What If North Korea Invaded The Us

What If North Korea Invaded The US

The idea of North Korea invading the US is one so outlandish that most would not consider it a legitimate, plausible outcome. However, it is a potential consequence of the ever-tense relations between the two countries – which has been characterised in the past by North Korean President Kim Jong-un threatening the US with ‘ nuclear thunderbolts’   and US President Donald Trump responding with animosity, to name a few examples of the stand-off.

Despite the improbability of this circumstance occurring, it is worth understanding the potential implications of a US-North Korea conflict and exploring whether an invasion by North Korea is a realistic prospect. To start with, analysts suggest the invader would be severely hampered by the nation’s small population, military budget and size relative to the sheer power of the US military.

To offer some context, North Korea’s military forces are estimated to be around 1.3 million, while the US is estimated to have over two million active personnel. Perhaps the most significant difference between the two countries is the reported military budget of the US, which is estimated to be seven times larger than that of North Korea.

Given these disparities and a lack of support from other countries, North Korea would find it hard to mount an invasion and things would not look good for them if they were successful. While the US’ capability and resistance would lead the attackers to suffer an immense number of casualties, the result of such a conflict would be catastrophic to the US and its citizens.

Examining the possible outcome of an invasion from North Korea highlights the extreme gravity of the situation. Experts acknowledge that if an invasion was to occur, not only would it lead to an extensive amount of civilian loses, but the economic and political systems of the US would also be disrupted significantly.

Humanitarian Crisis

The US could suffer a humanitarian crisis, with millions of its citizens displaced due to a breakdown in essential services and the availability of food, water and shelter. Civilians would struggle to access medical care, leading to a multitude of medical-related issues, from which the US would have difficulty recovering.

On top of this, a large-scale battle would devastate large sections of states and could even penetrate to the southeast of the US in the event of Kim Jong-un’s forces making it past the country’s borders. Inevitably, the US would suffer immense economic losses and face a myriad of implications stemming from this, such as further collapsing of the stock markets and short-term economic downturn in response to the disruption of trade.

It has also been suggested that in the event of a US-North Korea conflict, Kim Jong-un would not only deploy his ground troops in the attack, but use his country’s stock of ballistic missiles as well. Due to the missiles’ high speed, the US would struggle to both detect and respond to the invasion successfully, rendering attempts to prevent or limit the damage mostly unviable.

North Korea Would Not Benefit

The US’ many distant overseas US territories could also be in danger if the North Koreans were able to expand the area that they invade. The US is home to several overseas territories that, due to their great physical distance from the mainland US, might be enough of an opportunity for North Korea to act on with their advancements. However, if North Korea were to succeed in expanding and dominating US overseas territories, they would be entering an unknown territory, and it is unclear what kind of benefits they could expect.

The further success of North Korea in such an endeavour is doubtful, however. In the event of an invasion of US overseas territories, the country would be opposed by an even more powerful force than the US itself; The United Nations, the NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council all already have a presence in those areas and would almost certainly respond to the invasion in full force. In such an instance, North Korea would be completely outnumbered and outclassed, making any outcome other than a complete defeat a statistical impossibility.

North Korea Would Defeated

In summary, as major US military and world analysts such as John Bolton, who is currently the US National Security Advisor, have all voiced their joint opinion that if North Korea were to carry out such an audacious attack, it would be entirely defeated in the end. This is mainly due to the mismatch in the nation’s military powers and the sheer size of the US relative to North Korea, which would make any military victory highly improbable.

Moreover, estimating the cost of an invasion from North Korea is difficult and heartbreaking. While the exact amount of casualties and destruction it could cause is unknowable, it is certain that such an attack would cause suffering to millions and destruction to the US’ economy and infrastructure. This explains why such an unlikely scenario should be avoided at all costs, with both countries currently doing their best to maintain normal relations.

US Military Strength

Aspects such as the US’s power when countered by more traditional armies give more credence to the aforementioned opinion. The US has a powerful, technologically superior, military force that has proven itself on many occasions; This makes it much easier for the US to defeat a conventional army by relying on tools such as airstrikes and long-range precision weapons, allowing it to reduce the risk of casualties for its own personnel.

In addition, the US has a clear advantage when it comes to its superior intelligence gathering capabilities and resources. US forces have a wide array of tools, from satellite surveillance and geo-location technology to long-wave radar and the use of drones. With the US’s extensive experience in gathering and utilisation of data for its military campaigns in past years, North Korea would struggle to advance with any success.

Surprisingly, the US also has a better ability to innovate and acquire new technologies compared to North Korea. This makes it relatively easy for the US to respond to emerging threats and to maintain its competitive edge against any invader. And as a result, the US’s powerful military arsenal, which is equipped with modern weapons, backed by superior intelligence assets, would represent an invincibility that North Korea would struggle to overcome.

US Allies

Finally, the US has an advantage over North Korea in the form of close allies. In the event of a North Korean invasion, it is likely that a number of nations would come to the defence of the US. This would include the US’s main allies, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, to name a few, as well as other nations in the Middle East, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.

These allies would provide additional logistical and material support to the US in the case of an invasion, including additional military personnel and supplies, as well as intelligence and surveillance capabilities. This gives the US a distinct advantage, whereby it can count on its significant international network for additional resources and a wider range of military capabilities.

It is also important to remember that a US-North Korea invasion would be a crisis on an international scale. It is likely that many nations would be reluctant to take part in such a conflict, however, in the eyes of some, the US would not have a choice in the matter. Given the unpredictable regime of Kim Jong-un and the potential threat of North Korean aggression, the US would have to be very careful in its response to any such situation.

International Reactions

The international community would respond to the invasion with condemnation and concern, though some nations would likely stay neutral in the conflict. The United Nations, NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council, all of which have an international presence that could reach the US, would almost certainly act to protect the US against this aggression.

The European Union and United States of America may even encourage other nations to intervene on the US’ behalf and provide support. This would give other nations the opportunity to exhibit their own military might, should they choose to do so, and so could present the chance for other nations to strengthen their relations with the US.

The international community’s response to such an invasion, would be likely to emphasise the importance of active diplomacy and the development of strong bilateral relations which, in turn, could contribute to a reduction in tensions between the US and North Korea.

In conclusion, there are usually only two logical outcomes when it comes to a potential North Korean invasion of the US; either North Korea would be entirely defeated and removed from US territory, or it would have to agree to a diplomatic solution. While the latter possibility sounds more favourable, it must be remembered that any decision taken by the US would have profound implications that would affect millions.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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