Fears of nuclear Trumpocalypse prompt Hawaii to reinstate Cold War-era attack sirens
Hawaii’s decommissioned nuclear attack sirens will get another chance to warn Americans of impending atomic doom. After collecting dust for three decades, the warning system has been reinstated amid growing fears of war with North Korea.
The state’s emergency management officials announced that the vintage air-raid sirens will be tested for the first time in nearly 30 years on Friday. The drill will last for 60 seconds and the system’s signature wail will be heard in more than 400 locations across the central Pacific islands.
The public is asked to “get inside, stay inside and stay tuned” if they should hear the sirens.
The potential threat of North Korean missile launches has prompted monthly tests of the warning system, Hawaiian authorities said.
“Emergency preparedness is knowing what to expect and what to do for all hazards,” Hawaii Emergency Management Agency chief Vern Miyagi said in a video message posted online, according to Reuters.
Hawaii is believed to be within range of North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, and would be a likely target if war between Washington and Pyongyang broke out. Washington has adopted a hardline stance on North Korea, which has been exacerbated by an uptick in US military activity around the Korean Peninsula.
US President Donald Trump has often used incendiary language when discussing North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un. In one notable case, he chided US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” his derogatory nickname for Kim.
Both Moscow and Beijing have warned Washington against unilateral action to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program, advocating instead for a diplomatic approach that won’t jeopardize regional security.
Speaking at a press briefing at the UN General Assembly in September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the verbal sparring between Trump and Jong-un as “a kindergarten fight between children.”