"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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A. Boaty's picture

Conveniently timed for those who finished testing their nukes while NK takes the blame.

BrownCoat's picture

"for those who finished testing their nukes"

@ A. Boaty,

Those on the bleeding edge did not know what they were doing. They acted very stupidly (just like introducing GMO to the environment today).
We expect users of nuclear technology to learn from their predecessors. So the expectation bar is much higher today.

BTW, it was the United States that first created a nuclear reaction. The United States that first created a nuclear bomb. The United States that first developed a nuclear reactor for power generation. SO WHERE THE FUK ARE THE ROYALITIES?!!!!

Every other nation on earth should be pay'n Uncle Sam for the use of nuclear technologies!!!!

Donate Moar's picture

"The atmosphere was reserved but friendly,"

Not after this next nuke...

falconflight's picture

Considering the circumstances, a collapse would probably be the least negative outcome.

silverer's picture

They're going to ruin it for backpacking.

BrownCoat's picture

They're going to ruin it for the Iranians.

God was so smart, his nearest nuclear reactor is 93 million miles away from any school.

DaBard51's picture

Back when facts were important...




When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

Great contribution as usual from you, but . . . enough with the Yoda quote. We’ve all read it hundreds of times; at this point it’s passé.

At least get rid of the 10 blank lines.

falconflight's picture

The US hasn't exploded a nuclear device since 1992.  Don't know about the other nuclear powers.

red1chief's picture

Looks like the Chinese are caving to US pressure, but are hiding behind scientists to save face. We'll see how much critical thinking is left...

lakabarra's picture

Maybe, or I would say the Chinese are more practiacal and think war is bad for business and costs money.

Storm-Clouds's picture

The dead don’t care.....

Classic example of fake news......

stecha's picture

Regardless of what everyone thinks. There are 3 aircraft carriers and countless subs and american military lots all over the south china sea. This leaves the US more vulnerable than they have ever been. Considering the amount that the US military is spread out, i believe a blow of this magnitude would be a death sentence to the US( china russia and NK all in together in a NK ruse to suck them in and to destry the US military by one 3rd. While SA, Isreal and Iran destroy the 2nd 3rd in the mid east). Now the US can have thier last third as home defence. Meantime the parties involved will be sent to the hague or some other determined place to answer charges of terrism abroad.  Once china's petroyuan takes hold, inflation and the lack of trillions of extra dollars will stop the US military machine from rebuilding and stop the US finacial windfalls in thier tracks. American will truely begin to know what it is to suffer. Not like before, but worst than anything ever seen. If im, right it will spark an civil war. Where other countries will truely seek to interviene in our inability to defend ourselves much like syria and Iraq. Very sad times ahead for america and we can blame it on the last 40 years of blundered capitol hill BULLSHIT. All those fucking educations go to show that the america education system only works for forigners.  US kids and post highschooleducation is nothing more thaan just another get rich scheme made up by the many returds that sleep on the hill.

Battlefield USA's picture

Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY


That is 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998. Not counting NK's.

NeedtoSecede's picture

Desert Southwest in the USA has taken a beating...  USA leads the way again!  (I am not implying that is a good thing for all those with your sarc filters set in weekend mode)

Boubou's picture

" And I say to myself

   It's a wonderfull....world "

Ms No's picture

Check this out bitchez.  A nearly 6 point earthquake just hit pretty much exactly on the north pole near that super volcano up there (doesn't mean it will go off).  It's weird and moderately interesting.


sjb's picture

Please, Kim baby, blow the fucker up now!  Cause your little yellow brothers over the border some real headaches for a change.

Maybe then they'll stop supporting your sorry ass.

Able Ape's picture

Did you ever see a mountain?  These nuclear explosions wouldn't have any effect on a mountain.  I calling this article - BULLSHIT!...

Old Dawg's picture

I see your BS and raise you 2 yaks and 3 heards of goats. 

Calling  BS on your knowldge of geology.

Xena fobe's picture

NK has a State Dept if Sciences with a Geological Research institute?  They are that advanced but their people were starving and needed aid? 

