Might invading North Korea be both a moral duty, and a sure thing?

I was just reading about the conflicting reports of the WHO and Amnesty International on NK’s healthcare system (an odd flap, but basically, WHO praises it, Amnesty says its “medieval”), and now I’m thinking: should “we” (“we” defined variously) perhaps just say that enough is enough, and end this disgusting regime?

The timing is probably wrong, at the moment. Kim Jong Il will be dead very soon, and I suspect there’s some clever maneuvering in place for when it happens. But say he manages to transfer power to another Juchified party, and the rest of the world is faced with another few decades of awful, awful NK horror stories. Should we? Could we?

They have a huge standing army, famously; I also can’t believe that there’s much loyalty there, in the face of the obvious shit-assedness of their lifestyles. Saddam’s Republican Guard were “famously loyal”, and they turned in a quick moment upon facing an actual challenge. If the UN, say, were to gather a true “Coalition of the Willing”, bearing both intense military force, and bountiful food/medical aid – would the North Korean army quickly fold? Or, to our collective horror, would they stand firm to the last man, in true Juche fashion?

Since I’m a betting man, I’m honestly going to say that I believe they’d fold, and fold quickly. Latest I’ve read said that something like 9 million are believed to be starving. Hungry people don’t tend to fight hard, particularly when the opponents come bearing food – and good will.

I know the politics of this, particularly in terms of the Two Koreas, are incredibly complex. But I ask, what would happen if we tried? Fifty years from now, will we regret not doing so?

I’m afraid you forgot to ask China.

Moral duty?
How about we take care of uplifting our own huddled masses before haring off after yet another bullshit holy war?

Seoul gets leveled by massed NK artillery, with huge civilian casualties. Basically, NK has the capital of SK held hostage.

I think we should tell China that, should they need a few million more workers to coat toys with lead paint and dig in their coals mines, we won’t object if they absorb all the North Koreans into their labor force.

It’s largely immaterial, but I’m fairly certain my dog was killed by that tainted Chinese dog-food thing. Bastards!

Hell no we don’t need to invade a third country. We’re already in two wars, one of which we had no damn business starting in the first place, and both of which need ending as soon as practical. Let China spank its own puppy, unless and until NK invades SK, in which case we have to act.

Supposedly the blind loyalty people associate with North Korea has died down dramatically in the last 20 years due to the death of Kim Il Sung, the famines of the 1990s, and the proliferation of mobile phones and VHS tapes letting N. Koreans see what life outside North Korea is actually like.

So the concept that there’d be loyalty to the government doesn’t really sit well with me. Supposedly there were several very serious coup attempts in the 1990s, a few generals were going to march on Pyongyang and overthrow Kim Jong Il, but the plot was uncovered. I’m under the impression that more and more people know the system is a lie, but nobody really knows what to do about it.

The big issue is the civilian casualities in South Korea. The NK army will bomb the hell out of Seoul, and likely send weapons against Japan too.

But their standing military would fold incredibly quickly IMO. Lack of morale and technological superiority would pretty much destroy their fighting ability. The only real tool NK has is WMD.

Uh, China does not like to get immigrants from North Korea. There have been several shooting incidents with suspected human smugglers from North Korea at the Chinese border.

Before, among other reasons, the Chinese invaded North Korea because they did not want to have enemy troops so close to China. The specter of millions of North Koreans going over the border as the result of a war is not something that they will stand still.

Of course it is not 100% sure that China will intervene if the south and the US invades, but as long as China remains even a reluctant ally of North Korea one has to assume that they will most likely intervene with force.

Hey, I’m just saying we should make China an offer. I’m sure they can figure out whether it’s in their best interest. It’s a way better option than ANOTHER unilateral invasion by us of NK.

We have autonomous anti-tank weapons that can be deployed by bombers. I would imagine they could be adapted to artillery guns.

We could bomb NK with SK magazines. The reality of life outside their shit hole would hasten the demise of the government.

We’re already involved in two wars that we thought would be quick victories. Let’s hold off on starting a third.

Not before Seoul is turned into a smoking crater.

Exactly. The problem isn’t destroying the things; it’s doing so before they flatten the city. To use an analogy, it’s like trying to kill twenty or thirty terrorists, all of whom have cover and body armor, armed with grenade launchers all pointed at some hostages. Sure you can do it, but can you do it before at least one pulls a trigger?

Very unlikely, really —they don’t necessarily like the regime, either. But it would certainly piss them off, as it would lead to a truly massive refugee crisis that they would have to absorb.

Anyway, this whole conversation is made moot by the now-mentioned-several-times-but-I’ll-emphasize-it-anyway artillery pointed at Seoul. There is simply no chance of gaining more than is lost in the barrage.

Maybe I’m tired or you were. But I really don’t recall there ever being a unilateral invasion of North Korea by anyone. There was, though, a unilateral invasion of South Korea some 60 years ago by North Korea.

Not that I’m advocating it but… Artillery isn’t worth much if you don’t own the sky.

What you’re not getting is we do not own that piece of sky. And we are not likely to own it, and be able knock out the artillery, before Seoul is destroyed for all practical intents and purposes. And that isn’t even considering unknown nuclear capabilities NK may have.

If your only goal is to devastate a huge, soft target like a city it’s worth quite a lot. We can’t destroy thousands of fortified artillery pieces all in a single moment.