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Doomsday Clock gets closer to midnight

Posted January. 27, 2018 07:21,   

Updated January. 27, 2018 08:06

한국어

The Doomsday Clock, a metaphor for how close mankind is to destroying the world, has been pushed ahead by 30 seconds and is now just two minutes away from midnight. Since first set in 1947 at 11:53 p.m., the clock is now the closest it has ever been to the apocalypse as it was in 1953, the year when the United States and the Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs. Notwithstanding peaceful atmospheres seemingly created on the Korean Peninsula with Pyongyang’s participation in the upcoming Olympics, the advance of the clock’s minute hand signifies the world’s stern diagnosis of North Korea’s nuclear issue.

“World leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change,” said the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) on Thursday. “To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy.” The BAS said the primary reason behind its adjustment of the minute hand was North Korea’s rapid progress in the development of missiles last year, which the regime claimed could reach the United States.

Despite the international community’s concern that Pyongyang’s nuclear development has grown into a real threat on not only those in the Korean peninsula but the entire humankind, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been firmly sticking to his nuclear ambitions. Also, a military parade expected to be held on Feb. 8 in Pyongyang, a day before the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, is “highly likely to be threatening with the regime’s almost all weaponry mobilized,” according to South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myung-kyun. If North Korea ostentatiously makes public its ICBM at a parade, the international community will consider it a severe damage and challenge to the Olympics spirit. Washington, which had agreed to postpone the joint military exercises to after the Olympics, will be also discouraged to have dialogue with Pyongyang. “What’s most important is to keep this momentum so that the United States and North Korea can resume dialogue before March 25 (when the Paralympics comes to an end),” said Cho. We have no time to waste. The South Korean government should cope with the inter-Korean matters in a realistic and determined manner lest Kim Jong Un’s gambling should not resultingly push forward the Doomsday Clock to midnight.