CRF Blog

BW: What to Do About the Koreas

by Bill Hayes

In What to Do About the Koreas for Bloomberg Businessweek, Mark Thompson looks at the options for dealing with North Korea.

Today, there’s no good U.S. military option for taking out the North’s nukes and missiles without risk of a wider war. When 75,000 North Korean soldiers crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea on June 25, 1950, it began a three-year conflict that left more than 1 million Koreans and 33,000 Americans dead. A new hot war could easily exceed that toll. Pyongyang would likely rain steel on Seoul from the 10,000 artillery tubes it’s stationed along the Demilitarized Zone, a scant 35 miles from greater Seoul, which is home to half the country’s 50 million people — and equal to North Korea’s total population. As many as 500,000 rounds could be fired in the opening hour. Even if roughly 25 percent are duds—experts believe Pyongyang’s technology is uneven — it would allow North Korea to keep its pledge of turning the South into a “sea of fire.” [more]