Third Korean War, also known as the Final Continuation War, was the final war which brought forth the United Republic of Korea.
Precursor to the WarEdit
A previous war was fought in the Korean peninsula in the year 2018, ending with severe consequences for North Korea and a major rearrangement of the North Korean Party. However, as though "inefficient" as the North Korean Party could come, they still think that their aim of seizing complete control of the Korean peninsula was still possible, given that the 'American bandits' would go away for good and they could enact major reforms in their country. They started doing the latter after the previous leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, was deposed.
As North Korea enacted reforms on its economy, which included privatizing much of its industry and distancing itself from Communism even further, some analysts saw the great opportunity to unite the divided Korean peninsula without bloodshed. With the North Korean economy revitalized with Chinese help, South Korea started sending diplomatic teams to Pyongyang in order to invite them for a dialogue about unification. Although realistically an impossible scenario, peace was of the best interest of both parties. For South Korea, it meant that it will free them from costly defense policies and a larger buffer zone against Russia and China, the greatest of the three devils.
However, with the American forces retreating back to CONUS in the year 2028 following the GLA raid and genocide on their mainland, North Korea saw a chance that might never come back to them again; full control over the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea at the helm. With the new land and manpower, an invasion of Japan and the Philippines would be feasible, allowing Korea to carve out its own empire in the Pacific.
North Korean RushEdit
Nobody could still say how or when did the war actually start, but the very first call of attack was by a scared private who said that the South Korean fortifications on the border were "annihilated" and large masses of hostile vehicles were coming to their location and that he requested instructions. In a matter minutes, the entire military hierarchy was alerted, but very too late to save the border guards. The very first sign of resistance by South Korean forces was on the outskirts of Seoul. Several South Korean tanks blocked all roads towards the direction of Seoul, but they were smashed, or rather, burned to the ground by air support planes. After a measly three hours after the first alert came, North Korean units were in sight of the South Korean capital. Luckily, chaos did not ensue, and what happened was an orderly evacuation of women, children, and other noncombatants while able-bodied men were given assault rifles, AT4s, grenade launchers, submachine guns, pistols and even baseball bats to defend the capital for as long as possible. Thus, the battle for Seoul begun.
Defense and Capture of Seoul Edit
Due to the inherent lack of heavy weaponry in Seoul armories, the defenders of Seoul, numbering only at at least 2,000 regulars and a lot of hastily-armed civilian reserves, were hard pressed to defend against the shock forces of the DPRK, consisting of light infantry in BMP Transports and old T-64 Tanks, in conjunction with Type 88Gs. Luckily for them, however, several ROKAF support units were at Seongnam Air Base for a training mission, and they managed to defend the skies around the defenders against MiGs, in addition to providing limited air support. This combination managed to hold on Seoul for three days, until the heavy elements of the North Korean army came, bringing with them advanced Chinese weaponry, including ECM Tanks, Twin Fangs, and Inferno Cannons. Few hours after the Inferno cannons were put in place, they started raining down black napalm upon Seoul, causing raging fires across the city and countless casualties, some of them civilians who weren't lucky or fast enough to evacuate away from Seoul. After the initial bombarding, lead elements of the NK Army captured the city mostly in one piece, including the South Korean President, who vowed to stay until the last man in Seoul was evacuated, and his cabinet ministers, save for the Minister of National Defense and his personal team, since they were in Pusan before the war began. The president was publicly executed by firing squad hours later, having been "accused" of "crimes against Kim Il-sung". The action was condemned by not only China, but also by Japan, Australia, and even Russia, calling it "unnecessary to accuse someone of committing crimes against a man who died in 1994".
Drive to TaejonEdit
After Seoul, the North Koreans eyed another strategic location, Taejon. The second-most important nerve center of South Korea after Seoul, it housed the last remaining command structures of the entire South Korean army. Its capture, some advisers reasoned, would lead to the capitulation of the entire South Korean army as a whole. However, the road towards Taejon was very arduous for the NK army, as several ambushes led by South Korean special forces tied up traffic on the major roads. By this time, it was already spring, and the tanks, built for open ground, were having a difficult time moving across the mud-bogged fields. For the South Koreans, this meant more preparation time against the numerically superior enemy.
The North Korean army was significantly slowed at the banks of the Imjin river by South Korean regulars, and most of the second-echelon units were tied up behind the Han river because of South Korean special forces ambuscades, thereby earning this part of the campaign as "The Battle of the Two Rivers".
Air War on the Road to Taejon Edit
South Korea fully utilized its superior air force against the North Koreans. Aside from close-air support and mobile artillery, they used their old yet respectable AC-130s "Spectre I" Gunships in SEAD role as well, absorbing immense flak fire while their more advanced jets cleanly sliced through Twin Fangs, Gattling Tanks, and other anti-air units.
However, the biggest hurdle that the ROKAF faced was North Korea's massive number of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, mainly Helix helicopters, vintage MiG-21s and J10s that came from China, although there were a large number of dubiously-acquired Gazelle choppers, a helicopter recently introduced by the GLA. Although ROKAF's F-22B Raptors, F35s, and other strike craft were clearly superior in quality against North Korea's machines, the fact that the North Korean air force outnumbered the ROKAF by least 3:1 in the opening stages of the war offset the technological advantage.
Another thorn in the back of the ROKAF was the presence of Chinese AWACS planes, which provided target information for the North Koreans and caused major problems for any ROKAF pilot. Moreover, the South Korean Minister of Defense specifically barred any pilot or SAM battery commander from destroying these planes in fear of Chinese escalation, which would spell doom for the nation and much of its civilian population, given China's track record during the Global War on Terror.
