Given the success of the previous (and ongoing) Israel vs Iran wargame compendium, I thought it might be a good time to start a similar listing of wargames dealing with a potential future conflict in the Korean peninsula. The listing includes commercial/hobby games where these address serious analytical issues of strategy and military operations. Some student simulations have included, although model UN-type crisis committees haven’t.
(Most recent update: 28 May 2013)
Millennium Wars: Korea, One Small Step (2003)
Boardgame designed by Joe Miranda.
- Game description at BoardGameGeek
North Korea: The War Game (2005)
“Dealing with North Korea could make Iraq look like child’s play—and the longer we wait, the harder it will get. That’s the message of a Pentagon-style war game involving some of this country’s most prominent foreign-policy strategists.”—an account of a crisis simulation convened by The Atlantic.
- “North Korea: The War Game,” The Atlantic, 1 July 2005.
Crisis in North Korea Simulation, ICONS Project
Explore the complexities of negotiating an end to a crisis in an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and mistrust. This simulation places students in the roles of key global leaders as they attempt to determine the cause of a recent explosion in North Korea and de-escalate tensions between parties. In the wake of Kim Jong-Il’s death, the international community’s concerns about North Korea’s nuclear program are heightened and events in the simulation have precipitated a crisis that threatens to ignite a regional conflict.
- Available from the ICONS Project.
DMZ: The Next Korean War, Decision Games (2010)
Boardgame designed by Eric Harvey.
- Game description at BoardGameGeek.
CENEX 2011, University of Denver (2011)
A crisis negotiation exercise “covering simultaneous crises in the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.”
- Scenario information and moves via CENEX website
Next War: Korea, GMT Games (2012)
GMT Games’ wargame of a future conflict in the Korean war, designed by Gene Billingsley.
- Description and session reports via BoardGameGeek.
- See also Crisis: Korea 1995
- Review by Michael Peck at Defense News
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Korean Peninsula Crisis Simulation (2012)
In November 2012, CSIS held a two-day crisis simulation exercise in collaboration with the International Communications and Negotiation Simulation (ICONS) Project of the University of Maryland. Three teams were formed for the exercise: a China team, a U.S. team, and a control team which played the roles of North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Participants included senior members of the U.S. foreign policy and security expert community, many of whom were former U.S. senior officials.
The simulation was designed to test and enhance U.S.-China crisis management capabilities in general, and to underscore the benefit of advance discussion between the U.S. and China to respond to potential contingencies on the Korean Peninsula.
- “Preparation for Instability in North Korea: a Korean Peninsula Crisis Simulation,” CSIS, November 2012
Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky, Korea simulation (2011)
Graduate student simulation, involving “a disaster and succession crisis in North Korea, and included teams representing North Korea, South Korea, Russia, China, Japan, and the United States.”
- Robert Farley, “2011 Patterson Spring Crisis Simulation,” Information Dissemination blog, 8 March 2011.
- scenario details (via simulation blog)
Unified Quest 2013, US Army War College
US troops intervene to secure the nuclear arsenal of the dictatorial republic of North Brownland. It proves to be a hard slog.
- “The Army’s Navy: Fast Boats, Long-Range Rockets Play In Classified Wargame,” Breaking Defense, 15 February 2013.
- “U.S. Army Learns Lessons in N. Korea-like War Game,” Defence News, 26 March 2013.
- “U.S. Wargames North Korean Regime Collapse, Invasion to Secure Nukes,” ABC News, 29 March 2013.
- “North Korea War: U.S. War Games Reveal Faults With Nuclear Recovery Strategy,” PolicyMic, April 2013.
- “The U.S. vs. North Korea: Inside a Pentagon war game,” CNN, 10 April 2013.
Dartmouth College Korea simulation (2013)
Simulation with student participants at Dartmouth College.
- “Dartmouth Students Get a Taste of Foreign Relations Through Crisis Simulation,” Dartmouth Now, 25 January 2013.
Drive on Pyongyang, Modern War magazine (2013)
Boardgame designed by Ty Bomba.
- Game description via BoardGameGeek.
- Michael Peck, “Woe to the Imperialists! How I briefly defended North Korea from American aggression,” Foreign Policy magazine, 8 April 2013.
Lesson plan for Korea simulation, New York Times “Learning Network” (2013)
Should the United States rely on diplomacy and incentives or military confrontation to deal with a nuclear-armed North Korea? In this lesson, students will play the role of White House advisers, exploring policy options and recommending the best strategy for preventing war in East Asia.
- Tom Marshall and Michael Gonchar, “Decision Point: Understanding the U.S.’s Dilemma Over North Korea,” New York Times, 19 March 2013.