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Stanislav Petrov's heroism is a cautionary tale for the U.S. and North Korea

Stanislav Petrov's heroism is a cautionary tale for the U.S. and North Korea
Former Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov in 2015. (Pavel Golovkin / Associated Press)

To the editor: As nuclear tensions rise between the U.S. and North Korea, it is important to note the passing of Stanislav Petrov, the Russian military officer who in 1983 averted a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. ("Stanislav Petrov, 'the man who saved the world' from nuclear war, dies at 77," Sept. 21)

At the time, a new launch alert system indicated that several U.S. missiles were headed toward the Soviet Union. Despite the alarm indicating a U.S. attack, Petrov determined the warning was in error and did not tell his superiors, who probably would have launched retaliatory strikes.

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Given President Trump's threats to North Korea, I wonder if there is a modern-day Petrov in Pyongyang we can rely on to avert a nuclear war.

Todd Collart, Ventura

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To the editor: With Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatening nuclear war and both of them being unreliable egotists, who will be the new Petrov who will disobey either or both of them and come to be known as the man who saved the world?

We hope that with Petrov's recent death, many North Korean and U.S. military officers will remember his brave act and "save the world" again.

Michael Hachigian, Canoga Park

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