Video Interview: All the Reasons a Second Korean War Would Be Hell

April 20, 2017 Topic: Security Region: Asia Blog Brand: The Skeptics Tags: North KoreaPyongyangKim Jong-unKorean WarDonald Trump

Video Interview: All the Reasons a Second Korean War Would Be Hell

Pyongyang has many tools it can use to create chaos.

Editor's Note: In our latest Facebook Live interview (please like our Facebook page to see more of these events) Harry Kazianis, Director of Defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, sat down with Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis (Ret.), a senior fellow at Defense Priorities to discuss the heightened tension on the Korean peninsula. TNI’s defense editor, Dave Majumdar, recently explained why Pyongyang’s air defenses worry American planners. An excerpt of the article can be found below:

Even as tensions ratchet up on the Korean peninsula, the Pentagon is kicking off one of its largest annual exercises in the Republic of Korea.

Hosted by the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, Exercise Max Thunder involves U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Republic of Korea (ROK) personnel and is designed to help train allied forces to defend South Korea. The war games started on April 17 and will run through April 28.

"Exercise Max Thunder serves as an invaluable opportunity for U.S. and ROKAF forces to train together shoulder-to-shoulder and sharpen tactical skills vital to the defense and security of the Korean Peninsula," Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Bergeson, Seventh Air Force commander, said in a statement. "This exercise will rigorously test our aerial combat capability and highlights the ironclad commitment between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea and the multifaceted capabilities we possess in this theater.”

The focus of the exercise from the standpoint of F-16C units such as the 36th Fighter Squadron—which is based at Osan Air Base in South Korea—is to suppress or destroy enemy air defenses. In the case of North Korea, Pyongyang’s air defenses are not especially sophisticated—though they are more capable than many might imagine. But the North does have a huge volume of forces. Thus, training to suppress those air defenses is of paramount importance in the event of war.

Image: Flickr/Stefan Krasowski.