Periodically I try to think outside the box. Chilling.
The year 2018 could be the end of the political arrangement of the world as it now exists.
The assumptions are that neither China nor Russia wants war on the Korean Peninsula, especially a nuclear war. But what if we are wrong? China greatly desires the United States to quit protecting Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and more. China could be delighted to have the United States hit by nuclear weapons from North Korea. China would trade an obliterated North Korea for a free hand with the rest of Asia in the blink of an eye. That is why they are stalling on restraining North Korea.
Putin and Russia want a free hand in eastern Europe and if the United States was badly damaged by numerous nuclear strikes for which they are not responsible, within a month, Putin could restore the old USSR. If the United States was badly hurt and ineffective in NATO, nothing will stop them. If Europe protests, Putin will cut off their natural gas and oil in the winter and freeze them into submission.
The radioactive fallout here will be considerable because of the prevailing winds. Chilling.
Fritz Dixon, Meridian