On Saturday morning, Hawaii residents and tourists were woken up by an emergency alert telling them that a ballistic missile was on its way, and to seek immediate shelter. "THIS IS NOT A DRILL," it warned.
Then, after 38 agonizing and panicked minutes, a second alert claimed that the whole thing was a mistake. It turns out an employee mistakenly hit the wrong button during a shift-change. Whoops.
And while everyone eventually settled down and life went back to quasi-normal, New York Times editor Max Fisher took to Twitter to remind everyone that the error could have had a much more disastrous result.
Fisher pointed to a 1983 incident in which a Korean airliner was shot down over Russia, almost instigating a nuclear war:
Dangerous things can happen when confusion abounds:
Fisher noted the similarities to what was happening during the time and how Trump has been dealing with North Korea as of late:
But would "cooler heads" necessarily have prevailed in North Korea? It isn't a guarantee:
The fallout from a nuclear war could be disastrous, even if mankind managed to somehow survive it:
Even the White House was unsure whether it was a drill or an error, although they had no problem declaring it an "exercise":
Which Twitter was quick to call out:
Fisher's story brings up a worrying point about the dangerous precipice we currently stand upon with North Korea. We don't need to be living in 1983:
Many people who remember the incident chimed in, regaling how awful it truly was:
Including those who lost loved ones on the flight:
And it turns out the U.S. shot down a civilian airplane a few years later:
Clearly, nothing good can come of this:
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That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.