North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid “Eruptions Of Earth And Rock”, There’s Just One Thing…

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Having reportedly seen 200 North Koreans die following the collapse of a tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site earlier in the year, Kim Jong-Un has officially (and intentionally) imploded the mountain-side facility overnight.

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

As a reminder, North Korea saw the mountain as an ideal location for underground nuclear experiments because of its elevation – it stood more than 2,100 meters (6,888 feet) above sea level – and its terrain of thick, gentle slopes that seemed capable of resisting structural damage.

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

While the mountain’s surface had shown no visible damage after four underground nuclear tests before 2017, the 100-kilotonne bomb that went off on September 3 vaporised surrounding rocks with unprecedented heat and opened a space that was up to 200 metres (656 feet) in diameter, according to a statement posted on the Wen team’s website on Monday.

And as shock waves tore through and loosened more rocks, a large section of the mountain’s ridge, less than half a kilometre (0.3 mile) from the peak, slipped down into the empty pocket created by the blast, leaving a scar visible in satellite images.

Three small earthquakes that hit nearby regions in the wake of the collapse added credence to his conclusion, suggesting the test site had lost its geological stability.

Kim then  – coincidentally – shifted to his current position of agreeing to dismantle the highly unstable site and began to break down the the facility’s infrastructure.

Significant changes took place at the North and South Portals between April 20 and May 7 consistent with site closing.

Before…

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

Source: 38North

After…

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

Source: 38North

And now, having apparently completed its tear-down phase, RT reports that North Korea officially demolished the test-site overnight, inviting a number of reporters to witness the event.

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

According to RT’s Igor Zhdanov, the journalists were shown three of four tunnels used for nuclear tests at the site. One of them, the northern tunnel, had been used extensively for recent nuclear testing, he said.

The North Koreans explained that the two other tunnels were new and would have likely been used for tests in the near future. Demolishing the tunnels, Zhdanov said, “was a real way of showing how they are ready to make real concessions.”

He said the explosions used to destroy the tunnels were “impressive,” describing them as “small eruptions of earth and rock.” All infrastructure at the site – including barracks and security checkpoints – were destroyed by the blasts, Zhdanov reports.

However, he noted that the buildings had been emptied before being demolished. “We were told that they got rid of the equipment earlier. But of course we have no way of verifying that.”

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

North Korea’s nuclear weapons institute said on Thursday that Pyongyang was committed to helping build a nuclear-free world.

However, there’s just one thing that few are talking about. As The Telegraph reports, “North Korea has designated remote Chagang Province as a Special Songun [military-first] Revolutionary Zone, fueling suspicions that the region is being turned into a mountain redoubt for the regime’s atomic weapons and missile programs despite Pyongyang’s promises to scrap its nuclear arsenal.” More:

Officials of the Ministry of State Security were informed of the new designation in April, the Seoul-based Daily NK news outlet reported, quoting a high-ranking source in Pyongyang.

The region will become “a strategic foothold for the military in the face of modern warfare”, the source said, adding that the ministry had decreed “the project must go forward without any issues because Kim Jong-un was doing it out of respect for his father’s and grandfather’s legacies”.

Covering more than 6,400 square miles on North Korea’s border with China, fully 98 percent of  Chagang is mountainous, meaning it is relatively sparsely populated and has plenty of opportunities for underground excavations to conceal stockpiles of weapons and facilities to conduct further research.

North Korea Dismantles Nuke Test Site Amid "Eruptions Of Earth And Rock", There's Just One Thing...

One could be forgiven for thinking the implosion in Punggye-ri is nothing but a distraction, since as far back as 2013, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service warned in a report that Kim Jong-un had ordered that the domestic munitions industry be moved underground to protect it from observation and attack.

“Most of the facilities are located in Chagang Province and other remote inland areas and are partially or wholly underground to minimise damage in war”, the report said, identifying factories No. 65 and No. 81 in the city of Junchon, Chagang Province.

Intelligence reports stated that “Emergency shelters are under construction near factories and plants and mobilisation plans for persons and materials have already been completed to assure continued production even through the fires of war”.

Furthermore, steps beyond dismantling Punggye-ri will be needed to demonstrate a bona fide commitment to denuclearize, said David Albright, founder of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington.

“Closing the Punggye-ri underground test site, while welcome, is not sufficient,” Mr. Albright said.

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  • Yui2

    “Uh… sir, we lost the whole test site.”
    “…what? What the fuck? Build a new one ASAP, go! I’ll try bullshitting Trump in the meantime.”

    It’s pretty funny. Hopefully he’ll stall US long enough with this to get a new operation going – they can’t very well start a war against him while he’s complying with their demands.

    • as

      No it’s because they already in possession of nuclear bomb devices. That’s already deterrence enough against US invasion. The missiles is to bring the US into level negotiation table.

      • 1691

        One must be out of his mind to negotiate anything with usa. Pointless.

      • You can call me Al

        missiles ….

    • 1691

      You never know with them. They (usa) can not be trusted.

  • Mish

    N. Korea is just a country trying to survive while doing things its own way. What’s wrong with diversity? Only perverse diversity is allowed now? It’s none of anyone’s goddam business what they do to protect themselves. Nukes or whatever. Let the trump regime worry more about its own nukes

  • Angelo Cinarelli

    hahahaahaah, Kim is not so stupid. If he Dismantled one site then he will open another one. Do you realize that North Korea is CHINA. Kim is doing what China (and Russia) wants. Kim be strong and Fuck USA. :)

  • Turbofan

    ” 200 North Koreans die following the collapse of a tunnel at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site”
    Was evidence ever provided for this?..That always sounded like South Korean propaganda to me

  • Hide Behind

    The United States government is utterly corrupt. Today we have a purely political battle ongoing by old Clintonista/Bush people versus Trump nutcases and old PNAC war makers, .
    We have our Executive Branch CBC raiding media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC and affiliates, old regime supporters, but not media outlets such as Fox who are far right fascist who support Trump and PNAC war aims.
    Fake news?
    It is all fake and this revolt within government organizations must be quelled led one side or other begins proven corrupt practice of others who in turn would bring up true dirt in return.
    Trump is as low on animal ladder as one can be, a fat added slug, but his arch enemies are lowest vile bird chain that eats slugs for breakfast.
    Trillions of dollars of lost and lain outright scams,Clinton FoundTio, and Senators selling out to Koch family and super wealth Jewish Funded AIPAC menmderz demands.
    In total ,US has become not a “Banana Republic” but a, for lack of better term, Mafia organization of competing families of wealth, who are each vying for ever larger shares of income to the main headquarters in N.Y. and what is called Washington DC beltway.
    We have gate keepers who are telli g US forget past, we cannot prosecute because it would cause a “Constitutional Crisis” and “Financial Crash, so be good and no matter things will all be good someday.
    Someday of course is when next election comes and we vote same democrats and republicans into office.
    We have no I’m Constitution you dumb as F’n rock heads, and your personal financials keep heading for your crisis, not those of whom you elected.