NEW YORK – A Japanese atomic bomb survivor along with anti-war activists and scholars from around the globe urged U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday to recognize the threat of nuclear weapons and pursue disarmament.
They made the pitch to Trump, who will assume office on Jan. 20, in an open letter released by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation based in Santa Barbara, California.
The signatories to the letter, dated Tuesday, include Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, film director Oliver Stone and linguist Noam Chomsky.
“As president of the United States, you will have the grave responsibility of assuring that nuclear weapons are not overtly threatening or used during your term of office,” the letter said.
“The most certain way to fulfill this responsibility is to negotiate with the other possessors of nuclear weapons for their total elimination,” it added.
The letter expressed strong concerns that Trump has suggested Japan and South Korea may need to go nuclear or threatened to dismantle a global deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.
“It is terrifying to think of Donald Trump with the codes to launch the U.S. nuclear arsenal,” said David Krieger, president of the foundation.
“The mix of Trump and nuclear weapons is a formula for making his term in office the most dangerous period in human history,” he said.