• Local cardiologist meeting with North Korean diplomats ahead of summit

    Updated:

    A local cardiologist who has advocated against nuclear weapons has been meeting with North Korean diplomats ahead of the summit with President Donald Trump.

    Dr. Jim Muller says he considers nuclear weapons to be the biggest health risk to the world population. 

    In the same way he works to prevent heart attacks, he's hoping to prevent a nuclear war.

    "I unfortunately live with the nuclear holocaust kind of in my brain," Muller said.

    The Newton native co-founded the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and traveled to Russia during the Cold War to meet with Soviet doctors and diplomats.

    The group's work won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

    "We found some common ground that helped us out of the nuclear dilemma," Muller said.

    Now, Muller hopes to do it again with North Korea.

    Since December, Muller has meet with the North Korean ambassador five times, using his profession to describe the potential impact of nuclear weapons.

    "People think they might be safe underground," Muller said. "They’ll reach millions of degrees of temperature, people will be cremated in the subways, they’ll be asphyxiated. There will be hundreds of thousands of crush injuries, radiation injuries, burn injuries."

    Muller said he's hopeful Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore will lead to both nations agreeing to eventually denuclearize.

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    "Sooner of later, humanity has to eliminate nuclear weapons," Muller said. "Or, nuclear weapons are going to eliminate humanity."

    Muller has been invited to speak in Pyongyang later this year, and hopes at least North Korea will have ended their nuclear program by then.

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