Our obsession for nostalgia seems to know no bounds; not only are classic franchises like Star Wars and Transformers back in cinemas we’ve also brought back the ultimate eighties cultural footnote, fear of all out nuclear war.
Strangely though, rather than Hollywood plugging our nostalgia in an attempt to make a cheap buck it’s everyone’s favourite hermit kingdom North Korea who’ve been rattling their sabre so hard in recent months I’m beginning to think they’re compensating for something.
Now in a recent interview with the BBC, a senior North Korean official has said that they plan on continuing their intercontinental ballistic missile program in the hope of developing a weapon that can actually hit something other than their own countryside.
The country is, however, directly threatened by a Taepodong 1 – a huge missile twice as long as a Nodong 2. Measuring 32 metres and 1,600lbs, it has a range of 1,800 miles – a huge area that includes the whole of Japan and its 127 million citizens.
Large swathes of China and Russia are also within range, including the northern half of Taiwan.
Both missiles pale in comparison to Taepodong 2, however. The 35-metre, 1650-lb can strike anywhere in Asia, parts of the Middle East and most of Russia. It could also be used to attack America, with Alaska within its 4150 mile-radius.
When it comes to missiles, however, size isn’t everything. It is Hwasong 14, measuring a relatively small 16 metres, which poses the greatest danger to the world.
With a range of almost 6,000 miles it could be used to in an attack on almost every country in the northern hemisphere – including the UK.
Some of the world’s most famous cities, from New York to Paris to London, are all in the cross-hairs of the terrifying weapon, which is still being developed.
Even more worrying is the ability to arm the missile with a nuclear weapon – something that puts millions of lives at risk if the war of words between North Korea and the USA continues to escalate.
Last week’s missile fire over Japan saw chaos on the streets below and furious condemnation from across the globe.
Terrified civilians were woken by emergency text alerts which said: “Missile passing. Missile passing.
“A short time ago, a missile apparently passed above this area. If you find suspicious objects, please don’t go near them and immediately call police or firefighters. Please take cover in secure buildings or underground.”
Warnings were issued across Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Niigata and Nagano.
Japanese office worker Ayaka Nishijima said:
I was woken by the missile alert on my cellphone. I didn’t feel prepared at all. Even if we get these alerts there’s nowhere to run. It’s not like we have a basement or bomb shelter, all we can do is get away from the window.
Even in Tokyo, more than 400 miles from the missile path, warnings were issued.
Rail customers were told: “Currently, a North Korean missile is flying above Japan. It is very dangerous. Please take cover at the waiting areas or inside the trains.”