"This Is A Big Problem" - North Korea Nuclear Test Site Headed For A Devastating Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture

A group of Chinese scientists have joined their North American peers in warning that North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear site could be on the verge of a dangerous collapse that could send a dangerous bloom of radiation floating over the border into Northern China.

As we’ve previously reported, China has stepped up its radiation monitoring on the border after detecting unsettling seismic activity surrounding the test site. Two weeks ago, a team of American scientists warned that the mountain above Pyungge-ri appeared to be suffering from “tired mountain syndrome” - a phenomenon commonly observed around Soviet Nuclear test sites.

And now in an effort to dissuade the North from carrying out another potentially destabilizing test, the South China Morning Post is reporting that a team of Chinese geologists warned their North Korean counterparts of a potentially catastrophic collapse of an underground nuclear test site on China’s doorstep during a briefing in Beijing last month.

A day after North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb at the Punggye-ri facility on Sept. 3, a senior Chinese nuclear scientist warned North Korea that future tests could blow the top off the mountain, causing a massive collapse with radiation bleeding from cracks or holes in the mountainside.

Meanwhile, a researcher studying the radioactive risk from the North Korean nuclear programme at Peking University said China could no longer tolerate another land-based explosion.

“China cannot sit and wait until the site implodes. Our instruments can detect nuclear fallout when it arrives, but it will be too late by then. There will be public panic and anger at the government for not taking action,” the researcher said.

“Maybe the North Koreans themselves have realised that the site cannot take another blow. If they still want to do it, they have to do it somewhere else.”

This could be one reason why the North hasn’t moved forward with another test, like it has repeatedly threatened to do, since then, even as North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho announced at the United Nations that Pyongyang might consider detonating a “most powerful” hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

The Sept. 20 briefing covered a range of issues but North Korea’s nuclear tests topped the concerns for the Chinese government, according to Zhai Mingguo, a senior Chinese geologist who helped organise the meeting.

“This is a big, sophisticated problem requiring multiple, systematic approaches. Our [meeting] is only a part of [the efforts],” he said.

The North Korea delegation was headed by Lee Doh-sik, director of the Geological Research Institute at the State Academy of Sciences.

“He is a top government geologist in North Korea, but he is not involved in the nuclear weapons programme,” said Professor Peng Peng, one of the Chinese geologists who met the delegation.

The atmosphere was reserved but friendly, according to several scientists who attended the meeting.

North Korea has conducted five of the six nuclear tests it has carried out since 2006 at Punggye-ri. The most recent blast set off low level tremors and dangerous landslides that alarmed scientists observing the site.

Should the mountain collapse, the radiation released could threaten the entire hemisphere. It could even become a global threat.

“The fallout can spread to an entire hemisphere,” said Lan Xiaoqing, an associate researcher at the Centre for Monsoon System Research at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Beijing.

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MozartIII's picture

Wonderful neighbor to have. Free weenie roast compliments of N Korea.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

So, as usual, I am confused. An above ground test is preferable to another below ground test at the same location?

Escrava Isaura's picture

How is this for confusion?

"This Is A Big Problem" - North Korea Nuclear Test Site Headed For A Devastating Collapse

No, it’s not.

“Make America Great Again” - …………………………….. …. Headed For A Devastating Collapse

Now, that’s a problem for the whole world.


thatthingcanfly's picture

Did somebody spike your orange juice with fentanyl this morning?

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

I'm certainly running in circles screaming with my arms over my head. All is good now.

Thnaks Dear Leader Obama!

Billy the Poet's picture

This is all just making a molehill out of a mountain.

Txpl9421's picture

They want everything the Japanese have.

SafelyGraze's picture

this is why test should be conducted in the ocean

bikini atoll 

Automatic Choke's picture

NK out of remote land for nuke tests?    Perhaps we can rent them some space here in Nevada?


el.kabong's picture

Yea, because we haven't fucked with the oceans enough....

