A No Bullshit Look At Exactly How Scared You Should Be Of North Korea

Alright class, let’s go around the room and each say our what our biggest crippling fear has been since Election Night 2016! I’ll go first: mine is the continually escalating threat that our President will push Kim Jong Un’s buttons hard enough on social media that he will snap and launch a nuclear warhead at the US and kill us all. Ok, now it’s your turn. Same answer? All of you have the same answer? Put your hand down, Ashley, you’re making us a more noticeable target for the missiles.

Tuesday night, North Korea test launched yet another missile, shattering the speed and altitude records set by their last few launches. The Hwasong-15 missile reached a height of 2,800 miles into space, before falling back into the ocean 53 minutes later. That means that if another missile travels a similar distance, it has the ability to hit basically any mainland US city, as far as potentially D.C. or New York. Naturally, lots of people are freaking tf out about it because, well, the thought of getting blown to bits by a nuclear warhead strapped to a ballistic missile isn’t really a part of anyone’s 5-year plan. But before you call up that one architecture major you used to hook up with to ask him to design your underground doomsday bunker, let’s take a closer look at how panicked you should really be.

Can The Scary Flying Weapon Reach Us?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, not technically in the way that would do all the damage. The Hwasong-15 test missile had a light-weight mock warhead attached to it, in order to simulate what it would really be like if a missile with a bomb strapped to it was fired at a country full of innocent people. The good news is (lol there’s good news here?) a real nuclear weapon weighs a shit ton more than the dinky little mock-up version, and would likely significantly change the missile’s ability to fly as high or as fast, which could also affect accuracy. Speaking of accuracy, North Korea’s accuracy with ballistic weapons has been inconsistent, and as poor as six to twelve miles off-target. US missiles can hit a target within a couple of hundred feet (‘Merica, fuck yeah). North Korea is basically the guy you almost lost your virginity to in high school who thrust his “missile” a few too many inches off-target, jabbing into your thigh fat.

Even though it seems like we’re safe from total destructive capabilities for a little while longer, that doesn’t mean North Korean engineers aren’t working overtime to build a missile that could potentially deliver a massive nuclear punch. “They have an engineering team that knows what they’re doing. It’s hard to say if it’s six months or two years before they can deliver a nuclear warhead, but it’s heading in that direction,” said David Wright, physicist and co-director of the global security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. I like to imagine the Union of Concerned Scientists is just a room full of men and women in lab coats, pacing nervously and expressing how concerned they are about literally everything. If that’s all it takes, I’d like to officially rename our office the Union of Concerned Betches, because we’re all filled with a similar existential dread, but with less lab coats and more vodka.

How Many Ways Can Trump Fuck Us Over?

The limit does not exist. But really, if you have also been unable to escape the daily eyeroll that is Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, you are already well aware that he is desperate to prove to Kim Jong Un that he is the world’s oldest playground bully. He has repeatedly called the leader of North Korea “Little Rocket Man,” and said Kim is short and fat. Sick insult, dude. Trump’s insane, inflammatory rhetoric is constantly pushing the limit and despite literally everyone telling him not to, he’s like a child who can’t help but threaten and provoke the country with the big scary killing machines. Dear Donny, a word of advice…

YOU ARE GOING TO GET US ALL KILLED IF YOU KEEP THIS SHIT UP. Grow up. Give your big giant ego a rest for like two seconds and please for the love of god stop tweeting vague threats at North Korea. The only way the situation can be deescalated at this point is with calm and diplomatic discussions, which are words that Trump has never strung together in the same sentence before. His official response to the missile test was simply, “We will handle it.” Um…k…care to elaborate? No? Didn’t think so. That’s the same answer I give my mom when she asks me to pick up the mountain of clothes I toss on the chair next to my bed instead of hanging them back up. “On it. I won’t forget. It’ll get done.” And we all know how that goes.

So bottom line is, don’t go out and buy a gas mask just yet, but yeah, you’re definitely allowed to raise the panic meter a notch or two. The White House and Foreign Policy advisors need to be extremely careful and swift in taking care of this problem before it really does become an imminent threat, or worse, lead to war. Also, Kim Jong Un, if you’re reading this I would just like you to know that I think you look so tall and super skinny, and your haircut is looking particularly sharp and angular today, and even though I wrote an article about you, I am in no way insulting your country or threatening you in any way, and oh my god please don’t bomb us. *nervously sweats* We cool?

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