The Japanese television station Asahi reported that approximately 100 people were trapped when an unfinished tunnel collapsed. Another 100 workers may have been killed in a second collapse while trying to rescue their colleagues.
On Nov. 1, The Asahi Shimbun Asia and Japan Watch reported that a North Korean military hospital in Chunghwa county in North Hwanghae Province was treating soldiers exposed to radiation from the nuclear tests, according to its source on North Korean affairs.
This story is the first open source report of contamination and exposure to radiation of North Koreans at the nuclear test site since testing began in October 2006. Because of the regional risks, senior Chinese scientists and geologists are saying that any further nuclear bomb tests could risk a substantial nuclear disaster that would affect both North Korea and China.
The problem is that Mount Mantap, where North Korea has conducted five underground nuclear tests, is now in danger of collapsing entirely, releasing vast amounts of radiation and nuclear debris that would affect large parts of northeastern China. It is little consolation that North Korea plans to shift to above-ground nuclear tests in the Pacific. The resultant explosions could affect any aircraft or sea vessels in the area, and the winds could carry the radiation to any country bordering the Pacific.
Click here for more details from regional news outlets: News Corp Australia and South China Morning Post and Chosun (Seoul).