Nobel Peace Prize winners issue warning about Trump

'A lot of people feel very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorise the use of nuclear weapons'

Tom Batchelor
Friday 06 October 2017 14:12 BST
The Nobel Peace prize is given to ICAN

The nuclear disarmament group awarded 2017’s Nobel Peace Prize has issued a warning about Donald Trump and his supervision of America’s nuclear arsenal.

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons – or Ican – said Mr Trump’s election put a spotlight on the risks of nuclear weapons and warned that the US President appeared to be ignoring expert opinion around their use.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday that Ican was to be awarded the honour for its work “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.

​Ican helped lobby for the the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by 122 countries and banned states from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, or stockpiling nuclear weapons.

Responding to the award, Ican's executive director, Beatrice Fihn, said Mr Trump's election "has made a lot of people feel very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorise the use of nuclear weapons".

His presidency “puts a spotlight” on the dangers of nuclear weapons, she said, adding that the commander-in-chief appeared to have a track record of “not listening to expertise”.

At a news conference after the prize was announced, Ms Fihn was also asked about a tweet sent two days earlier calling Mr Trump a "moron".

She said she was trying to make a joke, "which I kind of regret now", following reports that US secretary of state Rex Tillerson had said the same of the President.

Heightened tensions between the US and North Korea have resulted in an increasingly bitter war of words between the countries' two leaders, with Mr Trump threatening to "totally destroy" the hermit state, having earlier promised "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

Referring to Kim Jong-un as "rocket man", the US President said America was “ready, willing and able” to take military action.

With the standoff between Pyongyang and Washington worsening, the Nobel committee said Ican’s efforts to “stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons” were more vital than ever.

"Risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time," the committee said.

"Some states are modernising their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea."

Ican responded that the "spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more".

“If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now," the group said.

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