U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning the world’s leaders that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War and “fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings.”
In his first state-of-the-world report since taking the reins of the United Nations on Jan. 1, Guterres put “nuclear peril” as the leading threat, warning that “we must not sleepwalk our way into war.”
The U.N. chief told Tuesday’s opening of the General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting that millions are living in fear “under a shadow of dread cast by the provocative nuclear and missile tests” of North Korea.
His message on “fiery” rhetoric was implicitly directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but also at the United States and President Donald Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea does not back down.
Guterres said a solution to the North Korea nuclear threat must be political and stressed to leaders: “This is a time for statesmanship.”