Obama becomes 1st US pres. to visit Hiroshima

US President Barack Obama in Hiroshima
US President Barack Obama in Hiroshima

TOKYO, May 27 (KUNA) — US President Barack Obama on Friday made a landmark visit to the atomic-bombed Hiroshima city in western Japan, where the US dropped the world’s first atomic bomb in 1945.
Obama became the first incumbent American president to visit the Peace Memorial Park that honors atomic bomb victims. He visited the site with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following the two-day Group of Seven (G-7) summit, which concluded in central Japan earlier in the day.
Obama visited the Peace Memorial Museum before laying a wreath at a cenotaph in the park for the victims.
“Seventy one years ago on a bright cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” Obama said in his speech at a ceremony, which was also attended by bomb survivors. “A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city, and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself. We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We listen to a silent cry,” the President said.
Obama did not apologize; instead, he sought nuclear disarmament and moral progress alongside scientific advancements. “The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well,” Obama said. After the ceremony, the President also exchanged words with survivors and embraced one of them with emotion.
The President called for a world without nuclear weapons in his speech in Prague and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Japan is the only country to have ever experienced the horror of nuclear devastations in war. Hiroshima was devastated by a US atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. American forces dropped the second atomic bomb on the southern city of Nagasaki on August 9, causing another 74,000 deaths. The nation surrendered six days later, bringing an end to World War II. (end) mk.hb

US President Barack Obama and atomic bomb survivor
US President Barack Obama and atomic bomb survivor
US President Barack Obama and atomic bomb survivor
US President Barack Obama and atomic bomb survivor
US President Barack Obama in Hiroshima
US President Barack Obama in Hiroshima
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