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US envoy to UN visits Nagasaki A-bomb museum, pays tribute to victims

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US envoy to UN visits Nagasaki A-bomb museum, pays tribute to victims
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US envoy to UN visits Nagasaki A-bomb museum, pays tribute to victims

2024-04-19 20:20 Last Updated At:20:31

TOKYO (AP) — The American envoy to the United Nations called Friday for countries armed with atomic weapons to pursue nuclear disarmament as she visited the atomic bomb museum in Nagasaki, Japan.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who became the first U.S. cabinet member to visit Nagasaki, stressed the importance of dialogue and diplomacy amid a growing nuclear threat in the region.

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U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

TOKYO (AP) — The American envoy to the United Nations called Friday for countries armed with atomic weapons to pursue nuclear disarmament as she visited the atomic bomb museum in Nagasaki, Japan.

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, speaks to Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, second right, as they wait for a meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, speaks to Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, second right, as they wait for a meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, right, walk to meet Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, right, walk to meet Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, talk prior to a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, talk prior to a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, prepare to talk during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, prepare to talk during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

“We must continue to work together to create an environment for nuclear disarmament. We must continue to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in every corner of the world,” she said after a tour of the atomic bomb museum.

“For those of us who already have those weapons, we must pursue arms control. We can and must work to ensure that Nagasaki is the last place to ever experience the horror of nuclear weapons,” she added, standing in front of colorful hanging origami cranes, a symbol of peace.

The United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. A second attack three days later on Nagasaki killed 70,000 more people. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and its nearly half-century of aggression in Asia.

Nagasaki Gov. Kengo Oishi said in a statement that he believed Thomas-Greenfield's visit and her first-person experience at the museum “will be a strong message in promoting momentum of nuclear disarmament for the international society at a time the world faces a severe environment surrounding atomic weapons.”

Oishi said he conveyed to the ambassador the increasingly important role of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in emphasizing the need of nuclear disarmament.

Thomas-Greenfield's visit to Japan comes on the heels of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official visit to the United States last week and is aimed at deepening Washington's trilateral ties with Tokyo and Seoul. During her visit to South Korea earlier this week, she held talks with South Korean officials, met with defectors from North Korea and visited the demilitarized zone.

The ambassador said the United States is looking into setting up a new mechanism for monitoring North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Russia and China have thwarted U.S.-led efforts to step up U.N. sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile testing since 2022, underscoring a deepening divide between permanent Security Council members over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

She said it would be “optimal” to launch the new system next month, though it is uncertain if that is possible.

The U.N. Security Council established a committee to monitor sanctions, and the mandate for its panel of experts to investigate violations had been renewed for 14 years until last month, when Russia vetoed another renewal.

In its most recent report, the panel of experts said it is investigating 58 suspected North Korean cyberattacks between 2017 and 2023 valued at approximately $3 billion, with the money reportedly being used to help fund its weapons development.

The United States, Japan and South Korea have been deepening security ties amid growing tension in the region from North Korea and China.

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, speaks to Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, second right, as they wait for a meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, right, speaks to Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, second right, as they wait for a meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, right, walk to meet Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, right, walk to meet Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, talk prior to a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, talk prior to a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, prepare to talk during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, prepare to talk during a meeting Friday, April 19, 2024, at prime minister's office in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)

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Hawaii residents fined $20K after Hawaiian monk seal pup mauled by unleashed dogs

2024-06-21 11:25 Last Updated At:11:30

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii residents were fined $20,000 for their alleged roles in the fatal mauling of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup by unleashed dogs, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Hawaiian monk seals are a critically endangered species. Only 1,600 remain in the wild. The loss of a female is a particularly hard blow to conservation efforts because she could have grown up to give birth to pups of her own.

A necropsy by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found the pup known as PO7 suffered puncture wounds consistent with dog bites and hemorrhaging consistent with being shaken by a dog.

NOAA's Office of General Counsel issued the fine on June 11, which didn't say how the two individuals were allegedly connected to the unleashed dogs.

Stefanie Gutierrez, a spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries, said further details were unavailable because “enforcement proceedings were ongoing.” The accused were fined $20,000 jointly.

The pup was born to a seal known as RN58 or Luana. She was seen with her mother for the first time on May 23 on Oahu's North Shore and reported to be a dog attack victim that same evening.

Those fined have the right to challenge the penalty and request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said one of the two individuals was a state parks employee who wasn't on duty. She reported the pup death to her agency, department spokesperson Dan Dennison said.

The department has started its own investigation into potential violations of state and county laws, he said.

Phone numbers for the accused could not immediately be found.

FILE - A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup are seen on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu on June 29, 2017. U.S. officials on Thursday, June 20, 2024, said they fined two Hawaii residents $20,000 for their alleged roles in the fatal mauling of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup by unleashed dogs. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

FILE - A Hawaiian monk seal and her newborn pup are seen on a Waikiki beach in Honolulu on June 29, 2017. U.S. officials on Thursday, June 20, 2024, said they fined two Hawaii residents $20,000 for their alleged roles in the fatal mauling of a female Hawaiian monk seal pup by unleashed dogs. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

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