If you want to play a wargame involving conflict on the Korean Peninsula, you can play titles like Mitchel Land’s Next War: Korea (GMT Games, 2019). It is also helpful if you have some background to better understand the situation and threat. Here are three titles that I consider essential reading for players (and aspiring designers) of modern conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea Military Power: A Growing Regional and Global Threat, Washington, DC: Defense Intelligence Agency, 2021. Press Announcement – “This volume in DIA’s series of military power reports provides details on North Korea’s defensive and military goals, strategy, plans and intentions. It examines the organization, structure and capability of the military supporting those goals, as well as the enabling infrastructure and industrial base.”
The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun, Stjin Mitzer & Joost Oliemans, Warwick: Helion & Company, 2020. From the Publisher – “North Korea’s Armed Forces maps the most important events from the inconclusive ceasefire struck at the end of the Korean War, throughout the Cold War until modern day. An especially heavy emphasis is placed on the current status of the Korean People’s Army by examining their wealth of indigenously designed weaponry. In the course of the book not only will many of the Korean People’s Army’s most secret projects and tactics will be covered, and its conflict history with the South and the world at large is put into new context. Moreover, an up-to-date, comprehensive assessment of the equipment holdings of several branches of the Korean People’s Army is included, offering a numerical estimate of its naval and aerial capabilities. From the recently introduced stealth missile boats, ballistic missile submarines and main battle tank families to their often-ignored indigenous aircraft industry, virtually all indigenous weapons systems are discussed extensively.”
ATP 7-100.2 North Korean Tactics, Washington, DC: Department of the Army, July 2020. From the Introduction – “ATP 7-100.2 addresses the tactics, organization, and activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ground forces. Part one of this document focuses on the strategic and operational levels, and includes North Korea’s military structure, organizational philosophy, and an introduction to functional tactics. Part two focuses on the tactical level, and describes Korean People’s Army Ground Forces (KPAGF) offensive and defensive tactics in detail. Several appendixes provide additional information on specific military functions and their use in tactical situations.”
Alas, there is no single-source tactics guide for the Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF)…
…nor for the tactics of the Korean People’s Navy (KPN).
A Note of Caution: While these sources certainly create a solid baseline of understanding, they are not “living documents” and therefore some of the data is possibly outdated or has been supplemented by newer understanding. But it’s a start…
Feature image – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presides over an urgent operation meeting on the Korean People’s Army Strategic Rocket Force’s performance of duty for firepower strike at the Supreme Command in Pyongyang, March 29, 2013. The sign on the left reads, “Strategic force’s plan to hit the mainland of the U.S.” (KCNA/Reuters)