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HomeWorldNuclear weapon 'loaded gun', UN chief warns in Hiroshima
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Nuclear weapon ‘loaded gun’, UN chief warns in Hiroshima

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Nuclear weapon ‘loaded gun’, UN chief warns in Hiroshima

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends an annual memorial in Hiroshima.  -AFP
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends an annual memorial in Hiroshima. -AFP
  • UN chief Antonio Guterres attended the Hiroshima Memorial for the first time.
  • About 140,000 people were killed in the US bombing of Hiroshima.
  • Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin has issued a thinly veiled threat, indicating a willingness to deploy strategic nuclear weapons.

HIROSHIMA: UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Saturday, on the 77th anniversary of the first atomic bombing in Hiroshima, “humanity is playing with a loaded gun” as the nuclear disaster is likely to spread around the world.

At an annual memorial, Guterres warned of the risk posed by the crisis in Ukraine, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula as he described the horrors endured by the Japanese city.

“Thousands of people died in the blink of an eye in this city. Women, children and men were burnt in hellish fires,” he said.

The survivors were “cursed with a radioactive legacy” of cancer and other health problems.

“We must ask: what have we learned from the mushroom cloud that rises over this city?”

The bombing of Hiroshima by the United States on August 6, 1945 killed nearly 140,000 people—a toll that includes those who died after the explosion from radiation exposure.

Today, “the crisis is spreading rapidly with serious nuclear undertakings – to the Middle East, to the Korean Peninsula, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, Guterres said, reiterating the warnings he made at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York this week. Said happened.

“Humanity is playing with a loaded gun.”

Before dawn, survivors and their relatives began to gather in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park to offer flowers and prayers.

The moment the bomb was dropped, a silent prayer was held at 8:15 am.

The Russian ambassador was not invited to the ceremony, but he went to Hiroshima on Thursday and offered flowers at the memorial site.

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

In a speech on Saturday, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui quoted Russian author of “War and Peace” Leo Tolstoy as saying: “Never build your happiness on the misfortunes of others, because only in their happiness can you make your own.” You can have your own.”

Three days after the Hiroshima bombing, Washington dropped a plutonium bomb on the Japanese port city of Nagasaki, killing about 74,000 people and ending World War II.

The United States is the only country that has used nuclear weapons in conflict.

But about 13,000 are now in state arsenals around the world, the UN chief said.

Saturday marked the first time Guterres attended the Hiroshima Memorial in person, a visit last year that was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nuclear weapon ‘loaded gun’, UN chief warns in Hiroshima

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