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Tensions Rise over Missile Defense Failures in Hawaii

Devon Sawyer

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On January 13th 2018 a major mistake was made. That morning at 8:07 an emergency message was sent out to the state of Hawaii reading “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL”. For many this was considered to be the end. Families huddled together, called loved ones, and waited. 38 minutes later a second text message was sent out reading “There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm.”. The first text was sent out accidentally during a routine drill test, and the man responsible has been fired since the incident. Public trust in the government and our defense systems have been greatly affected, but it continues to drop after even more incidents occur.

On February 2nd the pentagon confirmed a failed missile defense test off of Kauai Hawaii. On the first ever test to knock down an incoming missile the SM-3 Block IIA missile wasn’t able to intercept it. The state of Hawaii has been trying to prepare for the worst because of rising tensions with North Korea, but each attempt has left citizens with underwhelming outcomes. Now that North Korean missiles can reach most of the west coast of the United States Hawaii seems to be the closest and most likely target. Hawaii has even implemented sirens so it could warn the entire public faster and more efficiently in the case of a nuclear attack.

William Stables(Father of Ashley Ridge student Cristina Stables) received the text messages because he still has his old Hawaiian area code. Stables and his family lived in Hawaii for 7 years, and still have many family members and friends located there. When asked for his opinion he stated, “There is definitely a bigger need for checks and balances when it comes to these types of issues. It’s not abnormal to receive a text to seek shelter when weather gets extreme, but with issues like this operator error is unacceptable.”

For many Hawaiian residents this is a reality check, and it truly puts nuclear relations with North Korea in a new perspective. When put into a situation of potential nuclear fallout, many people are finally able to realize how serious the issue actually is.

As the government continues to prepare for the worst people can only hope that the tension between the two nations will fall. Hopes for a better future for both nations are high, but there is still many steps left to take in a path of uncertain peace.

 

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Tensions Rise over Missile Defense Failures in Hawaii