Over this part of the campaign alone, the South Koreans had at least two aces and a double ace, due in part of the relatively inefficient use of air assets by North Korea.
Siege and Capture of TaejonEdit
When the lead North Korean elements reached Taejon, its defenses were considerably complex and nearly impenetrable; layers and layers of buildings specifically designed as garrisons littered the city, not to count the apparent willingness of the ROK army to expend their supplies profligately. Even with significant artillery support, the defense circling Taejon proved unbreakable.
Knowing that another stalemate would mean another strategic defeat, China allowed the transfer of their 'weapons of mass destruction', specifically Meteor Nuclear Cannons, and blueprints for EMP Bombs. Meanwhile, North Korea unleashed upon Taejon its viable stocks of biological weaponry, mostly consisting of dubiously-acquired anthrax, loaded in old theater ballistic missiles. Because of this escalation, Taejon fell after three weeks of defiant defense with the loss of roughly 80% of its civilian population due to an anthrax epidemic caused by the missiles and destruction on a scale not seen since Stalingrad
South Korea Asks for HelpEdit
Faced with complete and total annihilation against weapons of mass destruction, and unable to attack Chinese forces out of fear of strategic nuclear weapons falling on their soil, South Korea asked for help from anybody in the entire Asian continent, counting, India, Japan, the Philippines and even Australia. But with Australia facing domestic problems and crackdowns, India facing a problem of its own in its borders with China, and the Philippines facing a potential Taiwan-esque naval confrontation in the long-contested South China Sea, only Japan was in a position to help South Korea in any meaningful way. However, China made many attempts as to stop Japanese intervention in the war, including offers of a special long-term trade agreement, the secession of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, reminding them of what transpired in World War II as a scare tactic, and even bilateral strategic cooperation.
Japan's "Covert Intervention" turns to Complete ParticipationEdit
In reality, Japan was already helping South Korea in a rather indirect way; they covertly provided supplies to the ROK army through the Tsushima Strait, using neutrally-flagged transports, and maybe even submarines, if rumors that circulated during the war was true. Diplomatically, Japan slammed North Korea's "War of Aggression" and China's "virtually belligerent participation" in the war. However, at first, they really weren't serious about entering the war directly, in fear of severe repercussions from China, destabilizing the fragile status quo between Japan and China. Violating the Constitution stating Japan couldn't declare war that was brought into effect after World War II was not an issue since it had been repealed in 2015 after several Japanese journalists were executed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, often called a spiritual predecessor to the GLA).
However, with North Korea's use of weapons of mass destruction, Japan feared that if their "covert intervention" was exposed, they might be attacked by North Korea suddenly and without any direct provocation. They especially feared being attacked by nuclear weapons, having already bore witness to them at the end of WWII in 1945. Because of this, they entered the war as to preempt the North Koreans from using their weapons of mass destruction against Japanese civilians. The entry of Japanese forces was known as Operation Reclamation. During this hour of desperation, the South Koreans found help from an unexpected ally: The island nation of Japan. Together, the two former enemies, now united against a common adversary, reclaimed the initiative and prompted the Chinese to withdraw their support, as a superstitious Chinese general feared that "Japan would summon Godzilla to destroy Beijing".
In 2032 the joint militaries of Japan and the ROK began the long-awaited counteroffensive. It began with a major air campaign by the ROKAF and the JASDF aginst key targets such as command centers, supply depots, airfields, roads, and bridges.Then followed by major artillery bombardment aginst North Korean positions. Minutes after the last shells had landed the vanguard of the joint ROK and Japanese assault forces, consisting of the most battle hardened and elite units they had charged at the North Korean lines, the North Koreans were still in shock after the initial bombardment and were unable to put up more than token resistance. Six hours after the first ground units began to move out, North Korean lines had broken at a dozen different points from Gunsang to Pohang. When the military hierarchy of the North Koreans finally heard about the counter-offensive they ordered a general retreat, however, the order came too late for many units of the North Korean Army with advanced elements of the offensive already engaging rear echelon units many of the North Koreans simply surrendered. Most were arrested as war criminals due to their actions. 72 hours after the operation had commenced it was clear to the world that the tide had finally turned for South Koreans.
The Road to PyongyangEdit
In late 2032 the joint ROK and Japanese forces have pushed the North Koreans out of South Korea and began on the road to the North Korean capital Pyongyang. 5 divisions drove over the DMZ and pushed north encountered heavy resistance while the battle group took heavy losses. Considering the fact that the ROKAF and the JAF were engaging with the last remnants of the North Korean Air Force which was putting up fanatical resistance. The battle group was finally halted at Pukchang by the North Korean army, the defense there halted the allied forces for months until the North Korean Airforces were finally defeated and are support allowed the allied forces to break through and capture Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
On January 3rd, 2033, the coalition forces liberated the Northern capital city of Pyongyang. But their victory was a Pyrrhic one; the entire country had suffered heavy damage to its infrastructure, along with countless military and civilian casualties. The only true victor was China, as it had managed to both eliminate a long-term political liability in the North and cripple a confident economic competitor in the South through its ruthless manipulation. Regardless, the people of Korea now found themselves in a shared misery and went on to rebuild their newly reunited nation, which now became the United Republic of Korea, together. For the first time since 1910, 123 years prior, Korea was whole once more.