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Before and after satellite images show intensity of N Korea's 6th nuclear test

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Sep 14, 2017, 6:45 pm IST
Updated : Sep 14, 2017, 6:47 pm IST

The recent nuclear test was the sixth and most powerful test North Korea has conducted since its first in 2006.

The North Korea's nuclear test was powerful enough to sink the 85-acre mountain area under which the nuclear was detonated.(File Photo)
 The North Korea's nuclear test was powerful enough to sink the 85-acre mountain area under which the nuclear was detonated.(File Photo)

Washington: After the reports that North Korea’s latest 6th nuclear test could create destruction of 250 kilotons, the satellite image showed before and after pictures of Mount Mantap, under which tests takes place.

According to a Washington Post report, North Korea, which claimed it nuclear test is of Hydrogen bomb, was powerful enough to sink the 85-acre mountain area under which the nuclear was detonated.

The before and after satellite pictures taken by Airbus’ Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) of Mount Mantap showed the significant changes on the mountain, the report said quoting website Arms Control Wonk.

It showed “significant changes at Mount Mantap’s peak elevation. Prior to the test, Mount Mantap was 2,205 meters high; the mountain has since diminished in height,” wrote Jeffrey Lewis, head of the East Asia programme at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

“You can see that the explosion visibly displaces the mountain, which demonstrates both how large the explosion was but also that it occurred in the same tunnel complex as the preceding four nuclear tests,” said Lewis on the Arms Control Wonk website.

The 38 North website in the US, which keeps satellite watch on North Korea, raised its estimate for the yield from the explosion to around 250 kilotons -- more than 16 times the size of the device that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.

Similarly, US monitor, which also keeps a tab on Pynogyang activities, said the recent nuclear test caused 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea, the tremors of which were also felt in China and Russia, possibly due to a rock cave-in.

The recent nuclear test was the sixth and most powerful test North Korea has conducted since its first in 2006, demonstrating a stunning advance in the country’s ability to build high-yield nuclear weapons.

There are in total four tunnel openings into four mountains at their Punggye-ri test site. Of the four, the first tunnel was abandoned after using it once, possibly due gas leakage. Officials too realised the geology was not favourable.

However, after facing the problem with first tunnel, the North authorities shifted to the second mountain: Mount Mantap for rest of the five nuclear tests, including the latest one in September.
 
The satellite images are “additional proof that the September 2017 explosion was much larger than ever before at this site,” Melissa Hanham, a researcher at the Center for Nonproliferation, was quoted as saying by the Post. She added that the images from the North’s nuclear test in 2016 did not show substantial change on the mountain’s surface.

Meanwhile on Thursday, a North Korean organisation demanded that the United States be "beaten to death" like a "rabid dog" for spearheading fresh UN sanctions on Pyongyang over its latest nuclear test, adding ally Japan should be "sunken into the sea".

Tags: north korea, nuclear test, mount mantap, hydrogen bomb, un sanctions
Location: United States, District of Columbia, Washington