Survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki expressed dismay after the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement over the North's denuclearization.
Toshiyuki Mimaki, 76, of Hiroshima in western Japan who serves as representative director of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, said, "For North Korea, nuclear weapons are the last stronghold in engaging in dialogue with the United States, so I had thought the North would not relinquish them easily. But I was disappointed (at the breakup of the summit) as I had thought there would be some kind of agreement."
Mimaki, who survived the Aug. 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima himself, nevertheless raised hopes for future talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
"As long as nuclear weapons exist, we never know when they will be put to use. If those weapons were used, the world would be over," he said, displaying concerns about recent military tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers.
In Nagasaki in southwestern Japan, Masao Tomonaga, 75, honorary director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Genbaku Hospital, commented, "I assume the U.S. offered conditions by presenting detailed processes toward denuclearization. North Korea may have not been able to accept them as it entered the negotiations without being prepared for such conditions."
A survivor of the Aug. 9, 1945 Nagasaki atomic bombing himself, Tomonaga added, "I believe the U.S. and North Korea will promote dialogue without seeking to reach a hasty conclusion."
(Japanese original by Shun Teraoka, Hiroshima Bureau; and Shotaro Asano and Yuki Imano, Nagasaki Bureau)