Even though North Korea has threatened the United States with a nuclear attack, South Korea and Japan are much more likely targets. The Communist nation has plenty of military firepower, but it just doesn’t have the range to launch an attack on America at this point. Obviously, its neighbor South Korea would be close enough to attack, and Japan is less than 635 miles away.
North Korea's military looks formidable. It has 1.2 million soldiers. They would have a huge numbers advantage against the 640,000 South Korean troops. Those troops are backed up by 26,000 U.S. personnel stationed in the country. That said, financial reasons have led North Korea to abandon running a conventional military. The country has instead chosen to focus on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, reports Reuters.
"A conventional military is very costly, and overwhelmingly so for North Korea," said Shin In-kyun, head of the Korea Defence Network, an alliance of defense experts based in Seoul. "It quickly becomes a money fight, and North Korea cannot win that."
North Korea has about 12,000 artillery guns. Many of them are near the South Korean border. It also has an arsenal of missiles that can travel more than 1,875 miles. "They have the capability to strike anywhere in the South and Japan," said Shin.
At least one man with military expertise believes that North Korea should think twice about attacking its neighbor.
Song Young-keun, a retired Army general who was once head of the intelligence arm of the South's military, said: "The greatest realistic threat from North Korea is a type of attack that will create maximum confusion in the South, but one that will be confusing as to who instigated it so that it will not invite immediate retaliation on Pyongyang."
And what does he think about North Korea’s ability to attack the U.S.?