[Opinion] Preemptive Strikes, the Key to Surviving a Second Korean War
[Opinion] Preemptive Strikes, the Key to Surviving a Second Korean War
  • By Jung Yeon-tae, Chairman of the Innovation Forum
  • 승인 2016.09.23 12:16
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Jung Yeon-tae, Chairman of the Innovation Forum for Nation

At the moment, the two Koreas are standing at a crossroads, finding their path forward. The two sides all know that choosing the path to a full-scale war would lead to nothing but co-destruction. Then, the two Koreas should refrain from waging an all-out war. Of course, South Korea doesn’t want a war on the Korean peninsula.

However, the North doesn’t feel the same way. If a full-scale war is not an option for the North, the only way to accomplish reunification of the two Koreas is to bring South Korea to its knees. Therefore, North Korea could head down a destructive path that is unthinkable to South Korea.

What if the North had its nuclear weapons and missiles deployed and ready to be fired at any moment and forced South Korea to surrender If South Korea refused to surrender, North Korea could launch a nuclear strike against the South, leaving the South with no other choice but to surrender. Suppose North Korea fires nuclear missiles into Busan and Jeju. Given South Korea’s current ballistic missile defense system, South Korea could neither prevent nor shoot down the missiles.

South Korea had believed that North Korea’s any moves to conduct a nuclear test or launch a missile would be detected 24 hours before the North actually carries it out. It was just wishful thinking. North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches always caught South Korea off guard. South Korea always found itself belatedly busy finding information on missile trajectories and targets. South Korea’s biggest weakness has already been revealed.

If North Korea’s nuclear missile flew in, South Korea could do nothing but facepalm at it. In other words, if the North mounts a preemptive strike against the South now, the war will be over before the South has any chance to fight back. What happened when the United States dropped two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be repeated in the South.

The South could never have the chance to strike back. Therefore, to survive, South Korea has to mount a preemptive strike against North Korea and flatten its nuclear weapon and missile bases. The longer we hesitate, the sooner the day will come when nuclear and missile threats forces us to throw in the towel.

To make matters worse, pro-North Korea groups are gaining ground in the South. When we shun a full-scale war and destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile facilities, we could avoid the worst. The country that strikes first rather than waiting to be struck will win a second Korean War.

Destroying North Korea’ nuclear and missile bases will be completed in an hour with the help of the US. In a situation where the two Koreas are in a military standoff for decades, neither would find it easy to pull the trigger first. Hence a full-scale war is unlikely. And a second Korean War will not break out in the form of ground warfare.

Once the North’s nuclear and missile facilities have been burned to the ground overnight, North Korea will be no longer able to wage a war. Before China intervenes, the war will be over.

The important thing is that South Korea is incapable of preemptively detecting North Korea’s moves to conduct a nuclear test and launch a missile or defending against a nuclear missile strike. The South has finally realized this grim reality, so it feels pressed for time. Now is the time for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to figure out how to keep South Koreans out of harm's way and make up her mind for the nation.

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