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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Obama in Hiroshima calls for world free of nuclear weapons

Iran Press TV

Fri May 27, 2016 2:37PM

US President Barack Obama has called for a world without nuclear weapons during a historic visit to Hiroshima, Japan, where the United States dropped the first atomic bomb nearly 71 years ago.

Obama on Friday visited the site of the world's first nuclear bombing and met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Death fell from the sky and the world was changed," Obama said during a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a site built in the memory of the people who lost their lives in the bombing on August 6, 1945 during World War II.

The US president failed to apologize to the Japanese people for the bombing that killed about 140,000 people. The American atrocity was followed by another atomic bombing on the port city of Nagasaki, killing about 70,000 people on August 9.

Instead Obama told the Japanese audience, which included survivors of the attack, that the horror of America's nuclear warfare should encourage countries to reconsider the use of the weapons.

"That is a future we can choose," Obama said, with the Japanese premier standing at his side. "A future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening."

"We may not eliminate mankind's capacity to do evil," Obama added. "But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them."

This is while the United States and its main rival, Russia, reportedly still have some 2,000 atomic weapons ready to fly at a moment's notice to destroy each other.

And this state of alert is now causing new concerns that the lack of trust between Washington and Moscow has significantly increased the risk of a miscalculation that could lead to a nuclear disaster.

A former commander of US nuclear forces has called on the United States and Russia to take their missiles off high alert to avoid a nuclear disaster.

Retired four-star General James Cartwright said in an interview published by POLITICO in April 2015 that "de-alerting" nuclear arsenals could reduce the risk of firing nuclear weapons in response to a false warning of an attack.

In an interview with Euronews last year, leading American political analyst and philosopher Noam Chomsky said the world is racing toward a nuclear "precipice" and the United States poses the "greatest threat" in this regard.

He said that US President Barack Obama had "initiated a trillion dollar program of modernization of the US nuclear weapon system, which means expanding the nuclear weapon system."

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