Is a “First Strike” Even Possible?

It is not normal in this modern world to initiate a “First Strike” — but if any nation deserved it, that would be North Korea. Apparently, that is the message that the White House is delivering to China.
China gets the opportunity, the first right of refusal as it were, to save their client state. Of course we have made such requests/threats before, but we have never had an irrational and unpredictable leader. That is a plus for our side. Maybe.
We don’t know Kim Jong Un’s mind, but we have to look to the intersection of rhetoric with opportunity. Fat Kim has threatened American bases in Japan, but that would hardly be worth dying for. The American fleet in Pearl Harbor, or San Diego, or perhaps San Francisco as a population center.
I fear Fat Kim’s isolation. He may believe his Generals, or his press clippings concerning his power relative to that of the United States, much like Saddam Believed his Generals that he had weapons of mass destruction. Of course North Korea would become a parking lot that glows at night, but that would not save San Francisco.
I have often thought that I would live to see an American city struck with a nuclear or chemical/biological or radiological weapon, and even at my advanced age I still believe that. Unfortunately. My only question is a non-nuclear weapon of mass destruction from the East, or a nuclear weapon from the West.
So do we intercept the NK by striking first? Can we neutralize the 16,000 artillery pieces aimed at Seoul without first evacuating the city, and would such an evacuation trigger the guns before we do any strike, nuclear or otherwise. Right now Seoul is the hostage that has thus far limited us to cyber warfare, but so little of the NK is on the internet that limits our reach.
No, at some point we must go kinetic, or China/NK must believe that we are serious enough to go kinetic. That alone would be a change!
It is pretty easy to describe the problem but damn near impossible to solve the problem. A surprise attack on the artillery would require a full compliment of B-1 and B-2 bombers from the U.S. and you can’t do that in this age without alerting the Russian/Chinese satellite network and therefore North Korea.
‘Tis a puzzlement! I can only hope that China acts to defuse this crises, quickly

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