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

HIROSHIMA, Japan: “Humanity is enjoying with a loaded gun” as crises with the potential for nuclear catastrophe proliferate worldwide, UN head Antonio Guterres stated in Hiroshima on Saturday (Aug 6), the 77th anniversary of the primary atomic bomb assault.

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

“Tens of hundreds of individuals have been killed on this metropolis within the blink of an eye fixed. Ladies, kids and males have been incinerated in a hellish hearth,” he stated.

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

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

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

Right now, “crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading quick – the Center East, to the Korean peninsula, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, Guterres stated, 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 relations started to assemble at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park to supply flowers and prayers.

A silent prayer was held at 8.15 am, 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 writer of “Conflict and Peace”, saying: “By no means construct your happiness on the misfortune of others, for less than 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 folks and resulting in the tip of World Conflict II.

The US stays the one nation ever to have used nuclear weapons in battle.

However round 13,000 at the moment are held in state arsenals worldwide, the UN head stated.

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

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