North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has been rendered unusable after most of the mountain on top of it collapsed, according to a group of Chinese scientists. The collapse means there won’t be any more missile testing going on there, and it may also mean there could be radioactive leaks threatening the environment and the health and safety of the population.
The scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China believe that last September’s nuclear testing caused the collapse. They warned that “another blast in the same spot and with similar yield to one in September could lead to environmental catastrophe.”
They also expressed their hope that the tests on that site would end. “The occurrence of the collapse should deem the underground infrastructure beneath mountain Mantap not be used for any future nuclear tests,” the scientists said in their summary of the situation.
Just last week North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that he would immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests and that he would close the site where the previous six nuclear tests were conducted. He made it sound like it was a gesture of goodwill in the interests of global peace, but it wasn’t.
The announcement came in the middle of discussions about a meeting between Kim and President Trump which is supposed to happen in late May or early June. Both sides have said that North Korea is now willing to “denuclearize,” but that is an ill-defined word which means different things to each party.
“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site,” Trump tweeted shortly after the announcement from Pyongyang. “This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit.”
North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
The Chinese report led to one researcher suggesting to the South China Morning Post that the collapse was the real reason for the unexpected suspension. In other words, Trump’s great negotiating skills had nothing to do with it.
So now we know the truth. Kim Jong Un has been playing Donald Trump for the fool. The North Korean dictator has made no concessions, and has gotten everything he wanted in his negotiations with the United States. Trump has stupidly agreed to meet with one of the world’s worst dictators, who is known for torturing and starving his people.
Trump thinks that he is smart and the meeting with Kim will make him look good at home. But the truth is it makes him look weak and desperate, while giving Kim more stature on the world stage.
This is just one more failure of the Donald Trump presidency.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.