north korea tunnel collapse
This picture taken on September 3, 2017 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 4, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un attending a meeting with a committee of the Workers' Party of Korea about the test of a hydrogen bomb, at an unknown location. North Korea said it detonated a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile on September 3 and called its sixth and most powerful nuclear test a "perfect success", sparking world condemnation and promises of tougher US sanctions. / AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KNS / STR / South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. / (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Some 200 people are feared dead after underground tunnels reportedly collapsed at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea. According to Japan’s Asahi TV, 100 people were crushed in the initial cave-in and 100 more when the tunnels gave way again on top of rescuers.

No officials have confirmed the Japanese report, but according to experts, the site has been at risk of crumbling for months. The collapse reportedly happened on Oct. 10 while workers were doing construction on the underground tunnel. The site was already feared to be unstable after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 caused the tunnel to crumble and created serious damage in the region.

That test, which North Korean officials called a “perfect success,” triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake. Multiple tremors have occurred in the area since.

Additionally, the underground tests caused “significant cracking” and “irreversible strain” to Mount Mantap, but 38 North reported earlier this month that there are no plans to abandon the Punggye-ri test site.

Chinese scientists have warned that the mountain could collapse and release radiation. After the Sept. 3 test, radioactive xenon-133 was detected in South Korea.

On Tuesday, North Korea released a statement rebuking President Donald Trump, saying, “the Trump group’s vicious vituperation against the DPRK is an expression of their frustration, fear, and horror.” On Monday, the country proclaimed that Trump’s “extreme, direct and long threats” are to blame for driving them to obtain “complete nuclear deterrence.”

However, if the report out of Japan is true, it seems that the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear program isn’t going quite as smoothly as they want the rest of the world to think.

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