The ability to rain artillery down on the South’s capital is really Kim Jong-un’s trump card. A 2012 Nautilus Institute report found that the North could fire 4000 rounds of artillery an hour, which could kill 64,000 people on the first day, mostly in the first three hours.
They would also likely target US military bases in South Korea and Japan.
The US and its allies could also consider a limited punitive strike against the Kim regime, a way of telling it to stop its nuclear program or it can expect more of the same – something like what Trump did to the Syrian regime after its use of chemical weapons.
But can a hermit dictatorship see the difference between a limited and an all-out strike?