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Even if North Korea tests a nuke, the U.S. may refrain from strike

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Stopping North Korea will require swift and powerful action, which is difficult to coordinate.

North Korea may be preparing for a sixth nuclear test, according to satellite photos taken of their nuclear testing facility. Most experts believe that a nuclear test will force the United States to make a military strike, something that may be remarkably difficult to accomplish.

North Korea's greatest threat to the world remains its conventional army.

North Korea's greatest threat to the world remains its conventional army.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Satellite imagery reveals that North Korea has resumed activity at their nuclear testing facility in the remote, northeast part of the country. The site is known as Punggye-ri, and tunnels have been prepared for a possible nuclear test.

According to the monitoring group, 38 North, activity continues at the site. Staff were seen playing volleyball on April 19 and 21. On April 25, they were seen pumping water out of a tunnel. There appears to be a large number of people present at the site.

The organization, 38 North believes the people playing volleyball are part of a propaganda effort on behalf of the North. North Korean officials know when the satellites pass overhead to take pictures, so they likely conceal some activity in advance while staging others. The volleyball games may be staged to suggests the personnel there enjoy a lot of recreation and are not performing serious work.

It is likely the U.S. has additional intelligence gathering assets such as spy aircraft and satellites that are not easily tracked for monitoring the situation at the site. Such information cannot be shared with the public, for the sake of secrecy.

The North is likely to proceed with its nuclear test, believing that only a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States, will deter U.S. aggression. It is speculated that Kim Jong Un cannot abandon the nuclear program without looking weak to his own generals and people. Finally, North Korea does seek reunification with the South, but on its terms. This means a military conflict is inevitable.

Despite the inevitable conflict, all sides are working hard to avert conflict. China and South Korea, who both stand to suffer should conflict erupt, are entirely committed to a peaceful resolution. If the U.S. should strike North Korea, it is believed the North will retaliate against the South. With artillery pointed at Seoul, South Korea can expect tens of thousands of casualties within a short time.

Over the long term, there is no question about the outcome. North Korea would ultimately be crushed. What would happen next would also be a challenge to sort out as all sides compete to win the peace after the war?

The U.S. also faces a significant logistical challenge. One aircraft carrier fleet is insufficient to rapidly destroy the North's ability to make war. Instead, two or three fleets could be required to deliver a swift knockout blow. And not only does the U.S. have to hit the North's nuclear program, but it has to destroy tanks and artillery and troop concentrations, and they have to do it almost immediately. Without rapid success, the North will be able to invade and damage the South.,

North Korea will prove to be a dangerous adversary. A peaceful solution is certainly the best option, but if war comes, it will be swift, sharp and decisive. It is the peace that follows that brings the uncertainty.

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