Guterres says world is plunging into a brand new nuclear arms race as North Korea accuses US of pushing it to the brink of warfare.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has warned of “humanitarian disaster of epic proportions” because of the geopolitical distrust and competitors that has made nuclear danger escalate to Chilly Conflict ranges.
“Any use of a nuclear weapon – anytime, anyplace and in any context – would unleash a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions,” he advised the UN General Assembly on the ultimate day of its yearly session on Tuesday as North Korea warned that the US was pushing it to the brink of warfare.
With an evolving nuclear order by which armed nations are increasing and modernising their arsenals, the UN chief referred to as on nations to strengthen their commitments to decreasing and, ultimately, eliminating nuclear weapons.
In a statement launched on the Worldwide Day for the Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Guterres reminded UN member states of the just lately launched coverage temporary on A New Agenda for Peace – which requires a recommitment to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
“On this vital Day, we re-affirm our dedication to a world freed from nuclear weapons and the humanitarian disaster their use would unleash,” Guterres mentioned within the assertion.
“This implies nuclear-weapon States main the best way by assembly their disarmament obligations, and committing to by no means use nuclear weapons underneath any circumstances.”
North Korea on ‘brink of nuclear warfare’
In the meantime, North Korea, in one of many final speeches of the week-long UN Basic Meeting debate, accused america of driving the peninsula “nearer to the brink of nuclear warfare” due to its tighter cooperation with South Korea.
Kim Track, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, pointed to the latest formation of the Nuclear Consultative Group, by means of which the US hopes to combine its nuclear capability higher with South Korea’s typical forces.
The 2 allies would improve info sharing and contingency planning, which Kim alleged was to execute a “preemptive nuclear strike” in opposition to North Korea.
“Because of its sycophantic and humiliating coverage of relying on exterior forces, the Korean peninsula is in a hair-trigger state of affairs with imminent hazard of nuclear warfare,” Kim mentioned.
An envoy from South Korea took the ground to object to the remarks.
“Do you actually consider, because the DPRK pretends, the Republic of Korea along with america conspires to impress a nuclear warfare on the Korean peninsula with out causes that may trigger catastrophic casualties,” he requested.
Hours earlier, South Korea staged its first military parade in a decade, with some 4,000 troops marching by means of a wet Seoul.
Yoon Suk-yeol, South Korea’s president, had earlier mentioned that “if North Korea makes use of nuclear weapons, its regime might be dropped at an finish by an amazing response from the ROK-US alliance”.
Rising nuclear arms
In June this yr, the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute reported that the world’s nuclear powers, and China particularly, elevated funding of their arsenals for a 3rd consecutive yr in 2022.
Whereas the overall variety of nuclear warheads held by Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and america had fallen by about 1.6 p.c to 12,512 over the earlier yr, SIPRI mentioned the declining development was on the cusp of a reversal.