10/23/2018, 13.40
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Atomic bomb survivors write to Trump calling for a stop to nuclear weapons

A group of hibakusha, survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have protested against the US decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Nuclear war “could imperil all of humanity”.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – A group of hibakusha,* survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have sent a letter to US President Donald Trump, pleading with him to rethink his nuclear policy. They fear that nuclear war “could imperil all of humanity” and wonder why they are the only ones “raising our voices against it”.

On Saturday, Trump - who is commander-in-chief of the US Armed Forces – announced his decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Trump's special adviser on security, John Bolton, has been sent to inform Russia of the US decision.

For months US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has warned that the United States had 1,797 atomic warheads which, combined with those of France and the United Kingdom, totalled 2,207, almost a third less than the Russian arsenal of 3,587.

Many US warheads are also obsolete, mostly stored in European warehouses since the end of the Cold War. For Trump it is crucial to boost the US atomic arsenal.

The hibakusha letter was delivered yesterday to the US embassy in Tokyo. It says that if United States pulls out of the 1987 treaty, the “global momentum for nuclear disarmament will fade away while the likelihood of a nuclear war crisis will rise.” It implores the US president “not to turn the clock back.”

* Literally explosion-affected people in Japanese.

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