Asher Klein

North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site Could Be Unstable: Experts

"If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution"

The area around North Korea's nuclear test base may be destabilized after recent tremors and landslides, Reuters reported, and experts say it may not be used for tests much longer.

A small, magnitude 2.7 tremor took place near the Punggye-ri nuclear site, according to South Korea's weather agency, and it did not appear to be man-made, like two others since Pyongyang's powerful Sept. 3 nuclear test. That test was measured with a magnitude of 6.3.

"The explosion from the Sept. 3 test had such power that the existing tunnels within the underground testing site might have caved in," said Kim So-gu, head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute. "I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated. If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution."

A Washington-based monitor of North Korea has also detected numerous landslides throughout the site, more than after any previous test.

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