Image Reveals Nuke Test Tunnel Design

Mok Yong Jae  |  2013-02-05 03:00
An image believed to show the internal structure of one of the test tunnels at North Koreas Punggye-ri nuclear test site was unveiled for the first time today.

The Ministry of National Defense obtained the photo from footage broadcast to the domestic audience by Chosun Central TV on September 8th, 2010 in the fourth section of a documentary film, The Country I Have Seen.

According to the photo, the 1km-long tunnel has been carved out of the rock horizontally in the shape of a snail. It contains nine 1m-thick steel blast doors. A tenth door is at the entrance to the tunnel. There are also three bulkheads to limit pressure build up behind the doors.

The Ministry of National Defense believes that if this, the second nuclear test tunnel, was build so that radioactivity cannot leak out in this way, then the test tunnel to be used for future tests will be of a similar type.

"As Mt. Mantap is made of granite the rock could be melted by the high heat after a nuclear test," a ministry official explained on condition of anonymity. "The horizontal tunnel design seems to be built sturdily to prevent this."

Meanwhile, it has been claimed that high-ranking officials recently visited the test site.

One government source told Yonhap News earlier today, There is emerging analysis that claims high-level officials recently made a visit to the western tunnel, where a cover was recently installed, by car for a final inspection.

The source said, Since the visit of high officials in cars to the western entrance of the tunnel, signs of mine wagons coming and going from the tunnel have been picked up.
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