Could Kim take on stealth and win?
But air defenses are less of a problem than targeting North Korea’s artillery pieces— which are dug into hardened positions—that are aimed at Seoul. Indeed, even without its nuclear-tipped missiles, dug-in conventional North Korean artillery could leave Seoul devastated within only a few hours. Any successful attack on North Korea would have to eliminate those threats before they could level Seoul—but that is easier said than done.
In the event a war were to break out on the Korean peninsula, American airpower would play a key role.
Initially, the burden would likely fall to the Pentagon’s fleet of stealth aircraft including the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.
The U.S. Navy, too, would likely have to play a role using its surface warships and submarines to launch waves of Tomahawk cruise missiles to target North Korean air defenses and command and control assets. However, American forces would have to move quickly to take out North Korea’s retaliatory strike capability—both its nuclear forces and its conventional artillery forces that could lay waste to Seoul.
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