Re-Evaluating the Lessons of Hiroshima
Obama's visit inspires hope for a more holistic teaching of World War II

Shotaro Kodama, a survivor of Hiroshima bombing, speaks at the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee Discussion in Washington in 1997. (Roll Call file photo)

HIROSHIMA, Japan — President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima on Friday where he invoked the memory of “a flash of light and wall of fire” that destroyed the city during World War II.  

At a moving ceremony at the city’s Peace Memorial Park, Obama told an audience that included survivors of the 1945 atomic bombing that the tragic events of that fateful day should never be forgotten.  

Obama on North Korea's Nuclear Aims: 'Big Worry'
Kim's official media agency calls Obama a 'nuclear war lunatic'

File footage of North Korean missiles in April. (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama on Thursday warned that North Korea’s young leader is hell bent on developing a nuclear weapon , even as that country criticized his planned Friday visit to a site where the United States once dropped an atomic bomb.  

Obama called the mostly isolated country’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon a "big worry for all of us," even while saying U.S. officials believe “they’re not at a point right now that they can effectively hit U.S. targets.”  

Three Potential Missteps Awaiting Obama in Asia
Will president resist a non-apology apology in Hiroshima?

White House officials have insisted that President Barack Obama will not apologize for the World War II atomic bombings during his visit to Hiroshima. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama will be looking to further shape his legacy during a week long trek across Asia that will highlight a massive trade deal and military cooperation with allies.  

But as Obama presses the region's leaders to formalize a trade pact he wants as a cornerstone of his legacy and travels to a city where nearly 200,000 people were killed by an American nuclear bomb, the swing is rife with potential pitfalls.