U.S.-based North Korea-monitoring website “38 North” confronted head on the claim of some foreign media that North Korea’s decision to abolish its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in North Hamgyong Province is because it is already “not viable.” 38 North is a website that continuously has monitored and analyzed the Punggye-ri nuclear test site through satellite pictures for nearly 10 years.
“North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, where North Korea has conducted six acknowledged underground detonations is still, as far as we can tell, fully operational,” said 38 North through a comment on Monday (local time). It also pointed out that following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test in September 2017, the North Portal was apparently abandoned but further nuclear test is possible in the Southern and Western Portal, where the construction for tunnel was conducted. “There remain two portal areas located in more pristine competent rock that can be used for future tests if Pyongyang were to give the order,” emphasized 38 North.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported on Tuesday, that a military force of some 300 soldiers are still at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site despite the North’s declaration to abolish it.
Sung-Ha Joo firstname.lastname@example.org