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"The end of nuclear weapons or the end of us"

December 10, 2017


Nobel laureate: If atomic bombs exist, disaster inevitable



OSLO, Norway (AP) -- As long as atomic bombs exist, a disaster is inevitable, the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, said Saturday.

"We are facing a clear choice right now: The end of nuclear weapons or the end of us," Beatrice Fihn told a news conference at the Norwegian Nobel Committee.


"An impulsive tantrum, a calculated military escalation, a terrorist or cyberattack or a complete accident -- we will see the use of nuclear weapons unless they are eliminated," she warned.


"These weapons do not make us safe, they are not a deterrent, they only spur other states to pursue their own nuclear weapons. And if you are not comfortable with Kim Jong-un having nuclear weapons, then you are not comfortable with nuclear weapons. If you're not comfortable with Donald Trump having nuclear weapons, then you are not comfortable with nuclear weapons," Fihn said.


ICAN, which brings together more than 450 organizations, was a driving force behind an international treaty on banning nuclear weapons that was passed this year. So far, 53 countries have signed up, but only three have ratified it -- the treaty needs ratification by 50 to go into effect.


No nuclear power has signed the treaty. Three major nuclear powers -- the United States, Britain and France -- have said they will not send their ambassadors to Sunday's Nobel prize-awarding ceremony in the Norwegian capital.


Satsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing who is to accept the prize along with Fihn, said she was "not too surprised" at the diplomatic snub.


"This is not the first time they have behaved that way ... they tried in many different ways to sabotage, to discredit, what we tried to do," she said. "Maybe this shows they are really annoyed at what success we have had so far."


ICAN on Saturday installed 1,000 red paper cranes outside the Norwegian Parliament. The cranes were made by children in Hiroshima, site of the world's first atomic bomb attack in 1945.



ICAN chief, A-bomb survivor condemn nuclear arms




An atomic bomb survivor and the head of the nuclear disarmament campaign that won this year's Nobel Peace Prize have spoken out against the use of nuclear weapons.

They held a news conference in Oslo, Norway, on Saturday, one day before the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, will receive the Nobel honor at an awards ceremony.

ICAN won the prize for its contribution to the adoption in July of a landmark UN treaty to ban nuclear arms.

ICAN's Executive Director Beatrice Fihn said abolishing nuclear arms is the only rational choice and that eliminating them begins with the treaty.

Fihn said government leaders have to create a new foreign policy that does not rely on such illegal weapons of mass destruction. She added the leaders must sign the treaty.

Setsuko Thurlow experienced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 when she was 13 years old. Eight of her relatives died in the attack. She now lives in Canada.

She called for the international community to pursue a diplomatic solution to the rising tensions surrounding North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

Thurlow said that no matter what happens, nuclear weapons must never be used as they could kill millions of people.

Thurlow touched on an objection to the UN treaty by Japan, which is the only country to have experienced atomic bombings.

She noted it is arrogant not to listen to advocates of the treaty and that Japan lacks consistency despite its insistence that it is a pacifist nation.

Thurlow and Fihn are scheduled to give speeches at the Nobel awards ceremony.



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