North Korean Nuclear Test Site Has Collapsed, Explaining Kim’s “Suspension” Of Further Tests

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Wed, 04/25/2018

It finally happened.

Six months after a group of Chinese scientists warned that the North Korean Punggye-ri nuclear test site was on the verge of collapse, and following reports from Japan’s Asahi TV that more than 200 North Koreans had died when a tunnel collapsed at the test site, the South China Morning Post reported today that North Korea’s mountain nuclear test site has completely collapsed, putting China and other nearby nations at unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure, two separate groups of Chinese scientists studying the issue have confirmed.

The collapse also likely explains the sudden willingness of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to declare last Friday that he would freeze the state’s nuclear and missile tests and shut down the site, a researcher cited by the SCMP said.

At least five of North Korea’s last six nuclear tests all took place under Mount Mantap at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea’s northwest; in the process they unleashed artificial earthquakes and destabilized the mountain to the point of no return.

According to the SCMP report, a group of researchers found that the most recent blast tore open a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed upon itself. A second group concluded that the breakdown created a “chimney” that could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone below to rise into the air.

A research team led by Wen Lianxing, a geologist with the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, concluded that the collapse occurred following the detonation last autumn of North Korea’s most powerful thermal nuclear warhead in a tunnel about 700 metres (2,296 feet) below the mountain’s peak. The test turned the mountain into fragile fragments, the researchers found.

The mountain’s collapse, and the prospect of radioactive exposure in the aftermath, confirms a series of exclusive reports by the South China Morning Post on China’s fears that Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test had caused a fallout leak. The scientists warned that radioactive dust could escape through holes or cracks in the damaged mountain.

“It is necessary to continue monitoring possible leaks of radioactive materials caused by the collapse incident,” Wen’s team said in the statement.

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