Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Trump Compared The Size Of His Nuclear Button To Kim Jong Un’s, & Twitter Freaked Out

By
Share
Ad failed to load

The start of a new year is usually a time of hope and optimism for the months ahead, and given that 2017 turned out to be such a disappointing year for so many, it doesn't seem like it would take much for 2018 to be an improvement. But on Tuesday night — only two days into 2018 — President Donald Trump tweeted out a message that seemed to suggest we shouldn't exactly get our hopes up. In his latest social media attack on North Korea, Trump compared the size of his nuclear button to Kim Jong Un's, and yes, it's exactly as unsettling as it sounds.

Trump's tweet came in response to a New Year's Day speech given by the North Korean leader, in which he claimed the country had "achieved the goal of completing [its] state nuclear force in 2017," and that that "the US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on [his] desk," according to The Guardian. Given that it certainly isn't the first time that Trump has used Twitter to mock the leader of the totalitarian regime, it isn't surprising that the president chose to hit back, but his message was one that has led to widespread outrage — not to mention ridicule. In the post, Trump wrote that he also had a nuclear button, before claiming that his is "much bigger [and] more powerful," and that unlike Kim's, "my Button works!"

Ad failed to load

Unsurprisingly, Trump's message led to an almost instantaneous slew of tweets making fun of the president's preoccupation with, well, the size of his button:

Ad failed to load

But, even as many were snickering, Twitter was also majorly concerned:

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

Some made a point to remind Americans not to let their guards down:

Ad failed to load

While others noted that, regardless of the outrageousness of the tweet itself, this is actual nuclear war he is discussing:

Ad failed to load

As scary as it certainly is to think about both Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un with nuclear buttons on their desks though, The New York Times noted that, at least in the United States, there isn't actually a literal "nuclear button." Instead, the president has what's called a "nuclear football," a 45-pound briefcase carried by a military aide and which contains "an instructional guide to carrying out a strike, a list of targets, a radio transceiver and code authenticators." The New York Times also noted that in order to carry out a nuclear attack, the president would have to provide a code that would confirm his identity — but given that there is no further approval needed at that point, if Trump were to opt to authorize a nuclear strike, it would happen quite quickly.

Ad failed to load

Button or no button though, Trump's tendency for making decisions without first consulting others, and the fact that he doesn't seem to have any issue advancing policies that are actually highly unpopular is what makes this scenario particularly scary. Not only is it entirely fathomable that he may actually decide to use his "much bigger [and] more powerful" nuclear button, but if he did, there wouldn't be anything stopping him. And that would definitely be disastrous.

In addition to the obvious deadly impact of the nuclear strike itself, experts expect a war between the United States and North Korea would also "trigger a global climate catastrophe," according to Mashable. Scientists estimate the planet would cool by up to about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun would basically be completely blocked out by all the smoke sent into the upper atmosphere. Crops and animals would die out — leading to food shortages — and some models have predicted that, even in summer, temperatures could stay below freezing worldwide.  

Ad failed to load

In other words, Trump's taunting tweets are a big deal — even if they seem eye-rollingly ridiculous. And while it might be easy to assume that he couldn't possibly be serious about following through on his nuclear weapon taunts, the reality is that it is totally possible. There's no need to give up hope on 2018 just yet, of course, but if nothing else, Trump's North Korea tweet is a reminder of what might be to come.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack