After the fall of the Berlin wall signaling the end of the Soviet Union, Hawaii is dusting off its cold war kit as has it started preparations for possible ICBM attacks from North Korea. Hawaii is the first state to officially conduct preparations in response to the Korean missile crisis.

What kind of preparation is Hawaii making?

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency conducted a public awareness campaign on Friday on what to do in case of a missile attack. State lawmakers have proposed plans to update obsolete cold war plans to cope with the new threat posed by Pyongyang. The need became more apparent after North Korea managed to launch a possible ICBM earlier July.

The state's preparation includes a monthly "nuclear siren" test starting in November, South China Post reported. This is to accustom the public to the siren and how to react properly when an attack occurs. Dissemination of the preparation plan will be coursed through brochures, leaflets, TV programs and radio broadcasts. Hawaii officials acknowledge that the lack of awareness of the threat increases fear and panic, so it is important for the public to get educated and alerted.

How imminent is the threat of missile attack in Hawaii?

According to recent military estimates, North Korea doesn't have any missiles capable of reaching Hawaii. However, it is not impossible for Pyongyang to acquire such technology especially if missile tests are allowed to continue. The program hinges on the geographical distance Hawaii is from Asia.

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A missile launched from North Korea headed for Hawaii would take at least 14-20 minutes. The brief interval gives Hawaii a limited time frame to conduct an effective evacuation of its residents. This is why public awareness is very important for the emergency system to work.

Hawaii officials stressed the importance of an automatic response. Thinking and deciding whether to evacuate or not will take time and in effect cause major delays, bottlenecks and congestion in evacuation routes. The civilians must be able to think automatically in order to successfully evacuate when an attack warning is announced and this is will be achieved through constant reminders and drills.

What is the current status of the Korean crisis?

Recent intelligence reveal that North Korea is planning to conduct another missile test and that they will be launching from one of its Soviet era submarines. The Pentagon also received information that Pyongyang's submarine fleet have been deployed in the East China Sea. It is uncertain whether North Korea will again test short to medium range missiles, but if an ICBM is tested, U.S. policy in the region must change and may adapt a more aggressive response to North Korea's provocations.