The Sanitized Rhetoric That Makes Nuclear War More Likely

To Rid the Planet of Atomic Weapons, We Should Dismantle the Language That Makes Them Possible

The nuclear age began 73 years ago when a brilliant, terrible flash lit up the pre-dawn sky in the New Mexico desert. That first explosion at the Trinity site in July 1945 came from a massive spherical bomb with radioactive plutonium at its core. It was playfully called “The Gadget.”

Can you think of a more innocuous word for a machine that could eradicate a city in seconds, incinerating both humans and buildings within a radius of several miles?

But in the moments after the blast, J. Robert Oppenheimer—who oversaw …

More In: North Korea

Why the Planet Should Fear North Korean Nuclear Testing

Our Cold War History Shows the Deadly Fallout From Detonating Weapons in the Atmosphere

Fishermen in Japan peer wearily into the skies, fearful of the North Korean foreign minister’s recent warning that Pyongyang may conduct an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific. Earlier this …

What Californians Can Learn From South Korea’s Nuclear Cool

As the Golden State Frets Over North Korea's Missiles, Seoul Residents Say 'Keep Calm, Study up—and Drink'

Can Californians learn to be as cool as Koreans in the face of nuclear annihilation?

Visiting Seoul last week, I asked people how they stay sane while living within range of …

Before Going to War in North Korea, Try Understanding the Place First

Armed Conflict Between the U.S. and Pyongyang Isn't Inevitable—or Impossible

With schoolyard taunts hurtling between Washington and Pyongyang, and fears of nuclear Armageddon escalating from Seoul to Tokyo to Los Angeles, the once-unthinkable idea of a military showdown between North …

Why North Koreans Prefer Word of Mouth Over Email

In a Country Where Dissent Is Harshly Punished, a Digital Footprint Isn't Worth the Risk

Twenty years after it began changing lives in other countries, the internet isn’t even a concept for the average North Korean—so much so that most people in the country of …

Will Globalization Kill Free Speech?

The First Amendment May Require New Limits in a More Interconnected World

U.S. Supreme Court justices are not supposed to say anything interesting outside of the Court, but in 2010 Justice Stephen Breyer was asked in a rare TV appearance if he …