North Korean refugees who lived near the country's nuclear test base are showing signs of possible radiation poisoning, according to South Korea. The defectors - who have all fled the communist dictatorship's brutal rule and crossed the border - have shown signs of nuclear exposure in medical check-ups. North Korea has carried out six nuclear tests, most recently in September, and hundreds of ballistic missile launches. South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported medical checks were carried out on 30 refugees who previously lived near the North's Punggye-ri nuclear site. All of them came to South Korea before the North's fourth nuclear missile test in January 2016. Chromosome examinations showed four of the defectors may have been exposed to radiation, Yonhap reported. Experts fear the nuclear tests may have released toxic particles into the atmosphere and could have poisoned residents living near the test site. This puts them at an increased risk of cancer as radioactive chemicals are … [Read more...] about North Korean refugees who lived near country’s nuclear test site show signs of possible radiation poisoning
Dprk nuclear test
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol on Friday blamed US President Donald Trump for building up tensions on the Korean Peninsula with his "aggressive" words and tweets. In an interview with the news agency AP, he warned the US against provoking the country militarily. Read: North Korea could test nuclear weapon on day of celebration "If the US comes with reckless military maneuvers then we will confront it with the DPRK's pre-emptive strike," Han said, calling North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "We will go to war if they choose." An April 11 tweet from Trump, saying North Korea was looking for trouble and if China did not help the US would "solve the problem without them," was cited by Han who said it was the US that "makes trouble." Last weekend, a US aircraft carrier and its strike group were diverted to waters off the Korean Peninsula. The Trump administration has warned its policy of "strategic patience" with North … [Read more...] about Nuclear tests and preemptive strikes: fears grow over North Korea escalation
Satellite images of North Korea's underground nuclear test site suggest that the regime is ready and able to carry out at least three additional detonations with no advance warning. The warnings that Pyongyang is able to conduct more tests just days after the September 9 detonation of what experts estimate was a 10-kiloton device - the largest it has ever tested - come from the South Korean military and images from commercial satellites analyzed by experts and posted on the 38 North website, run by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the institute, wrote in an opinion article for The New York Times that the regime of Kim Jong-un had prepared the Punngye-ri nuclear proving grounds for "at least" three more tests. He added that any such demonstration by the North might be timed to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the regime's first successful nuclear test on October 9, 2006. "It is impossible to predict with any certainty a time frame … [Read more...] about Is North Korea planning yet more nuclear tests?
"Carrying out the test was unacceptable," the EU said in a statement, adding that "the test profoundly jeopardizes regional stability and represents a severe threat to international peace and security." However, the EU has also said it has no plans to cut humanitarian aid to North Korea. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer strongly condemned North Korea's reported nuclear test and called an emergency meeting of the alliance's ambassadors. After talks with members of the European Union's political and security committee, including EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, de Hoop Scheffer said North Korea's test "…flies into the face of the international community." He also said that "it is a threat to world peace and security and will demand the strongest possible reaction from the international community." Germany has meanwhile summoned North Korea's ambassador to the foreign ministry. Germany condemned North Korea's reported test of a nuclear weapon and called for … [Read more...] about EU: North Korean Nuclear Test Is “Unacceptable”
DW: What is known about North Korea's fourth nuclear test? Robert Kelley: Based upon what is known so far, there was a major seismic event near the previous nuclear test site in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The size is roughly the same as the third DPRK nuclear test. Wiggles in the seismic signature will give experts extremely high confidence to determine whether it was an earthquake or nuclear test. From what has been revealed so far it seems that judgment has been made, and they are just double-checking all the data. It was a nuclear test and probably not one using conventional mining explosives. It would take far too long and be highly observable from satellites to move thousands of tons of conventional explosives into a mountain. What are the indications that hydrogen may have been involved in the explosion? The word "hydrogen" is meaningless in this case. It is popular slang and not a professional description. The proper terminology for what was called a … [Read more...] about Nuclear expert skeptical about North Korea’s H-bomb claim
