Korea war seen killing up to 300,000 even without nukes
Renewed conflict on the Korean peninsula could kill hundreds of thousands of people in the first few days alone even if no nuclear weapons are involved, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service, Bloomberg reports.
Given population densities on the peninsula, military conflict “could affect upwards of 25 million people on either side of the border, including at least 100,000 U.S. citizens,” according to a 62-page assessment sent to U.S. lawmakers Friday and obtained by Bloomberg News.
Even if North Korea “uses only its conventional munitions, estimates range from between 30,000 and 300,000 dead in the first days of fighting,” the report said, citing North Korea’s ability to fire 10,000 rounds per minute. Moreover, the conflict could quickly spread to involve forces from China, Japan and Russia.
“Such a conflict could also involve a massive mobilization of U.S. forces onto the Korean Peninsula, and high military casualty rates,” the report said. “Complicating matters, should China choose to join the conflict, those casualty rates could grow further, and could potentially lead to military conflict beyond the peninsula.”
Still, the report noted that some analysts say that allowing Kim’s regime to acquire the ability to develop a missile capable of delivering nuclear warheads to the continental U.S. would be of even greater risk than the outbreak of regional war.