Collapse at North Korea nuclear test site leaves 200 dead
200 North Korean labourers have been killed after a mine shaft being dug at the regime’s nuclear test site collapsed, according to Japan’s Asahi TV.
It was reported earlier this year that the mountain under which the base is believed to be hidden was at risk of collapsing and leaking radiation into the region. An additional 100 labourers sent to rescue their colleagues were reportedly killed when the tunnel suffered a second collapse.
The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, which was recorded as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Since then, the area, which is not known for natural seismic activity, has had three more quakes. Chinese scientists have warned that if the whole mountain collapsed, radiation could escape and drift across the region.
Experts said if the peak crumbles, clouds of radioactive dust and gas would blanket the region, the South China Morning Post reported.
Experts have said a series of tremors and landslides near the nuclear test base probably mean the country’s sixth and largest blast on Sept. 3 has destabilized the region, and the Punggye-ri nuclear site may not be used for much longer to test nuclear weapons.