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Rumors about deaths from N.K.nuclear test

September 11, 2017


Source: Rumors spread in North about deaths from nuclear test




By YOSHIHIRO MAKINO/ Correspondent


SEOUL--Rumors are spreading among North Korean citizens that people involved in or living near Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test are dying or coming down with a strange illness, a source familiar with the country said.


“(Such rumors are circulating) because the (North Korean) government has not provided appropriate explanations about the nuclear test,” the source said.


The rumors are spreading by word of mouth among citizens, including those working in markets, the source said. According to some unconfirmed reports, a worker involved in preparations for the testing of a hydrogen bomb has died.


“The Sept. 3 test caused a big earthquake, which shocked people,” the source said. “That has also apparently led (to the spread of the rumors).”


The nuclear test, North Korea’s sixth, was held in Punggyeri in Kilju county in North Hamgyong province.


Following the test, North Korea announced: “Although the nuclear test was conducted with more power than those of the previous ones, it did not leak radioactive substances and had no influence on the surrounding ecological environments.”


The South Korean government, citing its own analysis, said a tunnel used in the test might have caved in.


On Sept. 8, Seoul also announced that it detected a minute amount of xenon, a radioactive substance.


North Korea is maintaining a strict system to keep details of the nuclear test secret. For example, it has prohibited foreigners from exiting railway stations in Kilju county.


In addition, Pyongyang has not provided explanations to its citizens about the possible effects of radioactive substances on the human body.

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