Following North Korea’s claim to have tested a hydrogen bomb over the weekend, Senator M. Michael Rounds gives WNAX a sober assessment of why we don’t want to go to war with North Korea, even though we’d win:
There is no question but that… if it came down to a shooting war, North Korea will lose, and it will be the end of that regime, but at the same time, there would be a real human toll on the Korean peninsula, and that’s what we as a country are trying to avoid [Senator M. Michael Rounds, interview, WNAX, 2017.09.04].
A Clinton-era estimate of the cost of war on the Korean peninsula was one million dead and nearly $1 trillion in economic damage, and that’s without nuclear attacks. 25 million people in Seoul are within range of North Korea’s conventional artillery, although equipment malfunctions and tactical considerations reduce the possibility that North Korea could launch an all-out conventional attack that would annihilate the southern capital.
Senator Rounds appears to agree with Steve Bannon: there’s no military solution in North Korea, at least none that won’t cost us and our allies dearly.
Of course, North Korea may be able to inflict enormous damage on the United States without firing a shot, just by goading our Toddler-in-Chief into making wild economic threats against our most important trading partners, including South Korea.