Pentagon Warns of Heavy Casualties in a New Korean War

White House Plays Up 'Grave Threat' Posed by North Korea

While the content of a high-profile White House meeting in which the entire US Senate was briefed about North Korea has not been totally made public, official attempts to emphasize the non-military efforts being made appear to be just one aspect of the story, as the consequences of a military conflict appear to also have been discussed.

Military officials emphasized the increased naval buildup around the Korean Peninsula, and preparations being made for a new Korean War, while also offering some frank warnings that North Korea would certainly retaliate against an American attack, and that such a retaliation would include major attacks against US forces in South Korea, and the South Korean capital of Seoul.

This was something the Senate was warned about, but has been surprisingly rarely discussed in public as the US masses forces in the area and talks up “taking care of” North Korea one way or another. Indeed, the White House has gone out of its way to dismiss North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities.

But this was just as it relates to nuclear arms, with doubts of North Korea’s ability to actually make a deliverable weapon. The nation has for decades had a conventional retaliatory capability, built around artillery, which could wipe out large chunks of South Korea and cause calamitous amounts of casualties.

Even today the White House played up the “very grave threat” posed by North Korea, but virtually all of the talk centered on the possibility of the US attacking them if they don’t get their way through non-nuclear means. While Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris insisted he wasn’t 100% confident North Korea wouldn’t attack first, indications are that he is in the minority on the issue.

Of course, the fact that the US has been playing up the idea of a unilateral attack for weeks doesn’t help matters. If North Korea believes a major US attack is imminent, they might ultimately try to preempt it with an attack of their own. Either way, what follows would be disastrous.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Luchorpan

    Mutually Assured Destruction is supposed to mean we seek to avoid destruction…

  • John Eadie

    Bring every American onside, or offside. Unless they nuke NK, they really don’t have the appetite, I think. And, what’s to gain. I think the bravado and decisions apparent, though never enacted, will do. I say, don’t worry.

  • Adriaan de Leeuw

    I will tell you how Kim will use his Nukes its very simple, he will explode them ALL along the 37th parallel effectively deny the US a land egress point but also irradiating a large section of the region, more so if the fallout falls to the South, at the moment it will blow east into the sea. Of course that could carry it into Japan or even the US if the conditions take it that way! The Usual comment applies NO ONE WINS A NUCLEAR WAR!

    • ThorsteinVeblen2012

      You don’t pick a fight with someone who has nothing to lose

    • O rly

      btw, japan has been busy irradiating itself for the past 6 years with the radiation levels only rising and still no sign of where the actual core is.

      a bit of radiation blowing over from the opposite end might be a nice distraction for the public.

  • CJ

    Amazing! Two fat guys with funny hairdos are playing chicken with millions of lives. Never thought I would ever see this in my lifetime,

    • MissV

      Not since Trumann was the biggest fool in History, why could he have not drop the bomb on an unoccupied Japanese island to make his ignorant point?

      Why did he have to kill innocent people that just wanted a life? Trumann was a disaster; just like the others following suit, have followed getting progressively worse.

  • Jacques Devin

    The US raised tension on the Korean peninsula to justify bringing the THAAD missile system into South Korea, anybody with half a brain can see what is going on…

    • unam_sanctum

      that’s definitely part of it. THAAD has its sights on Russian and Chinese missiles, as their true targets. Inside China, the vast majority of Chinese support the DPRK.

      • Bowling Green Massacre

        North Koreans will not be placing homing beacons on their missiles, or announcing launch times and origins for THAAD crews. Watching THAAD fail will be fun 🙂

        • Salvador Juarez

          I’m looking forward to watching a nuclear weapon go off of North Korea that would sound like fun

  • eenymac

    I’m sure the guys at the Pentagon have crunched the numbers and agreed that the casualty numbers (non-American, of course) are worth it.

  • richardstevenhack

    They still don’t mention the Pentagon war games showing 50,000 US casualties in the first ninety days with the potential for 250,000 US casualties, not to mention a million civilian dead. They want to play down the consequences of a US first strike (or an NK first strike resulting from US threats.)

    They also never mention the Agreed Framework that Clinton negotiated during his term – or the fact that he reneged on it, followed by Bush.

  • Mary Myers

    Not to worry, folks. The U.S. will give some generous foreign aid to North Korea in exchange for them not testing their bombs….for awhile.

  • Val Valerian

    “Quote: “… The media — either owned or controlled by those who benefit most from endless conflicts — plays a major role in brainwashing the cash-strapped majority into accepting the necessity for wars that have been contrived for the benefit of the extremely affluent minority. Such wars also serve to satisfy the media’s need for the kind of news that increases readership and the size of the TV viewing public; serve to increase the popularity of political leaders while providing them with an excuse for postponement of urgent domestic reforms; serve to maintain private military contractors (PMCs) who would otherwise go out of business; serve to indefinitely defer decisions to reduce the overall military budget including the closure of surplus overseas bases; and serve to sustain the requirement for supplies from the military industrial complex whose costs to the Pentagon are never questioned because they are for the alleged purpose “defending America.” — William Hanna – “America’s Global Decline”, April 27, 2017″

  • yaridanjo

    Maybe Kim will do the world a favor and nuke D.C.