Postapocalypse Now

Pop culture's latest visions of mass destruction feel eerily intimate

Does anyone really fear dying in a nuclear blast? In my atomic nightmare, my family survives. A flash of light across the East River in Manhattan; a tremor and roar; a column of flame. Then the questions. Do we pack up the kids and flee? Duct tape the windows and hope for help? How much food is in the pantry? How strong are the locks on the doors?

• A Nuclear Nightmare Comes True
With North Korea claiming a successful nuclear weapons test, its neighbors and the U.S. must figure out how to respond


• When Outlaws Get The Bomb
Kim Jong Il's crude blast punctuates a scary reality: the law of the jungle now governs the race for nuclear arms


• Sanctions Don't Bite on the North Korea Border
On Scene: It's business as usual on the Chinese border town of Dandong, which continues to trade briskly with 'those stupid bastards' across the Yalu


Viewpoints

• Let's Make a Deal...
We can't invade. Sanctions won't work. The only option left is to talk


• Staring At North Korea
The survival of Kim Jong Il's regime depends on cross-border trade. Here's why China is so reluctant to cut it off


• North Korea Raises the Stakes
Analysis: More tough talk, another provocation. What's behind Pyongyang's threat to test a nuclear weapon?


• Postapocalypse Now
Pop culture's latest visions of mass destruction feel eerily intimate


• Rice's North Korea Sanctions Mission Is No Slam-Dunk
Analysis: Sure, China has agreed to block any trade with its neighbor's weapons programs. But its priorities are to engage Pyongyang and restart nuclear diplomacy — not necessarily the same as those of the U.S.


Photo Essays

• The Most Militarized Border
Tension between the two Koreas escalates after the North tests a nuclear weapon. Here's a look at life in the Korean DMZ


• Exposing North Korea
Daily life in a country caught between the whims of a tyrannical regime and the call of the modern world


Web Guide

• Dr. Strangelove Visits North Korea
A selection of some of the most interesting items on North Korean president Kim Jong Il and his testing of a nuclear weapon


This morbid fantasy just became a little more plausible. Pariah state North Korea's purported test of a small A-bomb spotlighted the morbid fantasy of our age: the small-scale, survivable Armageddon.

Even a...

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