World is at the brink of nuclear war – Pope warns

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Pope Francis on Monday noted that the world is one step away from nuclear war, adding that the situation risks “precipitating”.

The Catholic pontiff stated as he set off on a trip to Chile and Peru. He is expected to arrive in the capital Santiago de Chile late on Monday, and to travel on Thursday to neighbouring Peru, where an earthquake killed one person and injured dozens on Sunday.

“Yes, I am really afraid. We are on the brink. We only need an accident to trigger war,” Francis said in in-flight comments to reporters.

“If we go on like this, the situation risks precipitating. So, we need to destroy the weapons and to strive for nuclear disarmament,” ANSA reports him as saying.

The pope’s appeal came as North and South Korea held working-level talks on Monday, raising hopes that months of rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes may be easing.

Francis had on January 10 stated that the global community must “support every effort at dialogue” with North Korea.

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