As the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth and the leader of one of the least powerful try to outdo each other in childish insults, I hope somebody, somewhere is doing their homework for them.
A glance at the map would tell them that the two Koreas, and their neighbour Japan, lie in close proximity to each other. One of the results of this close grouping is that any nuclear fallout in the region could easily disperse to infect all three nations, and parts of mainland China.
There seems to be no sane answer to the problem, but then, nuclear weapons are made for homicidal maniacs.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster of 2011 illustrates how prevailing winds affect airborne radiation. In March of 2011, winds coming from China carried much of the fallout out into the Pacific Ocean, and away from the densely populated islands of Japan. Anybody planning to inflict a nuclear strike on North Korea should bear this in mind. It is to be hoped that the Pentagon has people to monitor the effects of weather and climate on any nuclear scenario.
The wind that saved Japan from a greater catastrophe when the Fukushima plant leaked radioactivity into the atmosphere, is the same wind that would disperse fallout from North Korea over the landmass of South Korea, and then of Japan. The “Yellow Dust” wind from China would drop a much more dangerous rain on China’s neighbours. And what a miserable irony it would be, if Japan, the only nation on Earth to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, were to suffer further radiation damage from what would no doubt be termed “friendly fire.”
And more ironic yet, since the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was also carried out by the U.S.A.
If a nuclear attack on North Korea were to be launched during the local summer, prevailing southeasterly winds would carry radiation clouds over southern China, causing who knows what response from Beijing. In the local winter, northwesterly winds would cause fallout to drift over South Korea and Japan. There seems to be no sane answer to the problem, but then, nuclear weapons are made for homicidal maniacs. Many people view nuclear weapons as the ultimate result of politicians co-opting science to do their killing for them. But given the well-demonstrated instability of the protagonists in this latest nuclear face-off, we can only hope that wiser heads will prevail. But where are these wiser heads, and will they have the courage to intervene?