Why nuclear weapons must be abolished

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The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of hundreds of NGOs from dozens of countries, puts in stark relief the irresponsibility of those states – including France – who base their security on dissuasion by terror. Mediapart’s publishing editor and co-founder Edwy Plenel argues that far from keeping the peace, nuclear weapons spread the risk of a terrible catastrophe, as the current Korean crisis shows.

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“The world is what it is, which is to say, nothing much. This is what everyone learned yesterday...” That is the start of the editorial in the daily newspaper Combat written by its editor Albert Camus for the edition published on August 8th, 1945. Two days earlier, on August 6th, an atomic bomb dropped from a US Air Force plane had destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima, wiping out at least 70,000 people. A day after the editorial, on August 9th, a second bomb fell on Nagasaki, killing at least 40,000 people. The American historian Howard Zimm estimates the total number of people killed was in fact at least 250,000.