What we know about North Korea’s secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site

0
15


Sky News is the only British broadcaster invited to North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear site as it is dismantled.

It is in mountainous terrain in the north east of the country and it is thought to be the North’s main nuclear testing facility.

:: Sky News reports live from North Korea ahead of nuclear site demolition

Since 2006, the Pyongyang regime has conducted six nuclear tests and all of them have been in tunnels dug below Mount Mantap, close to Punggye-ri.

The most recent was carried out on 3 September last year and caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Seismic data suggested the explosion was as high as 250 kilotons, almost 17 times as big as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in Japan at the end of the Second World War.

Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea What we know about North Korea's secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site What we know about North Korea’s secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site skynews punggye ri nuclear 4317417
Image:
Part of the test site seen on 20 April
Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea  What we know about North Korea's secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site What we know about North Korea’s secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site skynews punggye ri nuclear 4317415
Image:
Changes seen by 7 May were consistent with it being dismantled, experts say

In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced his country would suspend nuclear and missile tests, as well as closing Punggye-ri.

But some scientists have said that the site may have been rendered useless months ago anyway.

It is thought that the site partially collapsed after the September test.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, scientists found the blast tore a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed on itself.

A second group concluded that the breakdown created a “chimney” that could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone to rise into the air.

Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea What we know about North Korea's secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site What we know about North Korea’s secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site skynews punggye ri nuclear 4317416
Image:
Another part of the nuclear test site seen on 20 April
Nuclear test site Punggye-ri on May 7 (1) What we know about North Korea's secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site What we know about North Korea’s secretive Punggye-ri nuclear site skynews punggye ri nuclear 4317414
Image:
The same part of the site seen on 7 May

In October, a Japanese news outlet reported that a tunnel being built at the site had collapsed and as many as 200 workers were dead.

And in December, two aftershocks were detected, raising concerns about the stability of the mountain.

It is difficult to know much about the site, with most information taken from satellite images and tracking the movement of equipment.

Analysts for 38 North, which watches North Korea closely, said on 14 May that several key buildings had been razed, some of the rails for mining carts had been removed, as had several small sheds and outbuildings.



Source link

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.