Tuesday’s World News #3 – North Korea

A researcher looks at radiation detection monitors amid reports on North Korea's third nuclear test. (NY Post/EPA)

NOTE:  We are testing out something new this week.  We have separated the three Tuesday’s World News articles into separate posts, with one in place of today’s Daily News Article.

North Korea’s ‘stressed’ nuclear test mountain on verge of collapse

Analysts are seeing signs that Mount Mantap, the 7,200-foot-high peak under which the tests are conducted, is [in danger of collapse], the Washington Post reported.

During a massive detonation that triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, the mountain visibly shifted. Since then, the region, which is not known for natural seismic activity, has had three more quakes.

“What we are seeing from North Korea looks like some kind of stress in the ground,” said Paul G. Richards, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “In that part of the world, there were stresses in the ground, but the explosions have shaken them up.”

Chinese scientists have raised the alarm that additonal nuclear tests could cause Mount Mantap to collapse and release the radiation from the blast.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, all of them under Mount Mantap at a site known as the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility.

Using satellite images, intelligence analysts and experts keep tabs on movement at the three entrances to tunnels for signals that a test is imminent.

The Punggye-ri test site in North Korea is carved deep into the side of Mount Mantap

After the latest test, on Sept. 3, dictator Kim Jong Un’s rogue regime claimed it had set off a hydrogen bomb and that it had been a “perfect success.”

Analysis group 38 North published images that showed “more numerous and widespread” disturbances at the site of the test than before, the BBC reported.

38 North said the pictures showed landslides as well as numerous areas of gravel and stone fields that were “lofted” by the tremors.

Lofting occurs when shockwaves force material to be ejected from the ground, and the material falls back down in the same place.


1. For North Korea, give the following information:

  1. capital
  2. location/the countries that share its borders
  3. the religious breakdown of the population
  4. the type of government
  5. the chief of state (and head of government if different) If monarch or dictator, since what date has he/she ruled? – include name of heir apparent for monarch
  6. the population

Find the answers at the CIA World FactBook website. For each country, answers can be found under the “Geography” “People” and “Government” headings.

NOTE: Before answering the questions below, watch the videos under “Resources.”

a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) List facts that point to the possibility that another North Korea nuclear test could cause Mount Mantap to collapse.
c) What have Chinese scientists warned could happen if the mountain does collapse?
d) North Korea has conduced 6 nuclear tests since 2006. How do experts know when a new test is imminent?
e) Watch the news reports under “Resources” below. Do you think the danger posed to China by a mountain collapse will make President Xi more likely to work with the U.S. in stopping North Korea? Explain your answer. Ask a parent the same question.

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