Fish Gone Bad's picture

So wait, radiation is harmful?  Nothing like planned stupidity.

skbull44's picture

At least their tests are underground. How many above ground tests were conducted by the various nuclear powers??


knukles's picture

now that is seriously funny   kudos

Billy the Poet's picture

It was a choice between that and a Brokeback Mountain joke. I decide to keep it classy.

robertsgt40's picture

Maybe in hindsight, Clinton/Rumsfeld shouldn't have sold nuclear reactors to N Korea over 20yrs ago.  Nah, that can't be it.

SDShack's picture

They had to do it... for the children...

tmosley's picture

All communists will die in the coming holocaust.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Too simplistic abstract view. Wish communism was the real, and only problem, because we could easily fix it. However, our reality if beyond abstracted views.

Jeremy Grantham: We’re Headed For A Disaster Of Biblical Proportions. Most of Us Are Going To Starve To Death.


Sanity Bear's picture



Old Dawg's picture

WE need you to publish the history of your education. Need to make sure it's never repeated.

Boubou's picture

If Christ was poitical he would undoubtably have been a communist. Y'know, give to the poor, the sick,the needy and fuck the money changers and merchants.

BrownCoat's picture

Uhhmmm, no. You got it very wrong. 

You were probably brought up in an Atheistic country, so your ignorance is understandable.

BrownCoat's picture

I'm no expert, but here goes....

First, pretend that you do NOT belong to a collective. Imagine you are an individual.

Christian philosophy is concerned with individual salvation. So most of Christ's teachings have to do with inner change. "Turn the other cheek," means your cheek not the group's collective cheek. Likewise, stuff like feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick all involve actions of individuals.

Christ Jesus never said plead with Ceasar to collect taxes to feed the poor. He never told a follower to make someone else act morally, however, he did admonish many to act themselves.  It is easy to say "I gave at the office." It is much harder to do it yourself.

So Communism (and governments in general) say they will solve social problems; which never seem to get entirely fixed. That frees up people to frolic in hedonism because someone else is working to help others. OTOH, a life of service to the poor can be spiritually enriching for the individual (although often times physically dangerous).

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

Communism is all about the rulers getting rich at the expense of the poor, sick, needy, moneychangers and merchants

kbohip's picture

"Excrement Ensured" living up to his name again.

the cork's picture

Hey butt-wipe - up your libturd ass.

You're fucked for another 7 years.

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha --------- Kum-bay-ya motherfucker!

jmcwala's picture

In case any of you were wondering, Escrava Isaura is a 1970's Brazilian telenovela meaning "slave Isaura"

shovelhead's picture


Those S. Hemisphere types are into that Voodoo and Santaria shit. He's probably making a wax doll as we speak.


MozartIII's picture

Because it N Korea. That makes all the difference!

Utopia Planitia's picture

Sure. The results are far eaiser to evaluate with an above ground test and Kim Young-Un can more easily boast his prowess!

thatthingcanfly's picture

Ri Yong-ho, Lee Doh-Sik, and Peng Peng walk into a bar...

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

A great way to save face............... No more nuke tests because... China has orchestrated this whole thing.

waspwench's picture

That occurred to me too.  

The Chinese tell NK the tests have to stop, but they give Kim an out so it just looks as if he is acting responsibly (for a change.)

Smart those Chinese.

KJWqonfo7's picture

Sometimes you take ANY win!

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

There must be some endangered frogs or daisies near there. It would be horrible if anything happened to them. And think of the CO2!

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Its nuclear. Its "greeeeeeen". The "save the planet" rock worshipers love neutrons. None of that nasty CO2 vital to the life cycle of carbon based units.

Dragon HAwk's picture

What good is a Nuclear Blast if it can't level One little Mountain, geeze time to upgrade to something bigger

cynicalskeptic's picture

well.... the Pacific is dying because of Fukushima...... ocean life die offs have been precipitous with sea birds and large sea mammals dying of starvation

Radiation monitors for air and land in North America seem to have been shut down rather than risk reporting high levels of airborne radiation.


How much worse could a North Korean test disaster make things?



Xena fobe's picture

Sea life was dying off before Fukushima due to overfishing. 

BrownCoat's picture

And Third World dumping... including PRC, India and many more.