IDK In the report I read it only described American firepower, probably because we don't yet have accurate reports of South Korean forces yet. That, and Raptors are the best fighters in the Air Force, and they're stealth, so that means we're serious.
Well the South Korean forces don't really change day to day (when their frigates don't get sunk anyways), so I suppose that is why, but they do have way more than 30,000 troops and a decent size frigate and destroyer fleet. As for the Raptors, while they are good air supremacy fighters, they might not be that necessary as I bet F-15s are better than what N. Korea has, and B2s will likely be more useful in a war with North Korea as far as stealth is concerned.
1. First, the U.N. is not going to make a difference in this. They will take the side of South Korea and most likely put on sanctions, but I doubt they will enforce any blockades or send troops. Even if they do, it will be a token force which will do nothing more than show that the U.N. has troops.
2. America and South Korea are far more serious, but I think that South Korea does need to be careful when moving close to the border and from here on we'll probably see the U.S. both keep South Korea away from this border and place enough assets nearby to keep North Korea from wanting to jump all in, not because an aircraft carrier is difficult to sink (keep in mind the number of large warships Britain lost to Argentina), but because such an act would be seen as a miniature Pearl Harbor.
3. North Korea is not willing to engage in direct warfare for two reasons. The first is that their smallest functioning nuclear arsenal does not fit on their largest reliable missile. This is mostly an issue due to the likelihood of accidentally detonating such a weapon on their own territory. The second is that without a larger force, such as China, backing them up, they understand from historical experience that they will be fighting a losing battle. When America engaged Korean forces directly during the Korean War, their army fell back quickly and with heavy losses. It was Chinese intervention which allowed them to recover lost ground. China is not only unwilling to enter the fight on their behalf, but, because of the economic advantages they gain from dealing with the U.S., they are more than willing to help quiet North Korea or simply let us have at them. I could see China potentially intervening on our behalf in order to keep the U.S. from having a military foothold closer to their territory.
1. Agreed but I don't know why you mentioned it as no one mentioned the U.N.
2. Indeed, though the main reason that South Korea has to be careful is because Seoul is in artillery range of North Korea. Also while if a Nimitz class carrier was hit in any way would be expensive, I do not think it is accurate to compare them to the not even 20,000 ton ships Britain calls aircraft carriers or the 4000 ton destroyers Britain actually lost to Argentina. Granted a direct nuke hit will sink it, though considering that North Korea's nukes are likely no stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, there is some evidence that even a near miss might fail to sink a ship of that displacement (potentially 90,000+ tons). Of course that is just speculation on my part.
3. Agreed, and I doubt China is willing to get them out of trouble if they start something. Actually maybe just period.
Raptors do have a thinner cross-section than average, that is true. Even still, they are contracted to be fielded as our standard naval combat aircraft. I feel the only reason it is pointed out is that someone got sight of it while the U.S. prefers not to show all of their cards. A common issue with freedom of the press and military actions.
Naval aircraft? They are only operated by the Air Force. The Navy mainly uses F-18s and plans to use the F-35 JSF as its stealth fighter.