Current Affairs Features

What Would Happen in a Nuclear War?

There’s always been a subliminal fear of a nuclear war, often attached to the tense relationship between North Korea and the United States of America.

We know each is producing its own nuclear weaponry – but what would actually happen if one of those countries targeted the other? Officials claim North Korea is becoming uncomfortably close to achieving its goal of building nuclear missiles capable of hitting America.

Threats have been thrown about like confetti; our favourite North Korean barber-phobe (that’s right, he cuts his own hair) has been dubbed “the boy who cried wolf” for consistently dropping threats of a nuclear war, but failing to follow through (thankfully!). It got to a point where we barely listened to them anymore – until, of course, a certain stubby-fingered American president began poking insults at North Korea. This includes referring condescendingly to Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man”, “the wack job”, and vowing to “totally destroy” North Korea if he’s provoked. He even slyly alluded to assassinating Kim Jong Un to CBS News. Let’s not even get started on his Twitter account.

nuclear war
A prediction of Trump’s tweet before he attacks North Korea (Source)

But what would actually happen if either one of these overgrown pre-schoolers made the first move in a nuclear war?

If Donald Trump rained “fire and fury” (yes, that’s an actual quote) on North Korea first, it’s likely the biggest response would be from an angry China, who have the potential to kill 2.3 million civilians and injure a further 9.3 million with their own nuclear weaponry. If Russia, who hold the largest nuke ever designed, decide to side with China, 2.4 million Americans would be “blasted into infinity”, and a further 6 million would suffer radiation poisoning. If North Korea is the first to strike, China is more likely to remain neutral – which could save millions of lives.

Trumpy promises to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea. (Source)

Who wants to be on the end of a nuclear attack from North Korea, Russia and China? Not me, but given Malcolm Turnbull has vowed Australia will fulfil its obligations under the ANZUS treaty and come to America’s defence, which could potentially evoke an attack on Australian soil.

In the case of an attack on our soil, we’d probably receive a text message from the government warning of the imminent attack. It’s a nice gesture, but pretty darn useless. There’s no technology to stop a nuclear missile, so the best we could do is go inside and wait to be incarcerated. Cool stuff.

Depending on how close in proximity you are to the bomb, you may completely vanish, as did many victims of Hiroshima (it’s worth noting that the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima was only a fraction of the size of the weapons held by the US today). Entire cities could be destroyed – and millions of lives.

Large-scale nuclear war could wipe out 80% of the earth’s population. Those left would suffer severe effects of radiation, including cancer. The amount of carbon in the air would drop the earth’s temperature dramatically, hindering food growth and animal survival. Nobody will actually win a nuclear war, but try telling that to two little boys obsessed with intimidating each other with the size of their ‘weapons’.

Is this fake news? (Source)

Despite the impending conflict, Donald Trump showed true maturity in June 2016 when he said he’d be open to a conversation with the North Korean hairstylist if he ever travelled to the United States:

“I wouldn’t go there (North Korea), that I can tell you. If he came here, I’d accept him, but I wouldn’t give him a state dinner like we do for China and all these other people that rip us off when we give them these big state dinners.”

The clear homoerotic tensions forming have caught the attention of audiences all over the world, who are urging Trump and Un to “blow each other before blowing up half the world.”