The head of the UN was worried to see humanity “playing with a loaded gun”, while the nuclear risk hovers from Ukraine to the Middle East via the Korean peninsula.
Humanity is “playing with a loaded gun” in the context of the current crises with nuclear connotations, warned the UN Secretary General in Hiroshima on the occasion of the 77th anniversary this Saturday of the American atomic bombing of Japan.
At an annual ceremony held in the Japanese city to honor the victims of the 1945 bombing, Antonio Guterres made a strong appeal to world leaders to remove nuclear weapons from their arsenals.
“What have we learned?”
Seventy-seven years ago, “tens of thousands of people were suddenly killed in this city. Women, children and men were cremated in an infernal fire,” he said.
“Buildings turned to dust. Survivors were cursed with a radioactive legacy” of cancers and other illnesses, added Antonio Guterres.
“We have to ask ourselves: what did we learn from the mushroom cloud that swelled over this city?”
“Humanity is playing with a loaded gun”
Today, “crises with a strong nuclear connotation are spreading rapidly, from the Middle East to the Korean Peninsula to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Humanity is playing with a loaded gun,” Antonio said. Guterres, reiterating warnings he issued this week at a conference of countries that signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York.
For the past two years, commemorations of the Hiroshima bombing – attended by survivors, relatives, Japanese officials and some foreign dignitaries – have taken place on a restricted basis due to the Covid.
This Saturday’s ceremony was more important. A silent prayer was held at 8:15 a.m. local time, as the American bomb devastated the city at the end of World War II.
The nuclear threat behind the Russian invasion of Ukraine
The nuclear risk has haunted people’s minds since Russia invaded its Ukrainian neighbor in February. The Russian ambassador to Japan was not invited to the ceremony on Saturday, but he went to Hiroshima on Thursday to lay a wreath in tribute to the victims.
About 140,000 people died as a result of the August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, a toll that includes those who survived the explosion but later died due to radiation.
Three days later, the United States dropped another nuclear bomb on the Japanese port city of Nagasaki, killing around 74,000 people and ending World War II.
Source: BFM TV