As many as 10,000 U.S. service members would end up wounded or dead in the opening days of a potential war with North Korea, with civilian casualties possibly reaching into the hundreds of thousands, says a recent U.S. military assessment of a future conflict on the peninsula.
The casualty assessment was one of several generated during a large-scale vitrual wargame, known as a tabletop exercise in Pentagon parlance, conducted by several service and combatant commanders including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and U.S. Special Operations Command chief Gen. Tony Thomas, The New York Times reported.
The wargame, held at U.S. Pacific Command’s headquarters in Hawaii, put on stark display the devastating cost of engaging in all-out war with the North Korean regime.
“The brutality of this will be beyond the experience of any living soldier,” Gen. Milley reportedly said after seeing the results of the exercise, according to The Times.
Results of the recent wargame come as the White House continues raising tensions in the region, touting the fact that all options — including military action — remain on the table in an effort to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. Officials within the Trump administration have also suggested a series of non-nuclear, preemptive strikes
Estimates of casualties and physical destruction on the Korean Peninsula (and possibly Japan) under any war scenario are so exceedingly high, that even the most aggressive of generals on either side are loath to have to command such a war.
Should Pyongyang live up to its threat of turning Seoul into a “sea of fire,” casualties in the larger Seoul metropolitan area alone may surpass 100,000 within 48 hours, according to some estimates, even without the use of North Korean weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. Department of Defense assessed that a Second Korean War could produce 200,000-300,000 South Korean and U.S. military casualties within the first 90 days, in addition to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, according to The Diplomat
While North Korea’s true military potential is disputable, most analysts believe that tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians would be killed within the first 48 hours of the conflict at a minimum.
The corridors where North Korean troops would be advancing would almost certainly be turned into human abattoirs. One military estimate puts the number of North Korean casualties at 100,000 in the first 72 hours. Should only ten percent of the North Korean invading force make it into Seoul, it still could take weeks of urban combat to dislodge them and kill thousands of civilians caught in crossfire, not to mention the thousands of soldiers that will perish in the slow re-conquest of portions of the city.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 1st, 2018