Nobel Peace Prize Winner Warns That Nuclear War Is One 'Tantrum Away'

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Warns That Nuclear War Is One 'Tantrum Away'

Now the rest of the world is seeing that more clearly - when they see Donald Trump in the White House and Kim Jong-un in North Korea trading very irresponsible threats to nuke each other, or to nuke places in their vicinity, and seeming to be unaware how catastrophic the consequences of that would be.

Fihn and Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow jointly accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on December 10.

Following the statement, Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said in a UN broadcast that ICAN's win comes at a time when everyone "realizes the danger that we are all living in terms of nuclear peril".

In July, ICAN was at the forefront of worldwide efforts to establish a global agreement against the development, and use, of nuclear weapons.

"But I think for many groups this is a chance for them to up their game and start putting pressure on their governments". We are not under any illusions on how easy it is going to be (to achieve a nuclear-free world).

The group also said a country's "moment of panic" could lead to the "destruction of cities and the deaths of millions of civilians".

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In a speech on Sunday, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, stressed that the nuclear weapons that instantly killed at least 140,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki ― and later many more by radiation ― are not as destructive as the ones we have today.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn, who accepted the prize along with Thurlow, said that the risk of nuclear war had increased markedly in recent months.

Thurlow, who lives in Canada, will attend the award ceremony together with Fihn. "A choice between the two endings - the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us", she told a global audience. "I would very strongly urge the leaders (of North Korea and the U.S.) to back down from their very risky rhetoric". Encouraging the United States to move towards eliminating nuclear weapons would be timely, but perhaps not so palatable to the Trump administration as it embarks on upgrading its nuclear weapons at an estimated cost of $1.25 trillion. So far, 56 countries have signed up to it and three have ratified it.

Critics argue that a treaty can not succeed without the participation of the states that possess nuclear weapons.

Thurlow criticized Japan for lacking consistency, saying that the country relies on nuclear deterrence provided by the United States and refuses to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty while stressing its status as the world's only atomic-bombed country.