DARPA Project Reveals US May Be Planning North Korea Invasion

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 - 11:16AM
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 - 11:16AM
DARPA Project Reveals US May Be Planning North Korea Invasion
< >
Image credit: YouTube
The political situation in North Korea is growing more complex, as the United States government is set to begin training for fighting within the country's many secret underground tunnels.

While far from confirmed by official sources, it's possible that an ongoing contest from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) may secretly be intended to equip troops with Batman-type gear to fight in unfamiliar cave-like environments.

Defectors from North Korea have been warning for decades that the dictatorship is riddled with holes and tunnels that have been dug in order to aid a literal underground invasion of South Korea. Named "The Tunnels of Aggression" (way cooler than the names of the tunnels in The Great Escape), this endless maze of underground passageways is almost a complete mystery to those outside of the North Korean military.

Claims suggest that one tunnel to the south is large enough to transport thirty thousand North Korean troops per hour, although it's hard to be certain just how reliable these claims might be.

One thing is certain: if the United States were to ever go to war with North Korea, it wouldn't be an easy process for US troops. North Korean forces will likely have received tunnel warfare training, as well as possessing detailed maps of the area, and where it's possible to hide or lay traps for unwitting US soldiers.

Thus, in an effort to be prepared (and we can all merely hope and pray that this preparation is never actually proved useful), the US government has sanctioned specific training to help get troops up to speed on the challenges of fighting in low-light underground environments.

All of this makes sense, but what else might the government be working on behind closed doors? Tunnel training may be useful, but US troops would still be at a disadvantage due to a lack of knowledge about tunnel geography in North Korea.

This could potentially tie in with DARPA's contest, which ostensibly is intended to help develop technology to help life underground go more smoothly.

According to DARPA's program manager, Timothy Chung:

Opening quote
"One of the main limitations facing warfighters and emergency responders in subterranean environments is a lack of situational awareness; we often don't know what lies beneath us. The DARPA Subterranean Challenge aims to provide previously unimaginable situational awareness capabilities for operations underground."
Closing quote

So, on the one hand, the US military is beginning to train in tunnel environments for the express purpose of being able to fight North Korean troops on their home turf. Meanwhile, the government is also looking to independent contractors to create a system that would allow the military to scan the ground and learn the layout of tunnels and caves that might exist deep below.

The evidence all seems to line up: it's entirely possible that the government is looking to find ways to beat North Korea at its own game by uncovering their entire series of tunnels in advance of an invasion.

Of course, there's no definitive proof here. This is purely circumstantial, and even if these two ongoing projects are related, one would hope that this is merely intended to help prepare for an avoidable scenario, rather than the first hints of an intended attack. No matter how fast US troops might be able to learn the tunnel layout beneath North Korea, they'd struggle to take out all opponents before a retaliatory attack is put into action.

Let's hope that cooler heads prevail as the conflict between the United States and North Korea continues to produce awkward tweets and showboating from political leaders. If all does go south, though, this research contest could well be the way that the US military intends to prepare for what would under even the best of circumstances prove to be an incredibly difficult away mission.