Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

China pleads for restraint in words and actions, from USA and North Korea

China urges all sides to put out fire, not add to flames, in North Korea standoff, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-china-idUSKCN1AV0N5?il=0Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Philip Wen; Editing by Nick Macfie, BEIJING (Reuters) AUGUST 15, 2017– China on Tuesday reiterated calls for restraint on the Korean peninsula, saying it hoped all sides could put out the flames, not add oil to the fire, with their words and actions.

Speaking at a daily press briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged a peaceful resolution of the standoff.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States does next, the North’s state media said on Tuesday, as South Korea’s president said Seoul would seek to prevent war by all means.

August 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Donald Trump has rekindled fears of nuclear war – and the moral case for disarmament

Trump’s apocalyptic threats demand a moral case for disarmament, Guardian, Daniel José Camacho, 14 Aug 16,    It’s easy to understand why Trump is potentially one of the worst people to be in charge of our nation’s nuclear codes. Yet, the problem runs much deeper. M

Martin Luther King Jr once said: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.” Now, it appears Donald Trump might be the man who makes us pay for our country’s moral gap.

Trump has rekindled fears of war and nuclear strikes by threatening North Korea, saying: “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” True to form, Trump’s words flew out of his mouth without much thought or preparation. In turn, the North Korean government has threatened to fire missiles near the US territory of Guam.

It’s easy to understand why Trump is potentially one of the worst people to be in charge of our nation’s nuclear codes. Yet the problem runs much deeper. Trump’s apocalyptic threat is a reminder that we need to revive the moral argument for disarmament and against militarism.

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to this moment has been paved with the consensus of the foreign policy establishment. Both neocons and hawkish Democrats have pushed for an aggressive posture that has US special operations forces operating in 137 countries. US defense spending consistentlydwarfs the rest of the world.

King also said: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Based on our record, it looks like this nation has been beyond spiritually dead for some time.

 Before Trump, the Obama administration brokered more weapons sales than any other administration since the second world war. Although Hillary Clinton campaigned on strong gun control, the state department under her leadership exhibited little restraint when it came to selling arms……

King was someone who acutely understood the danger of American militarism and nuclear weapons. In his 1967 Christmas Sermon on Peace, he said: “If somebody doesn’t bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody’s going to make the mistake through our senseless blundering of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere.”

Recovering King’s political vision can help us today…….

As long as war remains a business profiting a few, peace will remain a low priority. The problem is not simply Trump or the preceding presidential administrations, but an entire system that profits from violent conflicts and war.

The former president Dwight D Eisenhower understood this when he described the grave implications of the “military-industrial complex” in his 1961 farewell address. According to him: “The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – [of an immense military establishment and arms industry] is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government.”…..

 

Far from being idealistic, it is King’s framework which has regained relevance in the Trump era. As he wrote towards the very end of his life: “We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/11/trump-apocalyptic-threats-moral-case-disarmament

August 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Renewed possibility of diplomatic solution to USA- North Korea nuclear crisis

Korean leaders, US open door to diplomacy in nuclear crisis, Yahoo News, The Canadian Press, August 16, 2017 SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — North Korea’s military on Tuesday presented leader Kim Jong Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and “wring the windpipes of the Yankees,” even as both Koreas and the United States signalled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations.

The tentative interest in diplomacy follows unusually combative threats between President Donald Trump and North Korea amid worries Pyongyang is nearing its long-sought goal of being able to send a nuclear missile to the U.S. mainland. Next week’s start of U.S.-South Korean military exercises that enrage the North each year could make diplomacy even more difficult.

During an inspection of the North Korean army’s Strategic Forces, which handles the missile program, Kim praised the military for drawing up a “close and careful plan” and said he would watch the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” a little more before deciding whether to order the missile test, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said. Kim appeared in photos sitting at a table with a large map marked by a straight line between what appeared to be northeastern North Korea and Guam, and passing over Japan — apparently showing the missiles’ flight route.

The missile plans were previously announced. Kim said North Korea would conduct the launches if the “Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity,” warning the United States to “think reasonably and judge properly” to avoid shaming itself, the news agency said.

The Trump administration had no immediate comments on Kim’s declaration……..

Kim’s conditional tone, however, hinted the friction could ease if the U.S. offered a gesture that Pyongyang sees as a step back from “extremely dangerous reckless actions.”

That could refer to the U.S.-South Korean military drills set to begin Aug. 21, which the North claims are rehearsals for invasion. It also could mean the B-1B bombers that the U.S. occasionally flies over the Korean Peninsula as a show of force…….

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, a liberal who favours diplomacy, urged North Korea to stop provocations and to commit to talks over its nuclear weapons program……..

