A nuclear holocaust resulting from a unilateral missile strike by the US on North Korea has been averted, at least temporarily, after the Pentagon selected Southern Rail to deliver the missiles.

The much criticised UK train operator was selected following an open tender despite doubts over its suitability, its patchy service record and no track record of delivering nuclear explosions except in their customers’ expectations.

Those fears were borne out earlier today when the company issued a statement announcing a delay to the planned missile delivery following unexpected problems.

“Missile delivery will be delayed by two days as staff try to recapture a stray Pokemon character that has wondered into the silo. Southern rail apologises for the delay and invites harbingers of Armageddon to use the alternative bus service provided.” The statement read.

Commenting on the announcement a frustrated Southern Rail commuter suggested that the anticipated two day delay was nailed on to become a week, while in the unlikely event that the replacement bus service actually turns up the odds are it’ll reek of vomit and urine having not been cleaned after ferrying home drunks stuck at Waterloo after their last train home was cancelled.

“Frankly, if the US is serious about bombing Pyongyang, they’d be better advised to send the missiles by snail mail,” he said pointing out that unlike the Royal Mail, the US postal service is still state owned and efficient.

“They could even issue a special stamp for the service,” he suggested.

A spokesman for Southern Rail confirmed to the Rochdale Herald that in view of the anticipated two day delay the four minute warning given in advance of nuclear attacks would consequently be extended to 2,880 minutes.

“Never mind a final shag before vaporisation, that’s more than enough time for a round of golf. The North Koreans should bloody well be grateful,” he said.