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Nuclear powers should lead world toward a mood for disarmament

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The world’s efforts to build a future without nuclear weapons are now at a critical juncture. Strong countervailing winds are blowing against the long-established international framework for promoting nuclear arms reductions through international treaties.

The core of this framework is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a landmark international treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear arms. A meeting was recently held at the United Nations headquarters to prepare for the 2020 review conference of the treaty, which will mark the 50th anniversary of its enforcement.

But the meeting failed to work out a draft text to be used in discussions for the review conference as the rift between the nuclear powers and countries without nuclear arms remains as wide as ever.

The leaders of the United States and Russia, which together account for more than 90 percent of all the nuclear arms on Earth, have even shown their ambitions to beef up their countries’ nuclear arsenals.

The foreign ministers of the two countries held talks on May 14 without making any notable progress for the promotion of nuclear disarmament. They only referred to the establishment of a working group on........

© The Asahi Shimbun