The first, and so far only, use of nuclear weapons in war happened in 1945, when bombs named Little Boy and Fat Man fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the Second World War.
Those names now appear apt, almost prophetic, as the thought of the second volley of nuclear arms looms ever larger.
On Wednesday, North Korean state television quoted Dear Leader Kim Jong Un declaring that they have “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”, the idée fixe for a nation closer to a cult than a ‘Democratic People’s Republic’.
United States President Donald Trump tweeted that the ‘situation will be handled’, but it’s too late for his promise of never letting North Korea attain both a nuclear weapon and a rocket capable of delivering it to mainland America. If reports are to be believed, they’re already there. The cat’s out of the bag.
As Trump’s neverending trainwreck of an administration trundles on, facing political malfunction, numerous own-goals, and the drip, drip, drip of Bob Mueller’s Russia investigation, their capacity to deal with an apocalyptic international crisis is questionable.
The North Korea situation is coming to a head and will have to be resolved one way or the other. The best possible outcome, of the two that immediately come to mind, involves Trump and Kim working out a peaceful solution.
So let’s hope that Little Boy and Fat Man can save the world.