Hawaii is set to dust off its old Cold War-era attack-warning siren system as relations remain tense between North Korea and the U.S.
Testing on the statewide system will begin Friday and continue on the first business day of every month, according to The Washington Post.
The last time an attack warning siren was heard in Hawaii was around 1980, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Executive Officer Toby Clairmont told the Star-Advertiser.
The announcement has spooked some people, and Hawaiian leaders are facing the difficult task of convincing everyone that there is no imminent threat.
“As Hawaii prepared for this over the last couple of months, we’ve been getting inquiries from other states, working with Guam also, but (also), ‘What are you guys doing? Why are you doing this?’” Hawaii Emergency Management Administrator Vern Miyagi said in the Star-Advertiser report.
Miyagi added that the tests are simply a part of preparedness measures.
Has a threat been made against Hawaii?
North Korea previously named Hawaii as a potential target should hostilities break out between the U.S. and North Korea.
President Donald Trump during his recent visit to Seoul called on the North Korean government to make a deal.
“It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and for the world,” Trump said during a news conference.
The volatile North Korea government in September detonated a nuclear device that yielded 250 kilotons or more. The blast from Hiroshima was about 15 kilotons, the Star-Advertiser reported.
In an actual emergency, the siren would mean people have approximately 15 minutes to seek shelter.
Is an attack likely?
Officials believe an island is too small of a mark for North Korea to hit.
“He has a limited amount of missiles, and there are many, many closer-in targets that he is guaranteed of hitting, such as Japan and South Korea and even the continental United States. If he heads it that way, he’ll hit something,” Miyagi said of North Korean President Kim Jong Un. “Hawaii is a very tiny target. Even Guam. Guam is a very tiny target for him.”