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed not to use nuclear weapons unless his country was attacked by another nuclear power. Kim's comments came during the second day of the Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), where he appeared to be consolidating his grip on power. The congress announced that it would bestow its top title on Kim, although he is already the "supreme leader" of the party and the country. "As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes," the state-run news agency, KCNA, quoted Kim as saying. "And it will faithfully fulfill its obligation for nonproliferation and strive for the global denuclearization." After North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and subsequently launched a long-range rocket into space , both in defiance of past Security Council resolutions, the UN body passed renewed, and tougher, sanctions on the … [Read more...] about North Korean leader vows not to use nuclear weapons unless attacked by nuclear state
North Korea's development of nuclear weapons technology poses a major threat to international security, but it seems that its weapons program is receiving help from abroad. Ken Kato, director of Tokyo-based Human Rights in Asia and a member of International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea, is alleging that a scientist with links to North Korea is working at a Japanese university on technology required to achieve miniaturization of nuclear warheads. In response, Kato has informed ambassadors from each of the UN Security Council member states, calling on them to close what he says is a glaring loophole in the global ban on the transfer of nuclear technology to North Korea. The rule in question is paragraph 17 of UN Resolution 2270, which bans specialized nuclear and missile-related teaching or training only to those identified as "DPRK nationals." According to Kato, that wording permits North Koreans living in Japan who sympathize with the regime in … [Read more...] about Are ‘nuclear spies’ in Japan providing Pyongyang with weapons technology?
North Korea said on Saturday that it has no current plans to carry out a nuclear test, despite what it referred to as South Korean provocation. "Through those provocations the group (government) seeks to rattle the nerves of the DPRK (North Korea) in a bid to cause it to conduct a nuclear test, though such a thing is not under plan at present," a statement from an unnamed spokesman from the country's foreign ministry read. The statement also claimed that South Korea's government, currently presided over by Lee Myung-bak, has deliberately attempted to spark a border incident akin to the North's shelling attack on a South Korean island in November 2010. It said the plan was with a view to exaggerating Pyongyang's "belligerent nature" in a bid to "create an atmosphere of putting pressure and sanctions on it." There has been continuous speculation about whether North Korea will undertake its third atomic weapons test since the country carried out a failed rocket launch in April, which … [Read more...] about North Korea denies nuclear test plan
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said North Korea's provocations had "reached a new dimension" with the latest nuclear test. Merkel spoke on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders condemned North Korea and expressed their support for a tightening of EU sanctions against Pyongyang. European Council President Donald Tusk said the European Union was prepared to ramp up sanctions against North Korea. US President Donald Trump threatened to sever trade ties with any country doing business with North Korea, which he described as a "rogue nation.” When asked if he would consider attacking North Korea after the latest nuclear test, Trump replied, "We'll see.” Earlier, Trump rebuked key ally South Korea for following a policy of "appeasement,” while adding that China was failing in its efforts to successfully rein in North Korea's nuclear program. South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in said Seoul would push for strong steps … [Read more...] about How the world reacted to North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said on Thursday that the test of a ballistic missile launched from a submarine this week was the "greatest success" and put his country on a military par with the strongest nations. According to state media, Kim "noted with pride that the results of the test-fire proved that the DPRK joined the front rank of military powers fully equipped with nuclear attack capability." The official Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) also quoted Kim as saying that the "United States, as well as American military bases in the Pacific, are now within the striking range" of missiles launched by Pyongyang. The KNCA said Kim had watched Wednesday's test, with Pyongyang's top newspaper, "Rodong Sinmun," carrying 24 photos of the leader observing the launch at an observation post. The paper said he had "appreciated the test-fire as the greatest success and victory." Dangerous advance South Korean officials said the rocket fired from a North Korean submarine off the … [Read more...] about N. Korea’s Kim Jong-Un hails missile test as ‘greatest success’