Hawaii Feeling North Korea Threat

The news blares from the TV. North Korea threatens to attack the United States!

Here we go again. North Korea showing big body, flexing its (food-deprived) muscles. Yeah, yeah. Ho hum, right? When does North Korea not make blustery threats against South Korea, the United States, the world in general?

But this time Pyongyang is making noise that sounds more specific. North Korea’s army says it has “final approval” to launch a nuclear attack against the U.S. What the heck? Suddenly, it gets real. Suddenly, North Korea’s antics are more than a joke.

All the available intelligence, according to experts making the rounds on the news, indicates North Korea is years away from having the capability to hit the U.S. mainland, Alaska or Hawaii with a nuke.

They could, conceivably, hit Guam, where U.S. troops are stationed. And there are thousands of our troops in South Korea, a country that has long lived in a prickly state of uneasiness with its unstable family member up North.

Our country is taking this seriously. The Pentagon ordered an advanced missile defense system to the western Pacific.

I know little about the capabilities of North Korea other than what I read and see in the news. But when something cuts through the familiar drone of same old, same old, I, like many of you, sit up and take notice. That is, until it all starts to recede again into attention-killing white noise. Right now we’re all listening.

A friend asked me if we’re in danger of nuclear attack here in Hawaii, and I could tell she was really worried. I told her what little I knew, and then I said, why worry?

This is completely out of our control, so why fret about something we can do nothing about? It’s too late and would be more than a tad ridiculous to start digging bomb shelters in our backyards. Mass evacuation is not practical or doable.

About the most we can do is make sure our hurricane emergency kits are up-to-date. If anything does happen, at least the survivors will have a stockpile of food.

Her question, however, reminded me that we have become quite complacent. We think we’re safe in our isolated island sanctuary in the middle of the Pacific. We think everybody loves us because we are, after all, the land of Aloha. This is paradise, for gosh sakes. Who wants to nuke paradise?

Apparently, some people aren’t looking at us as a potential vacation spot, and this is a reminder of that. No matter how happily ensconced we are in paradise, burying our heads in the warm tropical sand doesn’t work for long. Sooner or later, the world comes looking for us.