North Korea’s military said last week it would finalize the plan to fire four ballistic missiles near Guam, which is about 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) from Pyongyang. It would be a test of the Hwasong-12, a new missile the country flight-tested for the first time in May. The liquid-fuel missile is designed to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii. https://ca.news.yahoo.com/top-us-military-officer-warns-094455727.html

August 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

For Japan’s new energy plan, phasing out nuclear power is a “must”

Editorial.Phasing out nuclear power a must for Japan’s new energy plan, Asahi Shimbun, August 14, 2017, The industry ministry has opened discussions for reviewing Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan, which defines a grand framework for how the country will consume, and cover the demand for, electric power, heat and other forms of energy.

Industry minister Hiroshige Seko has said the core part of the plan will remain basically unchanged. Minor adjustments alone, however, would simply not suffice under current circumstances.

The ongoing edition of the plan is questionable in many respects, including in the way it defines nuclear energy as a mainstay power source despite broad public opposition to restarts of nuclear reactors.

A big wave of change is occurring on a global scale. For example, there are moves, mostly in advanced industrialized nations, for pulling the plug on nuclear power. There is also a trend for moving from coal-fired thermal power generation, given that the Paris Agreement has now taken effect for fighting global warming. Renewable energy options, such as wind and solar power, are spreading rapidly.

Japan should also redraw the image of its future self. First and foremost, a phase-out of nuclear power should define the foundation of the country’s new future perspective…….

nuclear energy is falling out of favor with the times both in Japan and abroad following the Fukushima disaster. For example, the public has grown more skeptical about the use of nuclear power, and the costs of implementing required safety measures have soared.

The question of how to dispose of radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors remains unlikely to be solved any time soon in most of the countries that have such reactors, including Japan. Efforts are spreading, mostly in advanced nations, for seeking to scrap all, or a considerable part, of a national fleet of nuclear reactors.

The forthcoming edition of Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan should no longer define atomic energy as a mainstay source of power. Minimizing dependency on nuclear power should be designated a priority issue instead of being left as a hollow promise. Discussions should be made on what efforts are necessary for achieving that goal, and a road map should be presented in a concrete manner.

PHASE OUT NUCLEAR, FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING

Intensive power-saving efforts, combined with a substantial growth in renewable energy options, will represent a solution to the question of how to phase out nuclear power and fight global warming at the same time. It has been pointed out that such measures are costly and have other disadvantages, but possibilities have been opening up for them in recent years………

Renewable energy sources have already replaced thermal energy and nuclear energy as the leading destinations of global investments into the electric power sector.

Japan should quickly switch its energy policy instead of turning its back on the international trend. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708140020.html

August 16, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

A suicidal climate act – nuclear war with North Korea

Nuclear war with North Korea ‘would be suicidal’, climate experts warn, Mashable BY ANDREW FREEDMAN, 10 Aug 17, It’s winter, 2018, in Iowa, five months after the last of the nuclear bombs detonated across megacities in northeast Asia, from Seoul to Tokyo to Shanghai. Radioactive fallout was the initial concern, but now something else is going awry: the weather.

American farmers accustomed to snow and cold during the winter would be forgiven for mistaking their corn and wheat fields for the Arctic tundra, as temperatures dip well below zero at night, and barely recover above 10 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, under a milky, leaden sky.

Forecasters say the corn and wheat harvest may be significantly shortened this year, and for the next several years. In fact, fears of a famine on an international scale are settling in.

This is what our world could look like just a few months to years after a regional nuclear war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula and spreads to include China and possibly Russia.

 Whether from a deliberate strategy or a terrifying miscalculation, such a war could trigger a global climate catastrophe, experts warn, that is not being factored into leaders’ planning.

Such a war could cause the planet to cool by up to 10 degrees Celsius, or 18 degrees Fahrenheit, with larger regional swings and extremes, according to Owen Brian Toon, a scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The amount of cooling could be far lower, depending on whether the conflict were more limited in scope. Continue reading

August 14, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Pyroprocessing – the nuclear waste solution that created even more problems

Since the project began 17 years ago, 15% of the waste has been processed, an average of one-fourth of a metric ton per year. That’s 20 times slower than originally expected, a pace that would stretch the work into the next century — long past the 2035 deadline.

Lyman said he was determined to explore the Idaho program in light of increasing interest in the scientific and regulatory communities in advanced nuclear reactors — including breeder reactors — and what he believed was misleading information by advocates.

