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Bill Kelly: Could a nuclear war happen in 2017?

A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ahn Young-joon

It seems almost surreal to think that a nuclear war could actually happen in 2017.

We’re supposed to be smarter now and we’re supposed to be de-escalating, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

READ MORE: Blaring sirens sound in Japan, Guam readies residents amid North Korea’s missile tests

I was just a kid during the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, but I remember neighbours building air raid shelters in their basements and I recall the frightening sound of air raid sirens being tested right here in Hamilton.

The threat of nuclear war ebbed and flowed over the past 50 years or so, and we haven’t given it much thought — until now that is.

North Korea’s accelerated ICBM program is a cause for concern and the missile that they flew over northern Japan earlier this week has ramped up that concern.

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Those ominous air raid sirens are now being heard in Japan and Guam, only as a precaution for now, and here in North America, there’s talk of an enhanced missile defense program and a strategy for dealing with the North Korean threat has become a priority.

Could a nuclear conflict actually happen?

We certainly hope not, but with two unpredictable and egomaniacal leaders in North Korea and Washington, the concern is legitimate and real.

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