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India said on Monday its first domestically built nuclear-powered submarine had recently completed a “deterrence patrol,” giving it the capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and sea in the event of any “misadventure” by enemies.
With nuclear-armed China to its north and nuclear-armed Pakistan to its west – both of which India has fought wars with – India’s nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, said the INS Arihant was a “fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail.”
He did not elaborate.
“Amid an increase in the number of nuclear weapons in our surroundings, a credible nuclear deterrence is extremely important for our country’s security,” he told the crew of the submarine in a speech televised nationwide.
“Arihant is an open warning for the country’s enemies, for the foes of peace: don’t try any misadventure against India.”
Though India’s relations with China are warming, particularly in the area of trade, ties with Pakistan have nosedived under Modi, who has adopted a more assertive strategy towards the arch rival.
Modi said a successful month-long patrol by Arihant, which was commissioned in 2016, had completed India’s goal of having the capacity to deliver nuclear warheads with aircraft, missiles and submarines, 20 years after conducting its first nuclear tests. (VOA)
Pyongyang, October 3, 2017 : North Korea on Tuesday threatened Japan with nuclear destruction in response to Tokyo’s attempts to convince the international community to reject dialogue in favor of applying more pressure on Pyongyang.
In an article released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang responded to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s speech at the UN General Assembly last month, in which he called for “pressure, not dialogue” to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Kim Jong-un’s regime accused Abe of “using the ‘theory of crisis on the Korean peninsula'” for political purposes, and in particular to “facilitate Japan’s militarisation and at the same time strengthen inside unity and save the present rulers driven into a tight corner with corruption and irregularities”, reports Efe news.
The article added that Abe had already shown his “sinister political goal” with measures such as increasing defence costs and calling snap elections.
“Japan’s rackets inciting the tension of the Korean peninsula is a suicidal deed that will bring nuclear clouds to the Japanese archipelago.
“No one knows when the touch-and-go situation will lead to a nuclear war, but if so, the Japanese archipelago will be engulfed in flames in a moment,” the article said, stressing that if the Japanese people, “the first victim of nuclear disaster in the world, are offered in sacrifice owing to handful militarist reactionaries’ political aim, it will be a tragedy of the century”.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have escalated to its highest levels over Pyongyang’s ongoing nuclear weapons programme.
After a series of missile launches this year, North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb at a nuclear testing facility on September 3, which prompted another round of UN sanctions and international condemnation. (IANS)
- North Korea’s nuclear advances and President Donald Trump’s bellicose response have prompted flashbacks
- He wondered how much good ducking under a desk could do if a bomb powerful enough to destroy a city fell nearby
- Then there were backyard bomb shelters, which briefly became the rage during the missile crisis of 1962
Los Angeles, USA, August 21, 2017: After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the era of nuclear bomb nightmares -of the atomic arms race, of backyard bomb shelters, of schoolchildren diving under desks to practice their survival skills in the event of an attack -seemed to finally, thankfully, fade into history. Until now.
For some baby boomers, North Korea’s nuclear advances and President Donald Trump’s bellicose response have prompted flashbacks to a time when they were young, and when they prayed each night that they might awaken the next morning. For their children, the North Korean crisis was a taste of what the Cold War was like.
“I’m not concerned to where I can’t sleep at night. But it certainly raises alarms for Guam or even Hawaii, where it might be a real threat,” said 24-year-old banker Christian Zwicky of San Bernardino, California.
People of his parents’ generation were taught to duck and cover when the bombs came.
“Maybe those types of drills should come back,” Zwicky said.
He isn’t old enough to remember the popular 1950s public service announcement in which a cartoon character named Bert the Turtle teaches kids how to dive under their desks for safety. But Zwicky did see it often enough in high school history classes that he can hum the catchy tune that plays at the beginning. That’s when Bert avoids disaster by ducking into his shell, then goes onto explain to schoolchildren what they should do.
“I do remember that,” says 65-year-old retiree Scott Paul of Los Angeles. “And also the drop drills that we had in elementary school, which was a pretty regular thing then.”
Even as a 10-year-old, Paul said, he wondered how much good ducking under a desk could do if a bomb powerful enough to destroy a city fell nearby. No good at all, his teacher acknowledged.
Then there were backyard bomb shelters, which briefly became the rage during the missile crisis of 1962 when it was learned the Soviets had slipped nuclear-tipped missiles into Cuba and pointed them at the USA.
After a tense, two-week standoff between President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that some believe brought the world the closest, it’s ever come to nuclear war, the missiles were removed and the shelters faded from public interest.
Now they, too, seem to be having a revival.
“When Trump took office it doubled our sales, and then when he started making crazy statements we got a lot more orders,” says Walton McCarthy of Norad Shelter Systems LLC of Garland, Texas. “Between now and a year ago, we’ve quadrupled our sales.”
His competitor, California-based Atlas Survival Shelters, says it sold 30 shelters in three days last week. During its first year in business in 2011, it sold only 10.
Bill Miller, a 74-year-old retired film director living in Sherborn, Massachusetts, thinks these days are more nerve-wracking than the standoff in October 1962.
“I think it’s much, much crazier, scarier times,” he said. “I think the people who were in charge in the Kennedy administration had much more of a handle on it.”