The Idaho National Lab created a ‘wonder fuel.’ Now, it’s radioactive waste that won’t go away, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-na-idaho-nuclear-waste-2017-story.html, Ralph VartabedianContact Reporter, 13 Aug 17  In the early days of atomic energy, the federal government powered up an experimental reactor in Idaho with an ambitious goal: create a “wonder fuel” for the nation.

The reactor was one of the nation’s first “breeder” reactors — designed to make its own new plutonium fuel while it generated electricity, solving what scientists at the time thought was a looming shortage of uranium for power plants and nuclear weapons.

It went into operation in 1964 and kept the lights burning at the sprawling national laboratory for three decades.

But enthusiasm eventually waned for the breeder reactor program owing to safety concerns, high costs and an adequate supply of uranium. Today, its only legacy is 26 metric tons of highly radioactive waste. What to do with that spent fuel is causing the federal government deepening political, technical, legal and financial headaches.

The reactor was shut down in 1994. Under a legal settlement with Idaho regulators the next year, the Department of Energy pledged to have the waste treated and ready to transport out of the state by 2035.

The chances of that happening now appear slim. Continue reading

August 14, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

My meeting with Donald Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality

Over time, his mental health seemed to decline. He threw more and bigger public tantrums; lied more often and less artfully. The media, also in decline and knowing a ratings magnet when it saw one, turned a blind eye.
In 2016, the precariousness of Trump’s mental health was clear to all with eyes to see, but like extras in a remake of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” reporters averted their glances. The day after the election, they were all in a state of shock, like staff at an asylum who woke one morning to find that the patient who thought he was Napoleon had just been named emperor of France. Once he took office, many publications began keeping running tallies of his lies. But all take a more cautious approach to questions of their origins in his deeply troubled psyche. To date, no major network, newspaper or magazine has run an in-depth analysis of Trump’s mental health
My meeting with Donald Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality — whose obvious impairment has only gotten worseI didn’t get his endorsement when I ran for governor — but the severely troubled man I met has only gotten worse, Salon.com.  BILL CURRY 12 Aug 17, In 1994, I visited the home of Donald Trump. He was a Democrat then, of sorts, and I was the party’s nominee for governor of Connecticut. Continue reading

August 14, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Startling climate changes in Alaska, Greenland, and the Arctic

The crazy climate records from 2016 you haven’t heard much about http://reneweconomy.com.au/crazy-climate-records-2016-havent-heard-much-12340/ [good graphics] By Andrea Thompson on 11 August 2017 Climate Central

By now, we’ve all heard that 2016 was the hottest year on record, and that heat-trapping greenhouse gases hit their highest concentration ever, surpassing 400 parts per million for the first time in nearly 1 million years. But there are other climate change-related records that have flown more under the radar. Several of those records were highlighted Thursday in the annual State of the Climate report, released in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society:

For example, during August, ice-free areas of the Barents Sea (north of Norway and Russia) were up to 20°F (11°C) above average, a figure that stunned climate scientists.

 The Chukchi Sea off Alaska and the waters to the west of Greenland were 13°F to 14°F above average. Those warm waters were linked to the smallest annual winter peak in sea ice levels and the second lowest annual minimum.

The average land surface temperature for the Arctic was 3.6°F (2.0°C) above the 1981-2010 average — a 6.3°F (3.5°C) rise in temperatures since 1900. Record-high temperatures were measured below the surface of the permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, across the North Slope of Alaska.

“2016 was a year in the Arctic like we’ve never seen before,” Jeremy Mathis, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Arctic research program and an author of the report, said.

The rate of warming in the Arctic, which is happening at twice the rate of the rest of the globe, has major impacts on local ecosystems, but also further drives the warming of the planet, as the sea ice that would reflect the sun’s rays back to space is lost.

And for the 37th consecutive year, alpine glaciers retreated across the globe. These glaciers are a major source of water for local communities, and their loss has led to concerns about water security, particularly in places like Southeast Asia.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Bomb found at Fukushima nuclear plant

Bomb found at Fukushima nuclear plant — Officials concerned device could explode — “Military unit is headed to the site” — “Police have cordoned off the surrounding area” http://enenews.com/breaking-bomb-found-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-military-unit-is-headed-to-the-site-police-have-cordoned-off-the-surrounding-area

August 10th, 2017 at 7:05 am ET
By ENENews Mainichi, Aug 10, 2017 (emphasis added): Suspected bomb found on premises of Fukushima power plant: TEPCO — What appears to be an undetonated bomb has been discovered on the premises of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on Aug. 10. The device was discovered buried in the ground at a parking lot currently undergoing maintenance in the western corner of the premises… Police have cordoned off the surrounding area

Kyodo, Aug 10, 2017: Unexploded ordnance found at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant

