BURIED deep beneath the Montana soil in America’s northwest are 150 giant Minuteman III nuclear missiles — locked, loaded and ready to go.
They are 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and can reach any target on the planet in half an hour.
They stand ready to be deployed at any moment of the day, on the order of US President Donald Trump, who this month promised North Korea a “fire and fury like the world has never seen”.
“I think this is a very dangerous time — perhaps the most dangerous threat that we’ve faced since the Cuban missile crisis,” former US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said.
Tensions between America and North Korea have been simmering for months, reaching a frightening war of words in recent weeks.
The two countries have exchanged threats and counter threats over recent weeks, with the world watching nervously.
And should they boil over, it’s from this location that Trump’s “fire and fury” will be unleashed.
There are countless just like it, with some 450 “super nukes” in stockpile.
It’s a never-ending operation to be ready, with constant training on how to maintain and handle the weapons.
Master sergeant Jennifer Hubner said should the call from the White House come, she and her colleagues were ready.
“None of us come to work hoping today’s the day. But we hope our enemies think twice before they decide to use weapons of mass destruction against us or our allies.”
That includes Australia, with Hubner declaring: “We’ve got your back”.
Reporter Liz Hayes was granted unprecedented access to a control room 20 metres underground, where the launch of the world’s most devastating weapons would occur.