Officials in Southern California have reportedly told local agencies to take the threat of a nuclear strike from North Korea seriously.
The Los Angeles-based Joint Regional Intelligence Center issued the report last month, titled “Nuclear Attack Response Considerations.”
According to a copy obtained by Foreign Policy, the report warns that a nuclear attack in Southern California “would lead to devastating casualties,” along with major damage to infrastructure.
“The consequences of a nuclear attack in Southern California would be catastrophic,” the report said. “Nonetheless, government entities and first responders are expected to remain operational to preserve human life, maintain order, and aid in the recovery process.”
Officials said communications would be “severely” impacted, existing resources from local governments would be overwhelmed and that federal assistance may not be on scene for 24 to 72 hours.
The report cited recent tests by North Korea of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the West Coast of the United States, along with a propaganda video that showed San Francisco being the target of a nuclear strike.
Rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has heated up over the past several days. After Trump called Kim “rocket man” in his speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly, Kim called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and hinted at a possible test of a hydrogen bomb.
On Monday, The Associated Press reported that North Korean Foreign Minister said Trump’s tweet saying Kim “won’t be around much longer” was a “declaration of war.” The White House pushed back on that claim and clarified that it is not seeking to overthrow the North Korean government.