[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
The Korean Peninsula has enough mountains running northwest to southeast
to provide several avenues of approach. (Korea isn't flat like a
billiard table). You can have defensive lines that go from the West
Coast of the Korean Peninsula and to the mountain range that separates
the "Western Corridor" from the "Uijonbu Corridor". You can do the same
in the Uijonbu Corridor and so on. The Chorwon Valley (a big avenue of
approach) is essentially in the center of Korea and the headwaters and
the top of the drainage area for the Han-Tan river starts in the upper
Chorwon (North Korea).
There was a great fear around the time of the Olympics that the North
Koreans were building dams/reservoirs to provide water that when
suddenly released would cause the dams north of Seoul to collapse like a
line of dominos. In this case, "tremendous cement wall" would be a
flood control dam(s) without the desire to actually retain a permanent
The nearest example that I can think of at the moment is the Olmos Dam
built in the 1930s to protect downtown San Antonio from a flood of the
San Antonio River. I am sure there are many examples thourghout the US.
Most likely the North Koreans were trying to stop the sudden flooding
caused by Typhoons (August/Sept) and the Summer Monsoon rains, and to
provide irrigation for crops. But the S. Korean Press can get more
hysterical than the any tabloid that is published in the US. I
personally think that one of the Korean Corporate Giants needed a big
contract and paid off the press to start the "crisis". This is similar
to the "Missile Gap, Bomber Gap and other Gaps that the American
political scene went through at the end of the Eisenhower and beginning
of the Kennedy Administration, to help the Air Force and the Aerospace
Corporations get money from Congress. (Yes, I know it is cynical
There was a similar thing going on in the DMZ near Panmunjon in 84-85
when the North Koreans were putting in some flood control measures to
protect the fields. The flood ditches and the road/bridge network to
allow the vehicles to the fields were immediately proclaimed as
"anti-tank" by Combined Forces Command, 8th Army and 2ID. Some of us
said otherwise, but were told that they had "experienced engineers"
watching this. Later when they got an Engineer with actually field
experience in flood control that confirmed what us dumb people were
I will have to disagree with LTC Maxwell, the Imjin River has flooded
all the way up to the deck of Freedom Gate Bridge (1952??) and Liberty
Bell Bridge was vibrating so bad that the Engineers could hear a deep
hum a mile away. The Imjin stayed within the flood plain. As there is
more Imjin in North Korea than S.Korea (10 or so miles until it hits the
Han River Estuary), there is no need for a big dam/causeway in the
Western Corridor. Besides why flood a river that can be fairly easily
crossed and on a route closest to Seoul? A flood would render the
Imjin useless for 2 or more weeks. A flood on the Han/Han-Tan rivers
would prevent reinforcements from Third ROK Army.
As Joe Bermundez has said, the South Koreans have created a defense in
depth. If the North Koreans have success in say the Kumwha avenues they
can still hold the Chorwan with out a lot of difficulty. They could
hold the Uijonbu corridor if the Western Corridor collapsed back 15 or
so miles. The loss of several corridors could be rough, but at that
point the forward ROK Corps would have died in place.
To sum it up, the South Koreans have a series of Defensive lines that
"cross" the entire peninsula, but with the exception of the South
Barrier Fence, they aren't necessarily connected completely across the
peninsula. They are designed to accept a tremendous blow and allow a
minimum force to hold a line while reinforcement/counter attack forces
are assembled and sent to destroy any penetrations. If general war ever
resumes in Korea the DMZ will cease to exist as either a political
boundary or a defensive line and will only be significant as a reference
> Thanks for the info!
> So, how long are these defense lines?
> Could one of these defense lines in the South
> be a long concrete wall?