The plan, known as “Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation” (KMPR), was revealed after the Defense Ministry briefed the National Assembly last week on the subject, Yonhap said.
Using colorful language reminiscent of North Korean state media, the report said that Pyongyang would be “reduced to ashes and removed from the map” if signs of an imminent attack were uncovered.
“Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon,” the report quoted a source as saying.
“The KMPR is the utmost operation concept the military can have in the absence of its own nuclear weapons,” the source added.
The implications for U.S. PRC policy of a failure of the North Korea deterrence are not particularly heartening. If perceptions of the effectiveness of the US military and the efficacy of US leadership continue to erode, the US will have to get more aggressive in its security strategy to retain the initiative in Asia, and not just the Korean Peninsula.
If trends continue, it seems to me the US will have to compensate for its decreasing military advantage by migrating from a relatively stabilizing military deterrent/containment strategy to a more aggressive, results-oriented China-collapse strategy to convince Asia it's got the chops to stop the PRC pandadragon in its tracks before it's too late.
How aggressively the US deals with the strategic challenge of nuclear North Korea will be a useful harbinger of its intentions for the PRC.