Nuclear annihilation of the world is just a "tiny tantrum" away, warned this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
Although, Fihn didn't call out anyone specifically, she left little room for doubt as to whom she was referring when she said, "A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities.”
She was obviously addressing the escalating war rhetoric between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-ui, which descended into personal insults several times this year. For example, Trump called Kim “short and fat” and Kim billed Trump a "dotard."
While the insults made for viral headlines, the spat, as childish as it may have seemed, was disconcerting nevertheless, for one simple reason: Grown-up men, that too leaders of nuclear-armed nations, should not be throwing such temper tantrums since there are lives of people at stake.
Eventually the seemingly entertaining insults spiraled into a full-fledged war threat on Sept. 19, when Trump gave his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly and threatened to obliterate 25.4 million North Koreans.
Granted, the North Korean dictator has issued multiple threats to nuke countries over the past couple of years, but when the president of the U.S., with access to nuclear codes, does the same thing, it's another matter entirely.
It's almost as if the fates of millions of people are at the mercy of a the whims of petulant men — and Fihn pointed this out in her speech.
“The risk for nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War. But unlike the Cold War, today we face many more nuclear armed states, terrorists and cyber warfare,” she said. “A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities.”
ICAN is a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It has worked toward a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters