75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fear of nuclear weapons still looms in the world

As Japan marks 75 years of the nuclear bombing that ended the Second World War, the world still faces the dread of a nuclear attack.75 years ago Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by the USA’s nuclear bombs which was the first time a nuclear weapon was used in a war. The nuclear attack not only ended the World War II immediately, but also left the world with horrors of a nuclear war.  

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was hit by a uranium bomb at 8:15 AM, which killed nearly 70,000 people immediately in 2 KM of it radius. The bomb was named “little boy”. Hundreds of thousands died due to injuries caused by exposure to radiation in following months. Three days later, a “fat man” hit Nagasaki killing 74,000 people immediately. Around 140,000 people died in Hiroshima along with one-third of Nagasaki being destroyed.

Two weeks later, the imperial Japan surrendered to the US and began a journey towards peace. Till now, Japan intends to show the world the horrors of nuclear attacks. And the destruction caused by it remains a motivation for the world to head towards disarmament of nuclear weapons.

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What does the UN say about nuclear weapons?

After the end of World War II, the United Nations (UN) was formed in 1946 to prevent any future wars. Since inception, the elimination of nuclear weapons has been a motive for the UN. After multiple efforts, the UN reached to Treaty on Non-Proliferation of the Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968, applicable from 1970. The treaty ensures the usage of Nuclear powers only for peaceful usage. In 1995, the treaty was extended indefinitely. It has 191 members.

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In 2017, Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear weapons was passed through a resolution. The treaty gets an undertaking form participating countries to completely eliminate the usage of nuclear weapons. This is the only legally binding agreement against nuclear weapons.

Which countries possess Nuclear weapons?

Officially Russia, China, France, the UK and the USA possess the nuclear weapons, as they built and tested them before NPT came into effect. However, they are not supposed to use these weapons. And are bound by the treaty to reduce and gradually eliminate them.

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Apart from these countries, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea also possess Nukes, as Nuclear weapons are known. Israel has never denied or confirmed the possession of these weapons. India and Pakistan never joined NPT and North Korea pulled out of the treaty in 2003.

Another country suspicious of having Nukes is Iran. The US doubted Iran to have developed Nuclear weapons, and has loaded it with sanctions. The US and Iran had signed a treaty in 2015, but the US pulled out of it in 2019. The act has led Iran to upgrade its Nuclear power plant’s functioning. It has increased the threat of a nuclear war for whole world.

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 The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The survivors of the nuclear blast of 1945 still continue to remind the world the destruction that happened after the cities were bombarded. They continue to tell their stories. And revive the importance of disarmament and complete elimination of Nuclear weapons. However, the slow pace of disarmament haunts them with the same memories and fears.

Written By Rashi, She is doing her Masters in Convergent Journalism from Jamia AJK MCRC, New Delhi.

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