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An engineer recruited to work on the Manhattan Project says he opposed the use of nuclear weapons on civilian targets and believes the United States “could have waited” before A-bombing Nagasaki, given that the Japanese government was in turmoil from the destruction of Hiroshima and the war might have ended without the second city’s destruction.

James Schoke, 91, made the comments during a recent interview at his home in Florida ahead of the opening Saturday of an exhibition in Washington to commemorate the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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