Chinese state-run newspaper tells its readers how to survive a nuclear attack

REUTERS
Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017
Photo: AFP

BEIJING - The official state-run newspaper in northeastern China's Jilin city, near the border with North Korea, on Wednesday (Dec 6) published a page of "common sense" advice on how readers can protect themselves from a nuclear weapons attack or explosion.

China has voiced grave concern over North Korea's nuclear and missiles programme, and has called on the United States and South Korea to stop provoking Pyongyang.

US bombers will fly over the Korean peninsula on Wednesday as part of a large-scale joint military drills with South Korea. The North has warned the drills would push the Korean Peninsula to the "brink of war".

The full page article in the Jilin Daily, which does not mention possible attacks by North Korea or any other country, explains how nuclear weapons differ from traditional arms and instructs people how to protect themselves in the event of an attack.

Nuclear weapons have five means of causing destruction: light radiation, blast waves, early-stage nuclear radiation, nuclear electro-magnetic pulses and radioactive pollution, the article explained. It said the first four kill instantly.

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People who find themselves outside during a nuclear attack should try to lie in a ditch, cover exposed skin in light coloured clothing or dive into a river or lake to try and minimise the possibility of instantaneous death, it said.

Cartoon illustrations of ways to dispel radioactive contamination were also provided, such as using water to wash off shoes and using cotton buds to clean ears, as well as a picture of a vomiting child to show how medical help can be sought to speed the expulsion of radiation through stomach pumping and induced urination.

The paper also provided historical context, saying that when the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, light radiation and the blast wave caused fires and storm winds that destroyed 81 per cent of buildings in the city, killing over 70,000 people.

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North Korea last week tested what it called its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach all of the United States.

US President Donald Trump has warned he would destroy the North Korean regime if it threatened the United States with nuclear weapons.

China has rejected military intervention and called for an end to the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang.

Beijing fears an outbreak of conflict or a chaotic collapse of the North Korean regime, which might see fighting or waves of refugees cross the 1,400km border into China.

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