Gorbachev hails Nobel prize for anti-nuke group


OSLO, Norway (AP) Developments on Friday, Oct. 6, about the Nobel Peace Prize (all times Central European Summer Time).

  • 2:50 p.m.

Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev hailed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a group campaigning against nuclear weapons, saying it reinforces the position that he and Ronald Reagan took at the Reykjavik summit a generation ago.

Gorbachev, who campaigned against nuclear weapons since leaving office in 1991, said he was “very worried that military doctrines again allow the use of nuclear weapons.”

“I would like to remind about a joint statement we signed with Ronald Reagan: A nuclear war can’t be won and must never be fought.,” he added.

Although the 1986 Reykjavik meeting collapsed at the last minute, it led to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty that banned all land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (310 and 3,410 miles).

  • 2:10 p.m.

“Donald Trump is a moron,” Beatrice Fihn tweeted two days before her organization won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or I.C.A.N., told a news conference after the prize announcement that she was trying to make a joke, “which I kind of regret now,” based on reports that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said the same of Trump.

“I think that the election of President Donald Trump has made a lot of people very uncomfortable with the fact that he alone can authorize the use of nuclear weapons,” she added.

  • 12:45 p.m.

European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini welcomed the awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to I.C.A.N.

“We share a strong commitment to achieving the objective of a world free from nuclear weapons,” Mogherini tweeted.

Two EU countries, France and Britain, are nuclear powers.

Mogherini and her predecessor, Catherine Ashton, were heavily involved in brokering a deal to contain Iran’s nuclear program.

  • 12:40 p.m.

In Japan, the only country to suffer an atomic bombing in the closing days of World War II, 2017’s Nobel Peace Prize resonated with many.

Sunao Tsuboi, 92, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, said he was overjoyed to hear of the award going to those who were also working toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

“As long as I live, I hope to work toward a realization of a world without nuclear weapons with I.C.A.N. and many other people,” he said.

Tsuboi, whose ear is partly missing and his face blotched with burn marks, is co-chair of the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations, or Hidankyo, and devoted his life to the fight to eradicate nuclear weapons.

Tsuboi said the weapon is designed simply to kill.

  • 11:50 a.m.

The director of the anti-nuclear campaign that won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize said “it sends a message to all nuclear-armed states and all states that continue to rely on nuclear weapons for security that it is unacceptable behavior.”

“We can’t threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security. That’s not how you build security.” Beatrice Fihn told reporters.

She said the group received a phone call minutes before the official announcement was made that I.C.A.N. won the prize. She thought it was “a prank” and she didn’t believe it until heard the name of the group during the Peace Prize announcement in Oslo.

  • 11:00 a.m.

Norwegian Nobel Committee officials honored the Geneva-based group “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.”

“Through its inspiring and innovative support for the U.N. negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, I.C.A.N. has played a major part in bringing about what in our day and age is equivalent to an international peace congress,”committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen read in a statement.

“What will not have an impact is being passive.” Reiss-Andersen explained when asked by journalists whether the prize was essentially symbolic, given that no international measures against nuclear weapons have been reached.

  • 7:00 a.m.

Norwegian committee officials that chose the Nobel Peace Prize winner sorted through more than 300 nominations for this year’s award, which recognizes both accomplishments and intentions.

The prize announcement came in the Norwegian capital Oslo, culminating a week in which Nobel laureates were named in medicine, physics, chemistry, and literature.

Norwegian Nobel Committee officials did not release names of those it considered for the prize, but they said 215 individuals and 103 organizations were nominated.

Observers saw the Syrian volunteer humanitarian organization White Helmets as a top contender, along with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini for shepherding the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.