Japanese diplomat leads UN nuclear debate

Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko chaired a meeting on nuclear disarmament on Monday at the United Nations Security Council.

Kamikawa shared ideas over a proposed framework for banning the production of materials that could be used in nuclear weapons. She expressed her concerns about how divided the international community has become over disarmament.

Kamikawa said Japanese diplomats want to bring their counterparts together to negotiate a proposal known as the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. She said the importance of banning the production of components such as uranium and plutonium is "indisputable."

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced her country would join the initiative. She criticized Russian and Chinese delegates for not engaging in arms control discussions. She said they are enabling what she called "dangerous proliferators" such as North Korea.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun dismissed the allegations as "groundless." He said the US should continue to fulfill its responsibility to further reduce its nuclear arsenal.

Russia's First Deputy Permanent Representative, Dmitry Polyanskiy, pointed out that the US bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said Russians, too, want to see a world without conflict. But, he said, at this stage, having nuclear weapons is important to "maintaining strategic balance."