Tag Archives: nuclear war

USA | How Russia, China or America Could Accidentally Start a Nuclear War

by Michael Peck

What happens when you use the same satellites to control nuclear forces as well as conventional troops?

Accidental nuclear war, that’s what could happen.

That’s the warning by a Washington think tank, which argues that the U.S. is inviting nuclear war by using the same command and communications systems to oversee both nuclear and conventional forces. But such “dual use” systems risk an inadvertent nuclear war, because an attack on non-nuclear assets, such as satellites or radars, could be perceived as an attempt to cripple America’s nuclear deterrent.

It is now two minutes to midnight: 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement Science and Security Board

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains.

China | DPRK: UN official stresses urgency of reducing tensions

In this Dec 9, 2017 photo, UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, center, arrives at an airport in Beijing, China. Feltman met Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and had two sessions of talks with Vice-Foreign Minister Pak Myong-guk during his four-day visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and left Pyongyang on Dec 9, 2017. (MINORU IWASAKI/KYODO NEWS VIA AP)

Sweden | North Korea and the US: are there ways out?

by Dan Smith

Was it a response? Was it not a response? Following a missile test on 15 September, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) went two months without another one. On 20 November, President Trump formally designated the DPRK as a state that sponsors terrorism. On 28 November the DPRK launched what may have been an intercontinental-range missile, reckoned by some reports to be its 20th test-firing of the year. The risk of the US-DPRK leading to conflagration is still not huge but it is increasing. With such high stakes, it is urgent to find a way to cool things down.

South Korea | North Korea Declares itself a “Full-fledged Nuclear Force”

The sixty-day clock has run out. After two months of relative quiet, North Korea test-launched another missile in the early morning hours of November 29 (local time). This time, it launched the Hwasong-15, confirmed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that reportedly flew 700 miles in 53 minutes before landing in the sea west of Japan. The missile reached an unprecedented altitude of 2800 miles, more than ten times the height of the International Space Station and is said to be capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the United States.