Asia Minute: North Korea’s Nuclear Tests: Unexpected Consequences

Oct 20, 2017

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North Korea’s pattern of missile launches and nuclear tests has led to many consequences. Those range from various sanctions to adjustments in military planning. But there’s been another unexpected reaction. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

North Korea’s nuclear tests have damaged diplomatic efforts in the region, but they also appear to have hurt at least one skiing area in China.

Outside Magazine reports that the Changbaishan Ski Resort has been closed indefinitely because of damages caused by North Korea’s underground nuclear explosions.

The main nuclear test site of North Korea is not far from the Chinese border, and within 70 miles of the ski resort—which is part of a national park in Jilin Province.

Every time a nuclear device is exploded underground, it quite literally shakes the earth.

The U.S. Geological Survey says North Korea’s test late last month produced a seismic magnitude equivalent to an earthquake measuring 6.3 with an aftershock of 4.1.

South Korea’s Donga Ilbo reports Chinese authorities have closed off portions of the park including the ski resort. Posting a note on social media saying “officials are thoroughly investigating the safety of the tourist area.” 

Last month, the South China Morning Post reported landslides were detected near the site of the underground nuclear tests.

The paper also quotes Chinese experts who warn that a collapse of the testing site could lead to a dangerous release of radiation.