Nathan Guerrero, a 22-year-old political science major from Fullerton, California, agrees, saying he learned in history class that the “shining example” of a way to resolve such a conflict was how Kennedy’s brother and attorney general, Robert Kennedy, brokered the tense negotiations.
“But knowing the way the current administration has sort of been carrying itself, it doesn’t look like they are keen to solving things diplomatically,” he said.
“As a young person, honestly, it’s pretty unsettling,” he continued.
Had he given any thought to building backyard bomb shelters?
“I’d be lying if I said such crazy things haven’t crossed my mind,” he said, laughing nervously. “But in reality, it doesn’t strike me as I’d be ready to go shopping for bunkers yet.” Instead, he studies for law school and tries “not to think too much about it.”
Other Americans are more sanguine about the possibility of nuclear war. Rob Stapleton has lived in Anchorage, Alaska, since 1975, and he is aware that Alaska has been considered a possible target because it is within reach of North Korean missiles.
“There’s been some discussion about it around the beer barrel and I’m sure the United States is taking it seriously, but we’re not too concerned around here,” he said.
Alaska is so vast and spread out, said Stapleton, that he and his friends can’t imagine why North Korea would waste its time attacking The Last Frontier. “I mean sure you’d be making a statement, but you’d not really be doing any damage,” he said. (VOA)
I was in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 when this great city was attacked by 10 Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists for three days, killing 166 people and leaving hundreds injured. I was also a witness to the huge protest rally that took place three days later outside the Taj Hotel. In my own estimate, over 20,000 people from all walks of life converged there to vent their anger, particularly on Indian politicians and Pakistan.
Never in my whole life I had seen or experienced such anger and rage. I, a 22-year-old young man then, screamed so much that for the next three days I could not speak.
I do not wish to repeat here the slogans I raised along with others, lest I should somehow upset my Pakistani friends. But ‘khoon ka badla khoon’ (blood for blood) was one of them. I am glad that night I found an outlet to express my bottled up emotions else it would have come out in some different form which might have been physical and violent in nature.
I am sure Pakistanis must have felt the same horror and pain when the army school was brutally attacked in Peshawar by terrorists, killing over 130 children. I am not here to make comparisons or to judge which attack was more barbaric just because they can’t (and must not) be compared. In both the places, innocent human beings were butchered for no fault of their own. So many lives were destroyed because some people, somewhere wanted to settle scores and quench their insatiable thirst for blood.
What would happen if there was another 26/11 type attack launched from the soil of Pakistan? We really do not have any answers. In my opinion, such things must not be repeated in the future, but these instances do not take shape as per my desires; and terrorists and their masters would not take my permission before doing any such thing. I as a common man empathize with the people of Pakistan who themselves have lost over 50,000 lives in terrorism-related violence in the past 14 years.
Therefore, all we can do is speculate and guess as to what might happen in the case of another 26/11 attack. The government of India, both under Congress and BJP, has time and again reiterated such an attack would have severe consequences for Pakistan. We are living in dangerous times and the Indo-Pak conflict becomes all the more dangerous considering that both the countries possess nuclear weapons.
In the wake of another 26/11 type attack, India’s so-called Cold Start doctrine could be put to use. Under this doctrine, Army would launch a retaliatory conventional strike against Pakistan inflicting significant harm on the Pakistan Army before any international community could intercede, but not in a way that Pakistan would be provoked to make a nuclear attack.
To counter this Cold Start strategy, Pakistan has come up with tactical nuclear weapons that it says could be used on the advancing Indian troops, thus igniting a ‘limited nuclear war’. Strategic nuclear weapons generally have significantly larger yields, starting from 100 kilotons to up to destructive yields in the low megaton range.
The problem with such an assumption is that things can go out of control, for India doesn’t have tactical nuclear weapons. Many theorists would say that the logic of nuclear warfare means a “limited” nuclear strike is, in fact, likely to trigger a larger nuclear war — a doomsday scenario in which major Indian, Pakistani cities would be the targets for attacks many times more powerful than the bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
India has time and again said the response to such an attack on its troops by tactical nuclear weapons would be massive. Considering that both India and Pakistan have over 100 nuclear weapons each, such a nuclear exchange could prove to be cataclysmic not only for these two poor countries, but also for the world.
In order to ascertain the environmental effects of a “small” nuclear war, a study was conducted in 2008 and that was later updated in 2014. It described what would happen if 100 Hiroshima-strength bombs were detonated in a hypothetical conflict between India and Pakistan.
The explosions, the study found, would push a layer of hot, black smoke into the atmosphere, where it would envelop the Earth in about 10 days. The study predicted that this smoke would block sunlight, heat the atmosphere, and erode the ozone for many years, producing what the researchers call without hyperbole “a decade without summer.”
The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies. As rains dried and crops failed worldwide, the resulting global nuclear famine would kill around 1 billion people.
We, Indians and Pakistanis, who have so much in common, should not go down this path of mutually assured destruction. It is a pity that a people who lived together for hundreds of years once are today on the verge of annihilating each other. It’s time we reflected on the blunders committed in the past (Partition is one of them) and sincerely tried to resolve our issues sans violence, for it’s never too late to make a new beginning.
The new generation should shake hands.