As I practice my headline writing I notice the rather flaccid and anemic response to the North Korean underground nuclear nuke test. We've been afraid of Li'l Kim since the Clinton Administration.
I am pretty sure that the reason is all that Nork artillery within range of Seoul. Of course many North Korean cities are within range of South Korean and American artillery but that doesn't seem to bother the clown with poofy hair.
I had a plan way back in '94 that I believe will still work, although no one has the courage to use it. Item one would be to evacuate Seoul. Item Two: pour artillery and air into the Nork artillery positions and air power. Item three: turn the zoomies loose on the rest of North Korea. Leave a small buffer zone on the Chinese and Russian borders.
After there are no Nork weapons more powerful than a Red Ryder Beebee Gun bomb the gaurdhouses and fences of those massive Nork prison camps. Then let everyone back into Seoul. Rebuild what has been destroyed. I strongly believe that damage will be fairly light, our counterbattery fire is nothing short miraculous.
Now one reason we haven't done that is because we are worried about killing civilians. This is an unfounded worry. No matter how many we civilians we killed it would not come close to how many Nork civilians starve to death or die in the prison camps.
The only people in North Korea that get enough to eat are the politicos and (some of) the military. The South Korean military is not the Army of the early 1950s. I saw them work in the midsixties.
The only advantage Li'l Kim has is brutality. The Norks have nothing else. Their air force is a joke. Their artillery is obsolete. Their army is armed with weapons a couple of generations old. I doubt that one Nork troop out of a hundred has night vision gear. I also doubt that they have effective body armor.
The South even has rifles that shoot airburst shells and all have laser sights. Meanwhile the Norks have those old AKs. The only advantage to the AK is that it will usually hold together while operated by a peasant. Imagine being a Nork grunt. It's night. You are crouched behind a rock when a South Korean that you can't see puts an airburst shell about three meters above your head. Now imagine you are that dead Nork's squadmate. You are hungry, your bud was just killed by a soldier that nobody can see, your officers have taken half the rations and you haven't been paid, or laid, in months. How is that morale and fighting spirit?
The Norks have the T62 tank, the South has the KH1, arguably as good as the M1Ain Abrams.
So, do we wait for the Norks to nuke Tokyo or Seoul or do we gird up or loins as Slow Joe said?
Oh, sorry, I forgot. China! Oh noes! China might get mad! You will forgive me if I'd rather see China mad than a smoking, glowing hole where a city of ten million people used to be. But, that's just me.