The air and sea block would be somewhat easy. The land block harder, as China is the northern neighbor.
Those advocating for the soft diplomatic angle must realize it has been ineffective.
I am getting tired of those who think we must continue doing that.
Snowflakes just don't make any sense anymore. From making up Angles on AGW to....well everything. I didn't realize how mentally unhinged city dwellers had become. When looking at an election map, I am more convinced of the wisdom of the electoral college.
If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. -- Mark Twain
There's a lot more to be considered than what we hear on the surface. Keep in mind that when I describe this, I am somebody with family and friends who would be put into a war zone by a resumption of hostilities in Korea.
For starters: On the difficulty of the land block, that area west of the Yalu River which currently serves as the border China and North Korea was historically Korean. With the Korean war (called yugi-oh in Korean which are the Korean words for "six two five" which was the beginning of the war 6/25/1950) big swaths of population were swept back and forth as the lines went south to the Busan perimeter, back North to the Yalu river, back south of Seoul, and eventually settled around the areas where the current DMZ is located. An even larger Korean population wound up in this area of China because their language was already spoken there. Some were swept into Russia (an aspect I only learned about in my last time living in Korea). So this area is predominantly Korean in population - not any ethnicity of Chinese. This is what allows escapees from North Korea to be able to blend in to this area, too. There are support channels set up here to help North Koreans escape to Mongolia or Vietnam which helps them find places to patriate too (if China catches them there, they will be re-patriated to North Korea which will result in them, and three generations being put into political prisons where people seldom leave alive.)
But what is a resolution at this point? Stop Kim's mouth? The people of South Korea have listened to to some Kim's mouth every day since the armistice was signed in 1953. People yawn and continue on because literally, every day, some dictator from the north makes some empty threat to blow them all up. He's not capable of that even if he wanted to. It's a political maneuver.
China detests Kim Jung Eun. They're not his friend. China likes South Korea a lot more than North Korea, and really just wants an end to the mess. They're embarassed by Jung Eun, and for his part, Jung Eun has isolated himself from them. Other political maneuvers the west is likely unaware of are things like China "Leaking" their contingency plans for break-out of war on the Korean peninsula. Those plans included things like retaining escaping North Korean officers and not allowing them to return to battle. North Korea's actual military capability is defensive - not offensive. They cannot successfully invade and take the South even if the US did not help the South. Their hardware is inferior in just about every way. They are, however, very strongly dug in, and can deal a big blow if hit first, and there is absolutely NO WAY to take out all of the artillery and rocket sites aimed at places like Seoul before they can begin extracting a toll.
So no battle is going to be easy, here. It's easy to sit in a safe place and say "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs," but just how big of an egg do you think is going to be broken, here? By comparison, NYC has a population of about 8.5 million. Seoul, depending on which site you look at, has a population of 10 or 13 million, and the metro area is over 20 million people. In other words, there is no US city anywhere near the scale of what we're talking about in Seoul, and the density of population there is such that potential for loss of human life is astronomical. For its part, Seoul has subways and underground shopping centers that could shelter a lot of people for a short time, but nowhere near that population, and even for the ones it can shelter, facilities and supplies would not hold out for long.
Estimates of the toll of human life are hard to get from the first Korean war in part because neither side took civilian life into much account. China lost nearly one million soldiers. I don't know how many Russia lost before being pushed out. But estimates for Korean life lost go over 3 million. That's about the population of Oklahoma today. So when you start talking about what to do, don't expect me to balance "He talked mean to us" very heavily against the kind of loss of life that has occurred in conflicts like this.
Don't expect the people of North Korea to just welcome invaders. They're not likely to see US soldiers as friendly. Sure, they may hate Kim Jung Eun, but they have never heard anything good about the US in their lives, so they're not just standing there hopeful to see US or ROK uniforms to liberate them. It will take a generation to undo the brainwashing they have been through.
I honestly believe Kim Jung Eun does not want a war. He wants to survive, and in order to do that, he needs to keep his own people focused on the boogie man outside so they don't turn their eyes on the boogie man inside their own borders. He also knows he will not survive a war with the US, and he is pretty sure China is not going to help him. But if he shows weakness, he is also dead. There is no way out of power for him that involves him keeping his life. He's in it to survive, and that's as complicated as it gets with him.
I'm not saying North Korea could win the war - I don't think they could. But the cost is a lot greater than Americans seem to think both in American lives and resources, and also in the lives and resources of the surrounding countries, chief of which is South Korea, but China will also pay heavily. So is putting your foot on his head and shutting his mouth really worth that price? That's the question I have.
1234, would you care to extend your thoughts out further as to what you would do if you were sitting on the golden throne?
I think one of the first things that needs to be done is for the US to back up a bit, and for the first time, actually consider the lives of the people of the Republic of Korea. That hasn't happened since the time the US and USSR, without consulting them, decided to split Korea between the two at the end of WW II ... and of course, not follow through on transition ... taking it up through the 1970s and 1980s when the US supported the dictators over the democratization movement inside of Korea (because it was expedient for the US in their cold war pursuits). There are some things I happen to know about US in South Korea than I probably just shouldn't talk about, but I do know the US is not always honest, and some of this dishonesty is, in fact, provocative.
