What a war with North Korea would look like

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Vox

Five experts discuss what a war on the Korean peninsula would look like, how close we are to conflict, and the terrifying consequences. Read about the implications of war with North Korea on Vox.com: http://bit.ly/2nNK2ei With tensions between the US and North Korea escalating, we asked a group of experts including Senator Tammy Duckworth, about the likelihood and consequences of reigniting war on the Korean Peninsula. International sanctions have put pressure on the North Korean regime, but they have yet to capitulate to US demands to unilaterally disarm their nuclear armaments program. The Trump administration had cited this as a requirement for resuming diplomatic negotiations. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com. Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H

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Video Transcript:

There's no no limited warfare option when it comes to open conflict with North Korea we're talking months of fighting you're gonna see large amounts of artillery large amounts of munitions dropped from aircraft from b-52s b1s b2 s you're gonna see a shelling of the terrain on the Korean Peninsula that you only see in the movies from World War two in the Korean War this is a very brutal very deadly regime In the event of a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula we have a situation where we could potentially be talking about the 2nd 3rd and 11th largest economies in the world engage in a military conflict the scale of fighting will be greater than anything we've seen around the world since the Korean War not just on the Korean Peninsula I think that there is a general misperception among the American public as well as amongst many of my colleagues here on The hill as well as I believe with the president of United States that there's some sort of limited warfare that can occur with regards to North Korea that would be you know a surgical strike or a bloody nose attack that would not result in mass casualties and that's simply not true given the fact that there is a 1.2 million man army some 6500 armored vehicles tanks some 12,000 artillery pieces chemical weapons some 5000 tons of chemical weapons the amount of blood And treasure that will be expended if war resumes on the Korean Peninsula will be on a scale that we have not seen since the Korean War since the the cessation of hostilities in 1953 from the very beginning North Korea would likely fire chemical weapons potentially thousands if not tens of thousands of rounds we're talking about 25 million people in Seoul or from all around the world not just Korean citizens a possible 100,000 dead within the first Few days and 10,000 a day after that from just a conventional attack I I don't think there needs to be any other reason to be concerned about this they've just that alone and then the US president president Trump would have to decide how does he respond to that kind of thing it has been waiting for the right conditions in the past 65 years and at some point when it beams it has the advantageous position or when it has no Other option it may very well attack South Korea seeking to unify the peninsula under the northern regimes control for one single purpose and that is to ensure the survival of the Kim family regime according to our commanders in Korea they could fire something in the neighborhood of five hundred thousand artillery rounds shells and rockets within the first hour and continue that pace for probably several hours South Korea would of course retaliate using their artillery to try to suppress the North Korean artillery fire and so they would be firing into Pyongyang just as North Korea would be firing into Seoul the capital of South Korea unfortunately I believe that North Korea would be more likely to actually use biological weapons than nuclear weapons one individual or a couple of individuals could deliver a strategic level attack on a city density populated area and Expose tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands or over a million people to lethal doses of biological weapons they're so potent that one or two people with less than a kilogram for example of anthrax and a sprayer a backpack sprayer could deliver over a million doses lethal doses of anthrax and kill tens of thousands or even over a hundred thousand people in just one attack in fact I think that a military strike will only reinforce the belief Among North Koreans that they need nuclear weapons to make sure that they maintain their sovereignty and their independence of action in the historical literature we talked about a concept called use-it-or-lose-it as soon as we start attacking North Korea in a way where they could lose their weapons they will be tempted to use them so if we want to destroy his nuclear weapons he may well start using them so that he can get some utility From them and that's an outcome we really don't want I think most people would say that peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula is the preferred way of going about this but I think that North Korea's ambitions are fundamentally at odds with US policy and South Korea's policy what I learn on the ground talking to both military and civilian leaders is that Kim jong-un is not someone who is simply going to disappear you can't buy him off you know He is there to stay and he is determined to retaliate in an overwhelming way with whatever weapons he has at his disposal we have to understand that trying to take a humanitarian attack with them isn't going to get us very far we've got to be prepared to show them strength for them to respect us I would argue that we still have a quite a bit of runway to try to shape the way he approaches the nuclear weapons program I think that sanctions have never been tougher there Are internal stresses in the regime as the sanctions take hold and the diplomatic isolation will continue to damage the regime's ability to gain hard currency for its weapons programs now I think we owe it to ourselves and to our allies and for global peace to let the maximum pressure work its way on North Korea [Music]

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