UPDATED : Saturday, 28 October, 2017, 10:25am
Researchers brief Pyongyang delegation on Beijing’s concerns over facility close to their border
Chinese geologists have warned their North Korean counterparts of a potential catastrophic collapse of a North Korean underground nuclear test site on China’s doorstep.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Geology and Geophysics briefed a North Korean delegation in Beijing late last month on the threat of an implosion at the mountainous Punggye-ri nuclear facility, about 80km from China’s border.A day after North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb at the Punggye-ri facility on September 3, a senior Chinese nuclear scientist warned that future tests at the facility could blow the top off the mountain, causing a massive collapse. The scientist said radioactive waste could bleed from cracks or holes at the site and be blown across the border.Two days after the briefing in Beijing, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho announced suddenly at the United Nations in New York that Pyongyang might consider detonating a “most powerful” hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.That prospect was underscored on Wednesday by another senior North Korean diplomat, Ri Yong-pil, who told US news service CNN that the foreign minister’s words “should be taken literally”....