North Korea made a lot of commotion in national as well as international news as it tested its nuclear weapon last year. The nuclear device tested in early September under a mountain has been deemed by experts as a hydrogen bomb ten times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the second world war.
North Korea is making headlines again as Japan’s TV Asahi reports that up to 200 have been killed in a tunnel collapse resulting from the strongest ever underground nuclear test in Punggye-Ri, the country’s northeast. North Korean sources told TV Asahi that initially, a tunnel collapsed on 100 workers, and an additional 100 went in to rescue them, only to die themselves under the unstable mountain.
Satellite images have revealed that the mountain above the test site has been unstable ever since the test and there have been a number of landslides and seismic aftershocks following the blast. It is still unsure what the workers were doing in the tunnels but it is highly probable that they were working on clearing the tunnels leading into and out of the site, which had been damaged previously.
The death of 200 people is devastating indeed but it might not be the end of the story. With a compromised test site, chances of hazardous radioactive material left over from the blast has a greater chance of seeping out. This could result in strained relations with China as international tension mounts. If the debris makes its way into China, the nation would see it as an act of war and the result will definitely be not pretty.