The evidence shows that North Korea would not surrender during a conflict. They claim that their soldiers have great individual preparation and a very high moral.
Placed on a pedestal on the rocky north-east coast of South Korea is a submarine, as well as many concrete bunkers and meters of barbed wire. The defenses are South Korean, while the North Korean submersible ran aground in 1996. As exposed it looks like a toy, but what happened to its crew is one of the darkest stories of modern warfare, says Asia Times.
On the night of September 17, 1996, a taxi driver driving along a coastal road discovered something strange in the water and alerted the police. It turned out to be a North Korean submarine of the Sango class (‘Shark’) so at dawn, naval commandos from South Korea boarded the ship and broke its hull, but inside there was no one.
Massacre and persecution
More than 40,000 troops, including two elite brigades composed of airborne special forces known as ‘black berets’, deployed in the area to corral and capture the infiltrators, according to a report on the operation published by the specialized website NK News.
One of his first findings was 11 corpses, all with a bullet in the head. There were no signs of fighting, so it is believed that they were executed by their peers due to their lack of physical form. The remaining sailors-some of whom were trained by special forces-and a three-man command team broke up and headed north. His plan was to cross 150 kilometers of South Korean territory and cross the demilitarized zone on the border with his country.
The following weeks, searches were conducted and various shootings occurred. When it was over, 13 North Koreans had been shot dead and one had surrendered to the South Korean authorities, while it is estimated that another did return to North Korea. In 49 days, 12 soldiers and four South Korean civilians were killed.
It was later revealed that the North Korean command used diving equipment and successfully carried out reconnaissance work in South Korean land military facilities before the submarine ran aground when it was trying to pick up its compatriots. Also, that was not the last operation of this kind that Pionyang launched.
In 1998, a Yono-class mini-submarine (‘Salmon’) was caught in the nets of a South Korean fishing vessel just outside the Sokcho port, in the Sea of Japan. The submersible sank while being towed towards the coast and today it is not clear if it was by accident or deliberate actions.
This time, the crew did not escape. When the South Koreans opened the floodgates, they found that the nine crewmen had committed suicide so as not to be captured. Now, the boat is an open-air museum.
During the First World War, the Germans nicknamed their submersibles ‘iron coffins’ but that North Korean ship, with its length of 35 meters and four of sleeve, is even smaller. The three compartments inside are lined with a multitude of tubes, valves and communications equipment and their only sanitation facility contains a sink.
Imagine 26 men “with diving equipment and compressed weapons in that small space” is “a claustrophobic nightmare,” says The National Interest.
Morality as a resource
Although much evidence suggests that the North Korean Army “is poorly equipped, poorly fed and receives little medical assistance” – last year, a deserter was infested with intestinal worms from eating contaminated food – his special forces “represent a powerful threat “, concludes the author of the article, Andrew Salmon.
Although their teams may be primitive, their training and motivation are first class. In operations carried out in 1968, 1969 and in these two submarine incursions, their soldiers fought to the death, killed each other or committed suicide to avoid being caught and their death cost South Korean lives.
Michael Yon, a former ‘green beret’ from the United States who participated in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says that “their morale is probably high if they are willing to carry out these cross-border and unsupervised operations, closer to” a Kamikaze mission. ”
And if they defeat them …
If the North Korean Army were defeated in a hypothetical conflict, that would not mean that the war would have ended.
In fact, the North Korean command could respond with ” terrorist attacks carried out by members of the RGB [special troops of North Korea] dressed as civilians against US military, political or commercial personnel in South Korea or beyond, like Japan, “says Yon, who speculates with the” great possibility “that he has already stored” weapons and other war materials “in hiding places in the south.