Could U.S. Special Forces Really Inflitrate North Korea?

May 30th, 2012
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What would be required to make recent (reported) statements by Army Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley a reality from a tactical and technological standpoint?   The recent article in The Diplomat asserting that U.S. forces were entering North Korea for intelligence gathering purposes generated a lot of publicity. In this piece, we will take a quick look

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About the Author

Roger Cavazos

Roger Cavazos is a non-resident Associate at Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability in San Francisco, with extensive U.S. Army experience in analyzing China, Taiwan, and Cross-Straits relations.

Join the discussion

  • Sheejun

    That is very interesting, thank you for your insight.

  • Sheejun

    That is very interesting, thank you for your insight.

  • newageman

    So, Roger, who is telling the truth?

    You need to read this blog by the reporter, David Axe:
    http://www.warisboring.com/2012/05/28/context-of-the-korea-special-forces-story/

  • newageman

    So, Roger, who is telling the truth?

    You need to read this blog by the reporter, David Axe:
    http://www.warisboring.com/2012/05/28/context-of-the-korea-special-forces-story/

  • http://twitter.com/Nautilus_Inst Nautilus Institute

    Interesting

  • http://twitter.com/Nautilus_Inst Nautilus Institute

    Interesting

  • http://twitter.com/roger_cavazos Roger Cavazos 金大健

    Newageman – Thank you for pointing out David’s article.  It’s an interesting read
    and a success story overall, even though I’m sure David feels he would
    have rather had anesthetic-free root canal surgery.

    You ask a very reasonable and appropriate question which I can’t answer.  That’s part of why I wanted to squirm around it and keep it in the hypothetical.  I expect the real truth will come out 25 to 30 years after reunification. 

    My personal opinion is that we (U.S. and ROK) don’t have anyone in DPRK right now.  Collective risk muscle / stomach can’t presently handle it. 

    Initially credible and verifiable first and second hand sources exist to indicate the blanket statement “We’ve never had any forces there” is wrong.  Special Forces (Green Berets) weren’t insituted until after the Korean War, but during the Korean War there were young and brave (ok sometimes just plain ole crazy) troops performing special missions in North Korea.  South Korea has a stronger risk muscle, but I think the Silmido-era Korea and present day Korea are too distant to have kept such a strong risk tolerance for so long.

    If the KPA is suddenly pinging DOD websites, scouring every square meter of DPRK, pouring tons of money they don’t have into strengthening defenses, and trying to develop anti-flux capacitor gadgets (i.e. make believe capabilities) those are unintended, but likely welcome developments.

    The real success stories however are: 1) David bringing many issues to light; 2) forcing the system to answer reasonable questions and 3) stimulating civic discourse like we’re doing

  • http://twitter.com/roger_cavazos Roger Cavazos 金大健

    Newageman – Thank you for pointing out David’s article.  It’s an interesting read
    and a success story overall, even though I’m sure David feels he would
    have rather had anesthetic-free root canal surgery.

    You ask a very reasonable and appropriate question which I can’t answer.  That’s part of why I wanted to squirm around it and keep it in the hypothetical.  I expect the real truth will come out 25 to 30 years after reunification. 

    My personal opinion is that we (U.S. and ROK) don’t have anyone in DPRK right now.  Collective risk muscle / stomach can’t presently handle it. 

    Initially credible and verifiable first and second hand sources exist to indicate the blanket statement “We’ve never had any forces there” is wrong.  Special Forces (Green Berets) weren’t insituted until after the Korean War, but during the Korean War there were young and brave (ok sometimes just plain ole crazy) troops performing special missions in North Korea.  South Korea has a stronger risk muscle, but I think the Silmido-era Korea and present day Korea are too distant to have kept such a strong risk tolerance for so long.

    If the KPA is suddenly pinging DOD websites, scouring every square meter of DPRK, pouring tons of money they don’t have into strengthening defenses, and trying to develop anti-flux capacitor gadgets (i.e. make believe capabilities) those are unintended, but likely welcome developments.

    The real success stories however are: 1) David bringing many issues to light; 2) forcing the system to answer reasonable questions and 3) stimulating civic discourse like we’re doing

  • Pingback: Editor’s Note « SINO-NK()

  • FtheDPRK

    You people are fucking insane. It’s sad, really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Veaney-Arteaga/100000527513856 Veaney Arteaga

    Firing squad if the DPRK’s army gets a hand on you. Is it worthy? Why not use of drones and robot soldier (Soon to come, not hollywood) Satellite spy’s and radar can pick telephone conversations (The baby leader asking for more kumchi , turtle soup or women, since his lady is pregnant,¿¿??)