We can speculate on the most likely outcomes, but at the end of the day, we can never be sure what it will look until (or unless), it actually happens. Possible scenarios include a DPRK first strike on a South Korean, American or Japanese target, they include a decapitation strike by the US and the ROK to take out...
Best answer: We can speculate on the most likely outcomes, but at the end of the day, we can never be sure what it will look until (or unless), it actually happens. Possible scenarios include a DPRK first strike on a South Korean, American or Japanese target, they include a decapitation strike by the US and the ROK to take out the North's top leadership or a preventive measure designed to hit their missiles or artillery before they can be used. There are heaps of possibilities when it comes to what might spark a conflict. But the question of what will happen after that cannot be answered right now with any degree of certainty. While the North has a large standing army and formidable offensive capabilities in terms of its artillery batteries and long and short range missiles, that doesn't mean that any or all of those things would come into play in a conflict.
COULD the North unleash Hell on Seoul and the capital region or send missiles and shells toward Guam or Tokyo? Sure, they COULD. But WOULD they? The DPRK needs to keep up the illusion that its soldiers are completely loyal and obedient, willing to die for the Dear Leader. But that illusion comes from the reality that they are bound to be loyal and obedient because they, their families, would face death - or punishments worse than death, if they were to disobey or betray. But once it became clear that the regime was on the verge of being toppled, would its generals order strikes on civilians knowing that the response would be annihilating? Knowing that their own people would be slaughtered? That their own cities would be leveled? Knowing that they might spend the rest of their days in a small cell in the Hague for war crimes? Maybe not. Would the legions of soldiers march bravely to certain death if they knew that the Americans and the South were going to overrun their forces and eliminate their country from the list of sovereign states on this planet? Maybe not.
The question of what China might do, what the Chinese reaction might be to the DPRK disappearing is the bigger question. People die, that's war. It could be worse than what we imagine, or it could be a situation where only a small fraction of those things comes to pass. But if the Chinese decide that they aren't content with a US-aligned unified Korea, that would be a much bigger issue.
2 weeks ago