NHK, Aug 10, 2017: Unexploded bomb found near Fukushima plant — Police are checking what appears to be an unexploded bomb found near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… Police were sending the pictures of the object to the Self-Defense Forces to determine whether it could explode

BBC, Aug 10, 2017: Fukushima disaster: ‘WW2 bomb’ found at Japan nuclear site — A suspected unexploded bomb has been found at the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant… Tepco said construction work was immediately suspended after the object was found and a temporary exclusion zone put in place while bomb disposal experts were deployed…

AP, Aug 10, 2017: Officials say the rusty object is about 85 centimeters (33 inches) long and 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide. A military unit is headed to the site

AFP, Aug 10, 2017: Japan’s Jiji Press reported that under such circumstances police call in bomb disposal experts from Japan’s military.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA government report confirms that 2016 was the hottest year on record

Independent 10th Aug 2017,The Trump administration has released a report confirming that 2016 was thehottest year since records began. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), a leading environmental agency which is part of the
US federal government, found that global temperatures were warmer last year
than in 137 years of recordkeeping for a third consecutive year –
surpassing the previous record of 2015. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/donald-trump-administration-report-2016-hottest-year-record-noaa-state-of-climate-a7886971.html

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

No guarantee of safety in federal government’s plan to transport ANSTO’s nuclear wastes 1000s of kms to be dumped on rural South Australia

Paul Waldon, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 12 Aug 17  The heavily redacted nuclear industry has had its share of accidents, bad management, contamination, and economic death. This year there has been 695 recorded events in 222 days in America alone, that’s more than 3 a day.

While in Australia the federal government believes they can safely abandon spent fuel that’s a million times more radioactive coming out of a reactor than when it went into the reactor, yet this fuel has a hazard persistence of 89,060,000 days, so can Australia be the first to store forever deadly radioactive waste for the period of time it takes to have no adverse impact on people or the environment?

ANSTO is sitting on plenty which they want to offload onto a unwilling community while telling the residents it’s safe. Remember it only takes one bad day, yet the nuclear seasoned country of America had a nuclear event every eight hours on average this year.https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Growth of electric cars poses a lithium battery environmental problem

Guardian 10th Aug 2017,The drive to replace polluting petrol and diesel cars with a new breed of
electric vehicles has gathered momentum in recent weeks. But there is an
unanswered environmental question at the heart of the electric car
movement: what on earth to do with their half-tonne lithium-ion batteries
when they wear out?

British and French governments last month committed to
outlaw the sale of petrol- and diesel-powered cars by 2040, and carmaker
Volvo pledged to only sell electric or hybrid vehicles from 2019. The
number of electric cars in the world passed the 2m mark last year and the
International Energy Agency estimates there will be 140m electric cars
globally by 2030 if countries meet Paris climate agreement targets.

This electric vehicle boom could leave 11m tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries
in need of recycling between now and 2030, according to Ajay Kochhar, CEO
of Canadian battery recycling startup Li-Cycle. However, in the EU as few
as 5% (pdf) of lithium-ion batteries are recycled.

This has an environmental cost. Not only do the batteries carry a risk of giving off
toxic gases if damaged, but core ingredients such as lithium and cobalt are
finite and extraction can lead to water pollution and depletion among other
environmental consequences.

There are, however, grounds for optimism. Thus far, the poor rates of lithium-ion battery recycling can be explained by the fact that most are contained within consumer electronics, which
commonly end up neglected in a drawer or chucked into landfill. This won’t
happen with electric vehicles, predicts Marc Grynberg, chief executive of
Belgian battery and recycling giant Umicore. “Car producers will be accountable for the collection and recycling of spent lithium-ionbatteries,” he says. “Given their sheer size, batteries cannot be stored at
home and landfilling is not an option.” https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/aug/10/electric-cars-big-battery-waste-problem-lithium-recycling

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Basic climate findings of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

More Climate Change Stories, Less Graphs And Maps,  Marshall Shepherd ,   FORBES, 11 AUG 17  …… On Thursday, the State of the Climate report was released. This report is an annual climate check-up led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and distributed by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Scientists from around the world contribute to the report. The report basically says the same thing that all recent reports say: Earth’s climate is warming, and that we are beginning to see impacts and trends across the globe……..
The basic findings from the State of the Climate report, which diagnosed 2016, are summarized at NOAA’s website:

