Soldiers march across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, to celebrate the 105th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un. TOKYO — If the United States were to strike North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s regime would retaliate by unleashing its conventional weaponry lined up on the demilitarized zone that has separated the two Koreas for about seven decades.
And that conventional weaponry is reliable, unlike North Korea’s missiles, and could cause major devastation in South Korea, which is a staunch ally of the United States. “This becomes a very limiting factor for the U.S.,” said Carl Baker, a retired Air Force officer with extensive experience in South Korea.As tensions between North Korea and the outside world have risen over the past month, there has been increasing talk about the United States using military force either to preempt a North Korean provocation or to respond to one. That talk continues even after it emerged that the Navy had not sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula region, as officials, including President Trump, had implied.