Hiroshima on Sunday marked the 72nd anniversary of its atomic bombing by the U.S., with Mayor Kazumi Matsui using the annual memorial ceremony to call on the central government to help make a treaty banning nuclear weapons a reality.
The ban is likely to reinforce existing divides between countries that rely on nuclear weapons for their security, and those that don't-an outcome for which proponents and opponents of the treaty both bear responsibility.
An important role in calling for such negotiations as the ban treaty was played by non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWSs). Support of other NNWS was decisive for the General Assembly to mandate the international negotiations and adopt the text of the treaty.
North Korea on Monday spurned overtures from South Korea and the United States, and instead lobbed a new inflammatory threat to retaliate against the United States over new U.N. sanctions punishing Pyongyang for its missile and nuclear tests.
In a major blow to the future of nuclear power in the United States, two South Carolina utilities said on Monday that they would abandon two unfinished nuclear reactors in the state, putting an end to a project that was once expected to showcase advanced nuclear technology but has since been plagued by delays and cost overruns.