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UN chief sounds nuclear warning to mark Nagasaki bombing

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Millions still live in fear of nuclear war with many countries ramping up their atomic arsenals, the of the warned today, marking the anniversary of the bombing.

Antonio Guterres, the first sitting UN to attend ceremonies honouring those who died in the bombing, said that even 73 years later, there was still a "shadow cast by the dread of unthinkable carnage.

"Nuclear-armed states are spending "vast sums" to modernise their arsenals and "disarmament processes have slowed and even come to a halt," noted Guterres.

"There is an urgent need for disarmament of all kinds, but especially nuclear disarmament," stressed the

The US dropped the first atomic bomb on on August 6, 1945, killing around 140,000 people. The toll includes those who survived the explosion itself but died soon after from severe exposure.

Three days later, the US dropped a plutonium bomb on the port city of Nagasaki, killing some 74,000 people.

announced its surrender in World War II on August 15, 1945.

Today in Nagasaki, crowds flocked to pray and pay their respects at the 10-metre (33-foot) high peace statue.

Guterres and Japanese laid wreaths to honour the dead and family members carrying buckets of water to purify altars bowed in memory of their loved ones.

The ceremony came amid lingering worries over North Korea's nuclear threat and in a year when has pledged to bolster the US arsenal.

of Tomihisa Taue also issued a passionate call for denuclearisation.

"To the great concern of those in the atomic-bombed cities, a shift towards openly asserting that are necessary and that their use could lead to increased military might is once again on the rise," Taue said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 13:40 IST