Millennium Post

Denuclearisation for all

The world could only sit and watch last week as two men seemed to play with the fate of humanity, on the flawed assumption that Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un had the collective best interests of all at heart. Trump has shown the dangers of placing millions of lives in the hands of a couple of fragile men. In this month alone, he torpedoed the successful Iran nuclear deal and all but the best hope of North Korea engaging in direct diplomacy as a means to denuclearise. He threatened mass murder of millions of innocent civilians while pulling out of the upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un for reasons of hurt feelings and strong language. But that is the lie nuclear states have been telling us for 70 years. Mankind is safest living a breath away from annihilation because there are "good guys" with a nuclear weapon (Trump), who will discourage 'bad guys' from ever wanting them (Kim). Sounds familiar? In reality, the greatest threat we face is the existence of nuclear weapons. South Korean President Moon Jae-in lives within the range of conventional weapons permanently aimed at Seoul that can be launched even before the US nuclear weapons destroy the North Korean regime. Knowing this, his worst nightmare came true this year with Trump's war of words that pushed all to the brink of nuclear destruction. His solution? Careful diplomacy with the North on one hand, and gentle ego stroking of Trump on the other. And, imagine, Trump is hoping for the Nobel prize for Peace! North Korea, largely in a symbolic gesture, put on a show by blowing up their nuclear test site. Trump responded by blowing up the peace process. All of this goes to show no one can rely on these piecemeal agreements to guarantee world safety. Men with fragile egos should not have the world's faith placed in them to solve these existential crises. There is a solution. These weapons are now prohibited by treaty and it is a matter of getting every state on board. Last year, 122 nations adopted the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the UN, and it is well on its way to becoming international law. Quite simply, the possession of nuclear weapons by anyone is a grave humanitarian threat that cannot be countenanced. There is still hope for the Koreas. Trump has accused others of clinging to a magical vision of a nuclear-free world. There is a legitimate path forward to denuclearisation for all using a multilateral treaty that cannot be torn up if someone's feelings are hurt. At a time when peace is at such a premium, this is the only solution to ensure mankind does not become extinct.
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