Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi says the tension between North Korea and the United States of America has reached a critical point.
So much so the threats to explode nuclear weapons – including a hydrogen bomb – in the Pacific Ocean should be taken very seriously.
“It’s a critical matter,” he said.
“There is a threat to test a hydrogen bomb by the North Korea and an equally strong response from the United States of America. It may get to the point where there is no going back."
“So the concern is shared amongst the Pacific leaders."
“On top of that, these hydrogen bombs and its effect on the people and our environment, is critical. The issue at hand is that once they release the hydrogen bomb that is it."
“They have started the last World War and there is no going back. That might be the end of the world.”
The Prime Minister said Samoa couldn’t have endorsed the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons at a better time.
The treaty was signed in New York during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting.
“This is a call from all the Heads of Governments not to use any nuclear weapons, not only for war but also for testing. There is also the need to destroy these nuclear weapons,” said Tuilaepa.
The Treaty – adopted on 7 July this year at a U.N. conference in New York by a vote of 122 in favour to one against (Netherlands), with one abstention (Singapore) – prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons.
There are 42 United Nations member countries whom have signed the Treaty, with more expected. The Treaty will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries.
According to the Prime Minister, the war can start with the press of a button by either the President of North Korea or the President of the United States of America.
“But it appears that it’s more of just threats and I hope that it will not escalate,” he said.
In New York last week, Tuilaepa stated at the signing of the treaty will demonstrate Samoa’s unequivocally and the aspiration to have a world without nuclear weapons.
He told the United Nations General Assembly in his address.
“The conventional narrative that the possession of nuclear weapons will act as deterrent to make the world a safer place to live, is not borne out by the current realities otherwise the developments in the Korean peninsula would not have happened at all.”
Tuilaepa reiterated that Samoa firmly believe that possessing nuclear weapons and adding new nuclear powers only make our world less safe, less secure and less peaceful - hence the need to rid our world completely of all nuclear weapons.
“No matter the noble goal for having such arsenals, availing them to the wrong and unprincipled hands is a recipe for doom and mayhem, as people, after all, are human and mere mortals,” he continued.
“We cannot help but watch with trepidation and uneasiness the global dynamics nudging our world perilously close to a potential catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.”
“As small island Pacific countries, we are no longer protected by our isolation - we are bystanders but with the greatest to lose in the unfolding power drama being played out in the Korean Peninsula.”
“We pray for visionary leadership with sound moral judgment on both sides to ensure we give peace a chance,” said Tuilepa.