china's been backpedaling on their support of NK for a while now. i'm not convinced that they are 100% behind NK if they start something...i thought i remembered seeing a news source publish such from a diplomatic communication.
while NK has a large army it doesn't have the food stuffs, fuel or logistical capabilities(or at least demonstrated) to wage a military action longer than a week or so without drastic assistance. with my prior comment in-context, they would be risking everything for a chance of "winning" for the time that their resources hold out.
in my biased opinion there's absolutely no winning for NK. SK nationals would wage a guerilla resistance for far too long and retain their national identity - long enough for the world to respond(this is a totally different scenario than syria also). if NK could quash them quickly and completely then perhaps...but, the US wouldn't allow the entirety of SK to be taken - and i don't think NK has the aerial capabilities to both defend their assests and support taking new territory in an offensive.
and...to be honest, china doesn't have much to gain from NK taking SK. they already steal all the intellectual property from successful SK companies, so getting their hands on the physical assets doesn't really provide that much incentive. most of the manufacturing plants/hubs would be destroyed in a military operation anyways - so those are a giant waste as well.
my gut says NK will do nothing, maybe some stupid provocation - which everyone is pretty well prepared for anyways. if they step over the line, then i'm expecting extreme response - especially once china and russia both say they want nothing to do with the tantrum child that is NK. i'm willing to bet there's significant back-room discussions that have been going on for a long time getting assurances from both of those countries that they will be held responsible for any involvement.
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