By November, Hawaii is to become the first state in the US to test a nuclear warning system in the event of an ICBM nuclear missile launch.
Due to Oahu's critical value to the US military in being the location for the headquarters of the US Pacific Command, along with recent North Korean Missile launches, Hawaii has given the go ahead to install a nuclear missile warning system. With approximately 4,600 miles of ocean between Hawaii and North Korea, this makes the island one of the closest US territories to the DPRK after Alaska and Guam.
Despite plans for testing a nuclear warning system, there is no need to panic, "we’re not preparing for a nuclear attack,” according to Vern Miyagi, an administrator with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. This is just a hazard warning system, like the ones Hawaii uses for tsunamis and hurricanes. He continued, the threat of a nuclear strike is “not mature. It’s not impending."
While Hawaii is the first state in the US to prepare for a North Korean attack, other countries already have. Japan implemented a similar alert system after one of four North Korean missiles launched in March, landed just off its northwest shores.
In case of an actual nuclear strike, everyone would be instructed to
immediately shelter-in-place for fourteen days or until an all safe message is broadcast. Residents would be encouraged to local radio stations for official information during their shelter in place time frame.
Despite the possibility of a decline in tourism, Vern Miyagi says it’s still worth testing the new system, even if an attack isn't imminent. While the probability of a North Korean nuclear attack is low, Hawaii is smart to wanting to be proactive in dealing with the situation.