Hibakusha disheartened after Trump-Kim summit ends without progress on North Korea nuclear arms


Hibakusha in Japan voiced disappointment Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, meeting in Hanoi, failed to agree on denuclearizing North Korea.

The two leaders’ failure to reach an agreement means that North Korea’s “nuclear issue will be pushed back,” said Toshiyuki Mimaki, 76, acting chairman of a hibakusha group in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Kunihiko Sakuma, 74, head of another hibakusha group in Hiroshima, said that he was “disappointed to see little progress being made on denuclearization and a declaration ending the Korean War.”

Sakuma, however, said that he “felt like both the United States and North Korea were thinking that nuclear weapons must be abolished.”

“I would like the two sides to meet halfway and hold discussions so they will be able to move forward,” he said.

Koichi Kawano, 79, head of a hibakusha group in Nagasaki Prefecture, said he “would have liked it if they had worked out their differences and reached some kind of agreement toward denuclearization, even if it wasn’t 100 percent.”

The outcome of the summit is “regrettable,” Kawano said.

“While North Korea might not abandon its nuclear weapons easily, Washington and Pyongyang should continue talks to realize a complete denuclearization as soon as possible,” he added.

The city of Hiroshima was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II. The city of Nagasaki suffered the same fate three days later.