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Subject: Potential US Response to a N. Korean Anti-Ship Missile
HeavyD    11/28/2010 11:23:29 PM
The North Koreans are obviously more frisky/desperate than they have been in decades. The Kim succession is in early stages, and nothing rallies people around the flag like crisis. Lets say the NorKors launch a shore-based anti-ship missile NEAR or OVER US surface forces. What are the likely rules of engagement? The commander only has a few seconds to decide whether to engage the missile or not. Can he afford to assume it is a bluff? Lets assume he cannot and then engages the missile, successfully. Is that it? No harm, no foul - other than more gum-flapping. Lets assume the NorKors actually launch what appears to be a direct attack with a single surface-surface missile. Would the US have the cajones to fire back at the shore-based launcher? Now for real fun, let's assume the North Koreans actually damage a US warship and kill sailors. What then? Do we sink one of their ships? We're playing with Seoul here - US hard-asses would say bomb them further back into the stone age but the South Koreans have the most to lose by escalating. Actually the North, specifically the Kims do too, but while the smoke is still rising what would we do?
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USN-MID       11/29/2010 12:59:47 AM
Any CO willing to gamble his ship to "figure out" if an inbound missile is a "bluff" should have his damn head checked.
As far as retaliatory strikes once imminent danger has passed, that would be up to the civilian leadership, literally speculating as to what one man, POTUS, would do.
There are a lot of factors to consider, such as the fact we just left one war on not quite a high note, and are still involved in another. Throw in the state of the economy and focus on the deficit. Reduced capability and willingness to commit from some allies. 
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Shawnc       11/29/2010 6:50:40 AM
The joint exercise is being held further down the coast from Seoul, though I'm not sure if it's in international or ROK territorial waters.
Assuming the DPRK does fire a long range supersonic ASM such as a P-700 Granit on inertial and active radar guidance, or worse, a couple of SRBMs there should be sufficient time from launch detection to intercept - the ROK military is basically watching the DPRK coastline like hawks right now.
By the way - I think the DPRK's have taken their 'schoolyard bully' approach to international politics as far as it can go, and it looks like there are many in the ROK who want to administer a spanking.
While many think that China is basically indulging the DPRK in order to keep the ROK occupied, I beg to differ - in many aspects, the ROK military is already on par or more advanced than the Japanese (except in submarine warfare), and instead of a situation where the ROK pumps billions of development fund into a less belligerent DPRK, their spending it on defense R&D and home-built tanks and destroyers. They're getting increasingly right-wing as well.

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