King of Ruperts Land's picture

I assume all of your information about NK comes from Western MSM? Consider that that MSM is the propaganda arm of North Korea's enemy. Then consider that the MSM is also the Enemy of the American People according to one in a position to know.

Now reconsider your beliefs about NK. What do you really know? Would you beliefs more likely be true or false?

Use your head man. You are like game being hunted from behind a blind. You think those are actual truths out there. They are just decoys put out there to make you feel calm and safe while the hunters draw a bead on you.

Animal Mother's picture

This sounds to me like a very convenient way for North Korea to be able to back down and still save face. Always have to consider that when dealing with Asian nations. Giving them an out that doesnt make them look bad is how they do business. 

francis scott falseflag's picture


my new username's picture

So they will conduct an atmospheric test in the Pacific.

silverer's picture

Let's see who can make the ocean glow the brightest: N Korea or Japan.

itstippy's picture

More interference on what one can do with his own land.  If I had a mountain I'd expect tp be able to detonate thermonuclear devices whenever I wanted without some damned neighbor complaining.

silverer's picture

They just need to "build that wall". (The radiation-proof wall). lol

I Write Code's picture

Maybe if we offer the Norks a new test range along our Mexican border ...

King of Ruperts Land's picture

OK, geological enviro-geniuses, exactly how would the mountain "implode"? Are you implying it is hollow in the middle? Is it a big ball of fluid or gaseous "nuclear goo" surrounded by rock? What exactly is your model of this mountain such that it is in danger of "imploding".

What a bunch of utter hog wash brought to you by the people who couldn't build a nuke to save their life.

shovelhead's picture

I'm going to bet detonating nukes underground tends to crack the rock in a few places turning the mountain into a big gravel pile.

Just a wild guess.

Maybe another test instead of making a nice muffled fart sound will sound more like KABLOOIE with lots of shit in the air.

I don't however think, like you, the mountain will explode by itself. Because that would be kind of ...er...stupid.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Mountains are big rock piles. Often the individual piece of rock are gravel size, but still lie tight in their original fracture position.

Significant movement would cause the rock to "fluff" and take up more volume. This will eventually seal any cavities. The mountain could permanently get higher.

A 250 kt Nuke has the energy to lift a 900m cube of rock 46 m. I suspect a nuke under 900 m of rock is highly inefficient at moving rock. It is too "hot" and too concentrated. Most of the energy probably goes into creating a red hot magma ball.

250 thousand tonnes of actual TNT would do a much better job at moving rock, especially if spread around the mountain. A gentler explosive like ANFO would do even better at moving rock. That and being cheap and easy to use, is why its is used in mining.

ZIRPY's picture

Exactly! This is why mankind can never build on areas where rock formations are too big to move with machinery. What are they gonna do, blow the rock up with dynamite?!?!?! LOL

Excuse me? What's that you say? They DO blow up rock with dynamite????


Never mind....


King of Ruperts Land's picture

A large amount of explosives even a nuke in the center of a mountain will be inefficient at breaking or moving rock. Rock has large strength in compression. Rock must be peeled off in layers with an empty space for it to go to. It is not worth shooting off more than 12 feet of rock at a time when doing a 12 foot wide tunnel. Even then the blast shots have delays so that only a foot or two of rock is being peeled off and moved aside on each explosion. A large blast at an open pit may involve hundreds of tons of explosives, but they will be set off with delays Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam to allow rock movement.

The North Koreans seem to know what they are doing. I bet their water is not fluoridated.

White Devil's picture

The Americans should just bomb the mountain. Derp derp

pc_babe's picture

A couple of MOABs ought to do the trick

whatisthat's picture

I would observe the anticipated results may be achieved when NK morons conductsmining operations using nuclear devices .

Boubou's picture

They're getting excited - cockroaches  may soon inherit the Earth. 

mabuhay1's picture

Let it collapse... give the Chinese some payback for backing the Little Fat Man in North Korea.

saulysw's picture

Just ... duck and cover.

(Sing for full effect)

squid's picture

Ok, now it makes sense.

I was wondering why the Chinese were asking the DPRK nuthouses to settle down....

now I know why.



Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

This is about giving them an excuse to detonate in the Pacific.