Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took a moment to mention the passing, and to respect a man who probably saved the world from nuclear destruction.
Secretary Tillerson said: “Just this week, the world learned of the passing of a little known, but important figure in the history of the Cold War. His name was Stanislav Petrov and he is sometimes referred to as the man who saved the world.”
Mr. Petrov was on duty one night in 1983, when his systems told him that the United States had launched nuclear bombs at the Soviet Union. This was during the Cold War, when tensions between the two countries were always high. Instead of just reacting, Mr. Petrov remained calm, recognizing this was a false alarm and averting retaliation by the Soviet Union.
(Courtesy of BBC News, via Youtube.com)
Tillerson brought Mr. Petrov up during a recent meeting of the UN Security Council, saying “[t]his episode illustrates just how high the risk factor is with nuclear weapons.”
Trump and Tillerson recognize that one country can change things in way that could avert nuclear disaster. Tillerson said, “If China truly desires to denuclearize the Korean peninsula to promote stability and to avoid conflict in that sensitive region right on its own border, now’s the time to work with the rest of us … to put the kind of pressure on North Korea that can change its strategic calculations before it’s too late.”
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