Did Kim scrap N-tests because his test site collapsed in explosion?
Did North Korea decide to halt its nuclear testing because its site faced a partial impact because of a massive explosion in 2017? According to Chinese seismologists, Pyongyang's underground nuclear test site partially gave in because of the blast and it became unusable, AFP reported.
Last week, North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un announced that his regime would no longer undertake nuclear missile tests and close down its nuclear site at Punggye-ri under Mount Mantap in the northeastern part of North Korea.
The announcement came a week ahead of Kim's widely awaited summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a month or so ahead of his meeting with US President Donald Trump.
North Korea carried out five of its six nuclear tests at the said site with the biggest being the one on September 3 which caused an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 which was felt across the China border, the AFP report said.
Pyongyang claimed on the occasion that it tested a hydrogen bomb.
The impact following the explosion at the site informs of landslides and earthquakes led to the suspicion that it was being affected by "tired mountain syndrome", the report added.
Experts were apprehensive that any damage to the mountain could see radioactive dust spreading through holes and cracks, posing more danger to North Korea as well as its neighbour China. It was said that monitoring possible leakages of radioactive materials caused by the collapse of the site was important, a report in South China Morning Post has said.
That Mount Mantap bore the brunt of the tests was also revealed in satellite imagery last year which showed the mountain had moved and its height being diminished, the Washington Post said.