TOKYO (Dispatches) -- Thursday marks 75 years since the United States unleashed the world’s first atomic bomb attack on the city of Hiroshima, followed three days later by the second and last on Nagasaki, vaporizing lives, buildings and Japan’s capacity for war.
The U.S. became – and remains – the only country in the world to detonate a nuclear weapon against a country.
At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 (2315 GMT, Aug. 5) 1945, U.S. B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed "Little Boy” and obliterated the southwestern city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 of an estimated population of 350,000, with thousands more dying later of injuries and radiation-related illness.
On Aug. 9, the United States dropped another bomb, dubbed "Fat Man”, about 420 kilometers (261 miles) to the south over Nagasaki, instantly killing more than 75,000 people beneath a mushroom cloud which grew as high as 9,000 meters (30,000 feet).
Three-quarters of a century later, the Trump administration has suspended compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Reagan administration-era initiative that slashed the number of midrange missiles held by the U.S. and Russia.
Trump has abandoned the Open Skies Treaty – negotiated by President George H.W. Bush after the collapse of the Soviet Union and designed to be a check on nuclear weapons by allowing surveillance flights over signatories’ territories.
Trump has also signaled he may not renew New START, the last
major U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control treaty, unless China also agrees to be bound by its constraints. Beijing has not committed either way. New START expires in February, just weeks after there’s a new, or renewed, U.S. president in the White House.
Marshall Billingslea, the top U.S. envoy for nuclear negotiations, has confirmed the Trump administration has discussed holding the first nuclear test since 1992.