What is a "solution?" When you talk to someone in the US, it seems to be "Subdue the bastard and shut his mouth." Why is this the resolution? Kim is totally contained right now. I'd like for him to be taken out and a democratic government replace him, but what is an acceptable cost? I don't think having another three million Koreans killed while two big countries fight over one little country is an acceptable cost. Our expeditions in this part of the world have NEVER gone according to plan, and in fact, I think places like Vietnam show that sometimes, when the US pulls out, the situation turns out okay. I realize that if you compare Vietnam to Myanmar, you can see it's not always a good situation afterwards, so maybe the presence of the US isn't as essential to the local people as we think. It keeps people in the US feeling good, though ... provided they don't know about things like human trafficking to "entertain" those US troops, that is. (much of this has diminished after is was exposed in "The Stars And Stripes" newspaper a few years ago).
In other words, I don't think there is a "quick" answer, and I don't think the US jumping into military action is the right answer. The guy is contained, and his words are not fatal. The cold war is long gone, but the boondoggle that is the mis-handling of the Korean peninsula after WW II lingers on. I mean, how could further action possibly go wrong?
What are your thoughts about knowledge leaving NK: Nuclear, biological, chemical, digital?
Chemical is not new. We had to prepare for that when I was stationed there in the 1980s. Biological is not new. Nuclear is new to North Korea, but when we have countries like Pakistan that we've managed to live with with Nuclear, what do you see as different?
What percentage of the Korean population do you think wants war on the peninsula? We're always willing to sacrifice somebody else's life for our pursuits, but what percentage of the population that will most be affected are clamoring for military action to stop the threat? How many people will be put out of a home if the US decides on military action in North Korea? How willing with the US be to address the humanitarian crisis it creates? Will there be a big welcome to the refugees into the US?
I would suggest the level of chemical and biological capabilities is different today, in 2017, than it was back in the 1980's. We were rocking Commodore 64's and Atari computers back then, today a something a whole lot better. I also don't think we are going to instigate any military action.
Yeah, well, it's an old picture
Funny thing, I had a commodore 64 my first time in Korea (84-87), and a Commodore Colt my second. (89 - 92, with a trip to the Gulf mixed in). In my first time, my best friend (now deceased - suicide) and I together subscribed to the "Compute" magazine and always typed in the programs they included. That was our weekend entertainment when we weren't in military exercises.
But I don't think that has much to do with the level of threat from those agents. Back then, they used weather balloons to drop propaganda leaflets on us. Now, they use drones. Back then, they used wooden planes flying low to escape detection on radar. Now we can detect that. There were airspace encroachments (flashbulbs) then, and I imagine there are still flashbulbs. We had a Chinese bomber defect with half the Chinese Air Force (exaggeration) trying to catch him before he got to Kunsan while I was at Kunsan - one of the more exciting nights of my military career ... there's not really anything new, and technology still isn't the biggest threat.
That brings me back to verbal threats. Every single day since 1953, some Kim north of the DMZ has made a new threat. It's a daily occurrence when you live in South Korea. My last time living in Korea ended just about a year and a half ago. South Korea is a different world from the 1980s - very modern and advanced, and a comfortable place for me. The one thing that hasn't changed is the daily threats from the North. The people of Korea yawn and move on with life, but when the people of the US hear it, with no context of history, they tend to lose their freaking minds, and yes, MANY are clamoring for military action, and many more tallying warmaking capabilities and talking like we're preparing for a football game. The people of South Korea know what to expect from the North, but they don't know what to expect from the US.
They have good reason. I can't cover 60+ years of history in one spot, but the people of South Korea are generally well-educated, including the ability to read the English-language propaganda of the US, and knowing their own history. (As well as our recent history of getting into wars.) They also either have been through the 6-25 war, or have relatives who were, and they have a good idea what they stand to lose in another war. Additionally, every male in Korea is required to fulfill military time (something the hawks in the US usually can't claim). They don't want war.
The military is required to stand up to the North, and that has been done (at great price from Korea and the US both) since 1953, but a strike that certainly results in resumption of the war on a guy we know to be most concerned with staying in his own skin doesn't make sense.
(Re: history, just two items on why the US isn't looked at with unquestioned followership. Look up the Gwangju (Kwangju) massacre. Find accounts in BBC articles since they'll be more removed from biases of the US or Korea. Most Americans don't even know this happened. The US maintained operational control of the Korean military, and was supporting the dictators AGAINST the democratisation movement. There was a lot of violent protest that erupted after this incident, and the US was never honest with us about what was happening. When we supported the dictators as we did at this time, we became an occupying force - not protectors.
Second: For their part, our commanders always filled our heads with ideas about the protesters being a small group stirred up by North Korean infiltration. It was not until years later that I learned the reality of what was happening, and put together our support of dictators against those wanting democracy while we were telling everybody how we were out there spreading peace and democracy.
EDIT: The brother of a personal friend is one who disappeared in the Gwangju incident. According to my friend, her brother wasn't really even a protestor, although he was sympathetic to the democratisation movement. He was a taxi driver. He hapoened to be in the vicinity that day, and they never heard from him again, and have never been able to learn what happened to him.)