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Marshalls reminds UN of nuclear horror

NEW YORK (RNZI/Pacnews) —The Marshall Islands foreign minister has reminded the United Nations of the horrific consequences of nuclear testing.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly, John Silk called for greater global political resolve to eliminate the growing nuclear threat around the Korean peninsula.

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Marshall Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs John Silk speaks during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, at U.N. headquarters.  AP

He condemned recent nuclear tests because he said his nation knew the lasting impact of such actions first hand.

Silk recalled how some of the 67 nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. in the Marshalls between 1946 and 1958 were authorized by the U.N. itself.

“The consequences of this ignorance were and are beyond horrific. Our people and environment have suffered as no other people should. And these legacies, these legacy impacts, remain today as stark and present challenges.”

Silk said it remained his country’s firm hope that all nuclear-armed nations could garner the political will to disarm.

Silk welcomed a letter from the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres last month to the Pacific Islands Forum regarding the lasting impact of nuclear testing in Marshall Islands.

He said the secretary-general described finding a solution to the issue as “critical for the future of the Marshall Islands,” and assuring the Pacific country that relevant U.N. agencies were ready to assist.

Silk also supported those nations who were able to affirm the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and he was committed to a close and inclusive examination of his country’s own participation in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.