Simulation: War on the Korean Peninsula

Faced with the prospect of a U.S. tactical nuclear attack, Taylor predicted that the North Korean regime would realize it was facing its demise and ask Russia and China to help negotiate a cease-fire. "I think there would be another armistice of some sort to end what would look like a holocaust, for crying out loud," he said.

All of the experts predicted that the United States and its allies would defeat North Korea militarily. "We will win the war, but it will not be an easy war to fight," said Campbell. He said the first couple of weeks of war could be "a horrific symphony of death," with hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of casualties.

Taylor estimated that around 500,000 South Korean troops and civilians would die in the event of an all-out war with the North, as well as tens of thousands of U.S. troops. On the North Korean side, he said the casualties could be as high as a million and half dead.

Nightline asked a fifth expert, a former analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, with 20 years' experience on the Korean peninsula, to comment on the outcome of the war game. He firmly believed that China would not stand by, but enter the conflict on the North Korean side. And he said the casualties from a North Korean attack over the DMZ would be much higher, with closer to five million South Koreans and Americans dead in the first few days.

This report originally aired on Nightline Jan. 10, 2003.

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