It would appear that Japan isn't leaving anything to chance, and in recent weeks the nation has stepped up preparations for an unexpected nuclear weapons attack by North Korea. The latest drill took place in Abu, which is a small town near the western coast. The precautions involved practicing how to evacuate buildings, and knowing how to identify safe places to ride out a rouge atomic weapon detonation. More than 200 people from the town took part in the exercises, and many children were involved. While this was the most recent drill to date, Japan has been encouraging its districts to engage their citizens, and make sure that they are ready should North Korea decide to lob an atomic missile at the island nation.

But why?

The frequency of these drills is increasing, and there have been 12 so far in 2017. This comes at a time when there has been absolutely no direct threat from North Korea, nor has the despotic regime demonstrated that they have the ability to hit Japan with anything. With that said, North Korea is launching more missiles all the time, and some have come down within 200 miles of Japan's coast. Given the proximity of the missile tests, it is understandable why Japan's government would be taking whatever measures are possible.

The other issue is the relatively short time it would take for an ICBM to reach Japan from North Korea, should they ever create a missile capable of doing so. The flight time of a supersonic ICBM would be a matter of minutes, so the unlucky city would only have moments to prepare for the impact.

Not a strategy

The most perplexing aspect of this entire situation is what North Korea hopes to gain from developing advanced weapons in the first place. The United States would love a chance to wipe the Kim dynasty off the face of the earth, and given the three US aircraft carrier groups within striking range of North Korea, that has become a real possibility.

China has traditionally been a supporter of the Kim's but it would appear that they have had their fill as well. The damage that the US could do to North Korea pales in comparison to the havoc a motivated China would create in there, given that they have the world's largest air force by a wide margin.

Add to that the wasteful nature of spending money on rockets that fall into the ocean, when the nation of North Korea could be developing infrastructure, and we begin to see how absurd this sort of small-time militarism really is. Time will tell if the practice of evacuations in Japan will lead to something more severe, or if they are just precautions taken in the face of madness.