Even though South Korea (with our help) could quickly win a war with North Korea that would unify the country and lead to prosperity on a massive scale, it is very unlikely that our side will start a war there. The fear that North Korea would explode a nuclear weapon is not the reason we won’t risk war. Even prior to their attainment of a nuclear weapon, we recognized that the South Korean capital, Seoul, is within artillery range of the DMZ, and would come under devastating attack at the outset of hostilities. For this reason, South Korea would have to want to go war before we would impose war on them. Their civilian losses would be too high for us to make that decision for them. Fear of a nuclear explosion exacerbates this situation, but it doesn’t change it.
Still, North Korea is making provocative statements on a daily basis that are growing harder to shrug off. I can’t think of another country in the world that is situated in a way that would allow them to get away with threatening to fire missiles at our country and our allies.
I think it is time for China to show some leadership here. They need to sit down with their psychotic puppet regime and tell them to dial back the rhetoric. And, if they can no longer control them, perhaps the regime doesn’t need to exist anymore. From a financial point of view, it’s hard to see how North Korea is preferable to a united Korea organized on southern principles.