The Nuclear Threat and its Implications for the Doomsday Clock


LONDON — In January, leaders of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that, for the third year in a row, the world “Gateway to Destiny” This group declared that the Doomsday Clock points 100 seconds to midnight. This is the closest the world has ever come to catastrophe since the clock was created in 1947.

But that was more than eight months ago, before Russia invaded Ukraine and before North Korea launched its latest series of provocative ballistic missile tests.In the past two weeks, North Korea has 6 such launches.

Created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Doomsday Clock reads from 100 seconds to midnight.

The Doomsday Clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, shows 100 seconds to midnight in January 2020. (Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images)

“As far as the Doomsday Clock is concerned, it doesn’t react to every dangerous or positive event that happens,” Sharon Squasoni, co-chair of the bulletin’s science and security committee, told Yahoo News. “It’s not all just nuclear.

One of the medium-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea flew over northern Japan on Tuesday, causing widespread panic among residents awoke to sirens and warning messages. It was the first time in five years that a missile was fired over Japan, prompting the United States to convene a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

In response, the United States and South Korea conducted joint military exercises in the region, during which a South Korean ballistic missile malfunctioned in a live-fire exercise. Korean military apologizes the next day. Officials in Seoul said the Hyunmoo-2 missile carried a warhead but did not detonate when it crashed. They also confirmed that there were no casualties.

Screens in Tokyo show news reports that North Korea has launched a ballistic missile over Japan.

Screens in Tokyo show news reports on Tuesday that North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan. (Kazunari Kato/Reuters)

North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday in retaliation for the US “increasing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula”.It was just a month after North Korea passed the law declare itself a nuclear-weapon statea move that leader Kim Jong-un called “irreversible.”

But Squassoni said, “North Korea is clearly upset by the resumption of exercises by the United States and South Korea, but it’s not in the same category as what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies, renewed the nuclear threat last week. Posting on Telegram, he said The West will not intervene even if “Russia is forced to use the most terrible weapons against the Ukrainian regime.”

Russia has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, including new hypersonic missiles and small tactical nuclear weapons. Another Putin supporter and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Russia should consider using low-yield nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

A Russian rocket launcher with the letter Z painted on the door fires at Ukrainian forces.

A photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry press service on Tuesday shows a Russian rocket launcher firing at Ukrainian forces at an undisclosed location. (Photo from Russian Ministry of Defense press service via AP)

“I think it’s different than before, because Russia seems to be enthusiastic about some of the Ukrainian territory,” Squassoni told Yahoo News. “This is Putin’s highly strategic vision, which may be illegal. But this is not like the wars in Afghanistan or Syria. I think we should be very careful.”

Members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists are set to discuss the aftermath of the past year next month. Perhaps the hands of the clock could move even closer to midnight.