North Korea will use everything at its disposal to exact a heavy price for an attack, but will it be enough to dissuade the United States?
Pyongyang would counterstrike using its considerable artillery, rocket and missile arsenal, but there are limits to these weapons' effectiveness.
The United States could dismantle the North Korean nuclear program with a massive surprise strike. There are two huge unknowns, however, that prevent an accurate evaluation of the likelihood of an attack.
Should the United States wish to curtail Pyongyang's nuclear activities through force and avoid a long-term intervention, it would have to take quick and decisive action.
North Korea is an island of its own making. It is often painted as a weak, fearsome lunatic with delusions of grandeur and aspirations to become a nuclear power, but the truth is a little more complicated.