Fears of Radiation Leak Soar After North Korea Nuclear Site Collapse Kills 200

The disaster is believed to have resulted from Pyongyang’s hydrogen bomb test, which sparked earthquakes and landslides.

(COMMONDREAMS— Experts are issuing urgent warnings of a possible radiation leak following the collapse of a tunnel at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site, an accident that reportedly killed at least 200 people.

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“Should [the Punggye-ri site] sink, there is a possibility” that hazardous radioactive gas could be released into the atmosphere, warned South Korea weather agency chief Nam Jae-cheol during a parliamentary meeting on Monday, ahead of reports of the incident.

The tunnel’s collapse, first reported by the Japanese outlet TV Asahi on Tuesday, is presumed to have occurred as a result of the destabilization caused by Pyongyang’s powerful hydrogen bomb test last month.

The Telegraph, citing South Korean news agency Yonhap, reported that the original incident took place on Oct. 10 though it remains unclear exactly when the secondary collapse may have occurred.

Business Insider‘s Alex Lockie reports that according to North Korean sources, the tunnel initially “collapsed on 100 workers, and an additional 100 went in to rescue them, only to die themselves under the unstable mountain.”

Lockie continued:

The tunnels in and out of the test site had been damaged previously, and the workers may have been clearing or repairing the tunnels to resume nuclear testing. Additionally, with the test site compromised, hazardous radioactive material left over from the blast may seep out, which could possibly cause an international incident.

If the debris from the test reaches China, Beijing would see that as an attack on its country, Jenny Town, the assistant director of the U.S.-Korea Institute and a managing editor at 38 North, previously told Business Insider.

Reports of the deadly accident come on the heels of an analysis by the Washington Post suggesting that North Korea’s nuclear tests may have become “so big that they have altered the geological structure of the land.”

“Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 7,200-foot-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from ‘tired mountain syndrome,'” the Post noted. “The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not known for natural seismic activity, has had three more quakes.”

By Jake Johnson / Creative Commons / Common Dreams / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

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  • jello beyonce

    Weird that the “Anti Media” is so reliant on the msm as the source of many so many of their stories.

    I’m reading the msm, and this supposed “collapse” reportedly occurred back on Sept 3, 2017…yet is just being mass reported now? Plus, sources, such as Anti Media, are making it sound as if another collapse just occurred recently…yet I’m not finding that info in any of the original sources.

    Not to mention the fact that the casualty and damage reports are coming primarily from S. Korea and Japan….two of the Norths most hated neighbors.

    So first we had warnings that the N Korean tunnels may collapse, with future testing, now we have oddly delayed reports stating they have already collapsed.

    We seem to be missing some independent/objective analysis and facts here.
    I’m suspicious of these reports.

    “I only mention it in order to say: believe nothing, or next to nothing, of what you read about internal affairs on the Government side…..”

    “…It is all, from whatever source, party propaganda — that is to say, lies ………… I remember saying once to Arthur Koestler, ‘History stopped in 1936’, at which he nodded in immediate understanding. We were both thinking of totalitarianism in general, but more particularly of the Spanish civil war. Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie.”
    George Orwell – Looking Back on the Spanish War

    “The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.”

    “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”

    “As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.”
    -Thomas Jeffeson-