  • Greenhouse gases were the highest on record.
  • Global surface temperature was the highest on record.
  • Average sea surface temperature was the highest on record.
  • Global upper-ocean heat content neared record high.
  • Global sea level was the highest on record.
  • Arctic sea ice coverage was at or near record low.
  • Tropical cyclones (globally) were above-average overall.
 These finding continue with a story that has emerged in report after report (at least those done carefully and credibly). There are opinion or grey literature (not peer-reviewed) efforts out there that say odd things and advance certain agendas. However, the message is pretty clear if you consume peer-reviewed science reported by National Academies, NASA, NOAA, National Climate Assessment, American Association for the Advancement of Science, IPCC, and the majority of published journal studies……

New data does suggest that public is paying attention. The recent report, Climate Change in the American Mind (May 2017) says

More than half of Americans (58%) believe climate change is mostly human caused. That’s the highest level measured since our surveys began in 2008. By contrast, only 30% say it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment, matching the lowest level measured in our November 2016 survey……. https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2017/08/11/more-climate-change-stories-less-graphs-and-maps/#763882ea1cac

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

BBC give platform to climate denier, in the cause of “balance”

Independent 10th Aug 2017, The BBC has been criticised for inviting a climate change denier to come on air and voice his belief that global warming isn’t happening. Science
broadcasters including Brian Cox and Jim al-Khalili criticised the decision
to bring on famous denialist Nigel Lawson, apparently to make sure that
there was a balanced debate.

Both pointed out that there is very little debate about global warming – an established fact on which almost everymainstream scientist is agreed. Lord Lawson was able to make a number of
claims, which went mostly unchallenged.

He said, for instance, that the world had actually become colder over the last 10 years – despite the fact
that 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been the hottest years on record.
Environmental experts including Carbon Brief fact-checked each of the
claims and found that none of them were true.

But apparently because Lord Lawson had been invited on as an opposing voice in a debate – to follow an
interview with Al Gore about his latest climate change film – he was mostly asked to disagree with the science on global warming and his opinions were little picked up on.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/today-programme-nigel-lawson-al-gore-climate-change-denier-global-warming-bbc-radio-4-inconvenient-a7886426.html

August 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Trump has taken us to the brink of nuclear war. Can he be stopped?

In previous standoffs, Trump’s predecessors knew when to hold back. Now there is no such certainty, Irish Times, Jonathan Freedland, 1o Aug 17, his was the moment many Americans, along with the rest of the world, feared. This – precisely this – was what alarmed us most about the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president of the US. Not that he would hire useless people or that he would tweet all day or use high office to enrich himself and his family or that he’d be cruel, bigoted and divisive – though those were all concerns. No, the chief anxiety provoked by the notion of Trump in the White House was this: that he was sufficiently reckless, impulsive and stupid to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war.

‘Fire and fury’ wasn’t tough enough – Trump on North Korea

Of course, cooler heads might soon prevail. China might find the diplomatic back-channel that persuades North Korea to step back from the current clash with Washington. The Pyongyang regime might calculate for itself that, despite its latest threat to attack the US airbase in the Pacific island of Guam, further escalation risks its own survival. Or the generals that now flank Trump – John Kelly as chief of staff, Jim Mattis as defence secretary – might succeed in talking their boss down from the ledge.

But make no mistake. Trump’s remarks on Tuesday have pushed the US to the precipice of nuclear confrontation with North Korea. We have to hope that both parties will step back, but be under no illusion that the brink is where we stand. And Trump put us there.

The form of words the president used made the critical difference. Threatening Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury” was bellicose enough. But adding the words “the likes of which this world has never seen before” left no doubt that he was talking about a nuclear strike against North Korea.

It is worth pausing to consider the obvious consequences of such an action. About 75 million people live on the Korean peninsula. There are also 30,000 US servicemen and women stationed there. How many would die if Trump made good on his threat? And that is to reckon without further retaliation and escalation, as Russia or China unleashed their own nuclear arsenals. This is why all previous US presidents have used only the most sober language when speaking of North Korea. They have understood the human stakes. They have sought to reduce tension, not ratchet it up……..

The point is that since the dawn of the atomic age the world’s leaders have understood that these weapons have to be handled with the greatest delicacy. Nuclear standoffs happen, but each side has always understood where the brink lies and were careful not to overstep it. That means, especially, understanding the need not to say anything that the other side might misinterpret as a cue for war.

Both Washington and Moscow understood that throughout the cold war; it’s what stopped the Cuban missile crisis turning into Armageddon. Most analysts believe the regime in Pyongyang, for all its brutality, understands that too: it is not suicidal. But the question hanging over the world today is one that has never had to be asked before: does the US president understand this most essential point, one on which the fate of the world depends?   Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian columnist https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/trump-has-taken-us-to-the-brink-of-nuclear-war-can-he-be-stopped-1.3182374

August 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment