North Korea comes off as the comedic villain in Team America. Exhibit A: this recent statement from North Korea.
In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes. (Source)
Don’t get me wrong, North Korea is a threat. It’s not a huge threat, but provided China didn’t interfere, the US military could sever the head of that snake rather easily.
The big question is and always will be, what will China do?
Personally, China needs to do this themselves. North Korea exists at the good graces of China. China prevented a North Korean loss during the Korean War, and has kept the regime from collapsing for decades. It really is China’s mess to clean up.
The irony is that China is cracking down harder on South Korea, which merely wants to protect itself, than it is on a nuclear-armed North Korea. THAAD is an entirely defensive system, early warning and spying concerns aside. If China really wanted to stop THAAD it could have exerted even more pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear program, although it’s disputed exactly how much influence Beijing has over Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s government is in turmoil after the impeachment of pro-THAAD President Park Geun-hye. A new left-wing government might cancel deployment of the missile system. A new government might be more willing to negotiate with North Korea, but canceling the system without extracting concessions from the North on nuclear weapons would simply make South Korea, and U.S. troops based there, less safe.
Source: The Missile-Killer That Has China, South Korea, and the U.S. in Turmoil