This would destabilize our government, our economy, and our infrastructure. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no idea of the actual implications of a nuclear attack. The US would instantly become a military state. All civil liberties would cease in the name of continuation of government. When this happens, history has shown us over and over again that the government, 100% of the time, keeps the military state until a revolution. A revolution, although necessary even now, would only further cripple the fragile post-nuclear America, and by proxy, the world.
This doesn't take into account the likelihood of a follow-on invasion by either China or Russia. A single well placed nuke would take out America's entire electrical grid, take the water supply away from LA or NYC, or destroy DC and everyone within the beltway. If either one of those things happened, you can plan on reliving 9/12/01 every day for the rest of your lives(if you make it through in the first place).
God forbid, even worse could be if the attack fails and we retaliate. The use of just 1 nuclear weapon today, even a failure, would be the end of the known world. Everything changes the instant it is launched. It could travel 50 ft and fall out of the sky, but the intent will be enough for our retaliation, which will cause China and Russia to attack us. This will give the middle east impetus to fire, and Israel will be gone, along with Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Greece, Italy, you can see where this is going.
Albert Einstein commented after the development of nuclear weapons that he knew not what WWIII would be fought with, but WWIV would be fought with sticks and stones. Welcome to a nuclear reality folks.
At this point the United States is already crippled. What more could a nuclear attack do to further cripple us? Our leaders are doing a good enough job at it on their own without any help from North Korea. Maybe if they actually did something, another country would come in and actually help this country get back to where it should be rather than focusing on their own gains and leave our country starving and in need of a desperate change.
If the U.S. were to undergo a nuclear attack by North Korea, I do not believe that it would cripple the country. It would impact the place were the attack happened, but I think it is highly unlikely that wherever the attack happens will seriously cripple the whole of the country.
It probably wouldn't even hit the US. It would probably get shot out of the sky by missile defense systems. North Korea can barely get rockets in the air, let alone hit someone with them. There's nothing about North Korea's nuclear rhetoric that should frighten any US citizen - they couldn't pull off a successful attack if they tried. They can't even feed their people.
I believe that it would kill a goodly portion of one of our cities on the West coast, but I hardly think that they have the capabilities to actually cripple our entire country.
I'm not going to lie, however, when I say that it probably would mean that North Korea would turn into a radioactive wasteland in some places.
I don't believe it would cripple us. In fact I think it would wake the sleeping giant that is our country. As a country we've always done amazing things when in some kind of turmoil. Pearl Harbor, Twin Towers, these are things that have gotten our butts in motion. If anything I think it would cause the country to grow more than cripple. Of course the loss of life would be very tragic. But the tragedy would encourage all Americans.