Wednesday
August, 10

Nuclear weapons a ‘loaded gun’, UN chief warns in Hiroshima

UN Secretary Basic Antonio Guterres attends an annual memorial in Hiroshima. —AFP
  • UN head Antonio Guterres attends Hiroshima memorial for the primary time.
  • Round 140,000 individuals died when Hiroshima was bombed by US.
  • Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin has made thinly veiled threats hinting at willingness to deploy tactical nuclear weapons.

HIROSHIMA: “Humanity is enjoying with a loaded gun” as crises with the potential for nuclear catastrophe proliferate worldwide, UN head Antonio Guterres mentioned in Hiroshima on Saturday, the 77th anniversary of the primary atomic bomb assault.

At an annual memorial, Guterres warned of the danger posed by crises in Ukraine, the Center East, and the Korean peninsula as he described the horrors endured by the Japanese metropolis.

“Tens of 1000’s of individuals had been killed on this metropolis within the blink of a watch. Ladies, youngsters and males had been incinerated in a hellish fireplace,” he mentioned.

Survivors had been “cursed with a radioactive legacy” of most cancers and different well being issues.

“We should ask: What have we discovered from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this metropolis?”

Round 140,000 individuals died when Hiroshima was bombed by the US on August 6, 1945 — a toll that features those that perished after the blast from radiation publicity.

Immediately, “crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading quick — the Center East, to the Korean peninsula, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, Guterres mentioned, repeating warnings he made this week at a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty convention in New York.

“Humanity is enjoying with a loaded gun.”

Earlier than daybreak, survivors and their family started to collect at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park to supply flowers and prayers.

A silent prayer was held at 8:15am, the second the bomb was dropped.

The Russian ambassador was not invited to the ceremony however visited Hiroshima on Thursday to put flowers on the memorial website.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, President Vladimir Putin has made thinly veiled threats hinting at a willingness to deploy tactical nuclear weapons.

In a speech on Saturday, Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui cited Leo Tolstoy, the Russian creator of “Conflict and Peace”, saying: “By no means construct your happiness on the misfortune of others, for under of their happiness can you discover your individual.”

Three days after the Hiroshima bombing, Washington dropped a plutonium bomb on the Japanese port metropolis of Nagasaki, killing about 74,000 individuals and resulting in the top of World Conflict II.

The USA stays the one nation ever to have used nuclear weapons within the battle.

However round 13,000 are actually held in state arsenals worldwide, the UN head mentioned.

Saturday was the primary time Guterres attended the Hiroshima memorial in particular person, with a go to final yr canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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