A North Korean war and the 30 million person problem

A thermonuclear war with North Korea would be a humanitarian and ecological disaster for the entire region South Korea, China, Russia and Japan. Even if conventional weapons are used and the Kim regime collapses (a more likely scenario), we may face an alternative nightmare:

The first consequence would be that the Kims and all those connected with the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea would have to flee compatriots angry at years of human rights violations and public executions.

“Secret police and party officials would seek refuge in neighboring China or Russia,” Australian National University researcher Leonid Petrov told news.com.au. “Some South American countries might be willing to give refuge to people — Bolivia, Venezuela, Guatemala … countries that are anti-American might be supportive.”

So what will Kim Jong-un’s people do without their supreme leader? With a lack of money, food and shelter if the regime collapses, they too may seek refuge in China, Russia and South Korea, but those countries will not necessarily be open to an influx of North Korean refugees.

China is already home to an estimated 100,000 North Korean defectors, and is unlikely to want the pressure of more. The Chinese have been concerned about such a scenario for some time, and might reinforce the border with troops, Rand Corporation scientist Andrew Scobell told Foxtrot Alpha.

Others may try to travel from city to city in search of refuge, while others could try to cross into South Korea, although if fighting persists in the DMZ, that would be almost impossible.

The most likely conclusion would be the reunification of Korea, according to Dr Petrov, but this may mean deep economic and social problems. Read more

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