Hiroshima expresses anger in wake of North Korean missile launch

by Michiko Tanaka and Takuya Murata, Staff Writers

Following North Korea’s launch of a de facto long-range ballistic missile on December 12, voices in Hiroshima were raised in anger, calling the launch “an act of violence in defiance of the international community.” The fact that Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test after launching missiles in both 2006 and 2009 now stirs fears of further nuclear development efforts in that nation.

“This is an act of defiance against the U.N. Security Council resolution,” said Sunao Tsuboi, 87, chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations. Mr. Tsuboi, a resident of Nishi Ward, added, “Another nuclear test should not be pursued. North Korea should return to international negotiations.”

“North Korea has turned a deaf ear to the international community’s calls for stopping the launch. I urge the country to give up its development of nuclear weapons,” said Yukio Yoshioka, 83, a resident of Minami Ward and vice chairman of the other faction of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, chaired by Kazushi Kaneko.

In his response to the launch, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui criticized North Korea, saying, “The missile launch runs counter to Hiroshima’s wish for promoting peace in the world and the global effort to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki commented, too, stating, “This act threatens the peace and stability of East Asia. All the nations concerned must work together to persuade North Korea to end its missile launches.”

(Originally published on December 13, 2012)