A North Korean nuclear strike on Seattle and Washington state seems “imminent,” says a state senator who wants to change a law preventing the state from planning for an attack.
Mark Miloscia, who represents the Federal Way near Tacoma, said Washington was the closest continental U.S. state to North Korea, which has been threatening the country with a nuclear attack, and the Republican lawmaker said the increasing rhetoric meant such a strike was “starting to become imminent,” the Daily Mail reported.
Miloscia said he was holding a state senate committee meeting on Wednesday to discuss restrictions placed on emergency managers, including those he said prohibit preparation for the evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of a nuclear attack.
The state senator, who reportedly flew nuclear-ready B52 bombers during the Cold War, said the U.S. finds itself less safe than it was during that time.
“In the Cuban Missile Crisis we had the institution of the red phone, and various ways of contacting each other militarily to make sure we don’t escalate,” Miloscia said, per the Daily Mail. “None of that exists with North Korea. With the current regime, we don’t even have anything close to the controls over the relationships we had with the Soviet Politburo and its leaders.”
The 1984 state law that prevents nuclear war planning came when U.S. tensions with the former Soviet Union were on the decline, former state representative Dick Nelson told the Seattle Times in May.
“Anything that was a prescription for more concern, like civil-defense exercise, was felt to be nonproductive,” Nelson told the newspaper. “People didn’t want to be in any sort of posture that people were anticipating more (nuclear) threats. We wanted to reduce the threat.”
The Seattle Times said some lawmakers believed at the time that there was little chance of surviving a nuclear attack and the state was better off planning for other disasters.
But Miloscia and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the state are pushing to change that rule in light of the North Korean threat, the Times said.
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