Hiroshima’s appeal of “never again” on the 72nd anniversary Sunday of the world’s first atomic bomb attack has gained urgency as North Korea accelerates work on its nuclear weapons program, showing its growing prowess with increasingly frequent missile launches.
When the U.S. dropped the bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, Toshiki Fujimori and his mother, carrying him piggyback, were both thrown to the ground by the impact.
“Obviously tensions are growing as North Korea has been pushing ahead with nuclear tests and development,” said Fujimori, now 73 and a leader of the Hidankyo, a major group of atomic bomb survivors. “Nuclear weapons just are unacceptable for mankind.”
Many Japanese and others in North Asia seem resigned to North Korea’s apparent newfound capacity to launch missiles capable of reaching much of the continental United States. But the threat lends a deeper sense of alarm in Hiroshima, where 140,000 died in that first A-bomb attack, which was followed on Aug. 9, 1945, by another that killed more than 70,000 people in Nagasaki.
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