean economy comes from a recent report from C4ADS. The research group found close, and often common, ownership ties between most of the major Chinese companies who do business with North Korea. This suggests that trade with North Korea is highly centralized and thus easily controlled.

 

Russia: North Korea’s other ‘friend’

 

China is not the only country that North Korea trades with, though the others currently pale in comparison. Other top export destinations include India ($97.8 million), Pakistan ($43.1 million) and Burkina Faso ($32.8 million). In terms of imports, India ($108 million), Russia ($78.3 million) and Thailand ($73.8 million) currently sell the most to North Korea.

 

Russia in particular may soon complicate U.S. efforts to isolate the regime. While still small, Russian trade with North Korea increased 73 percent over the first two months of 2017 compared with the same period of the previous year.

 

But whereas China is legitimately worried that an economic crisis in North Korea could lead to a flood of refugees or all-out war, Russia likely sees engagement with North Korea in much simpler terms, namely as an additional way to gain geopolitical advantage relative to the U.S.

 

A way out?

 

Nearly all experts agree that there is no easy way to “solve” the North Korea problem. However, one plausible approach is to encourage South Korea and Japan to begin to develop nuclear weapons programs of their own, and to only discontinue these programs if China takes meaningful steps to use its trade with North Korea to reign in the regime.

 

Threatening to introduce new nuclear powers to the world is clearly risky, however stable and peaceful South Korea and Japan currently are. But China is highly averse to having these economic and political rivals acquire nuclear capabilities, as it would threaten China’s ongoing pursuit of regional control. In short, this is a sensitive pressure point that could be used to sway the Chinese leadership.

 

The Conversation logo

 

One way or another, China must become convinced that the costs of propping up the North Korean regime through trade are higher than the costs of an increased probability that the regime will collapse.

 


This is an updated version of an article originally published on July 6, 2017.

 

Greg Wright, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Merced

 

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Top SECRET VIDEO – US Ballistic Missiles that can END the North Korea in 30 Minutes

“Preparation for War With USA is Complete”, North Korea Confirms (5 Pics)

 

After the latter sent the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier with its battle group to the waters off the Korean peninsula, North Korea has made a decision to stand against any further moves by the US. Amongst the other things, this issue seems to be taking up even more heat and tensions between the two nations.

Warning

The consequences will be catastrophic if further provoked by the US following their step of sending the navy battle group, said Pyongyang.

Donald Trump said to solve the problem of North Korea if China doesn’t help to put pressure on its neighbor to stop all missile and nuclear weapons programs they developed.

Tensions increase

The actual decision to send the aircraft carrier and battleships to the Korean peninsula came after tensions increased over previous military drills involving American and South Korean forces, which Pyongyang terms as a performance test for an invasion.

A state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted, “We will hold the US wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions.”

Donald Trump’s tweet

Donald Trump used his Twitter to communicate his latest warning aimed at the Pyongyang.

“Most of the US national security establishment accepted that any preventative strike aimed at North Korean nuclear facilities could trigger devastating reprisals against South Korea, Seoul in particular, and US bases in the region. US strike against a Syrian base was also being seen as a warning to North Korea.”

Breaking a UN resolutions

Reports claim that the difficult situation escalated after North Korea refused to obey UN resolutions banning it from developing ballistic missile technology. After that, the Korean nation did another test-launch during Trump’s summit with Xi Jinping in Florida.

Chinese authorities report

The Chinese Foreign officials have ruled down the claims that Beijing has situated 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea. Hua Chunying told reporters that she was uniformed of any mobilization by the People’s Liberation Army along the 880-mile border with North Korea and also claimed such reports are false.

She added that China was very closely following developments on the Korean peninsula.

We only hope that all involved sides should avoid doing any activities that could escalate the tension and make it even worse.

Images source: unknownfacts.info

North Korea wants to reduce the Free World to Ashes

 

US Military vs North Korea Military – A War Simulation Video