North Korea Reports Arrival of Radioactivity

North Korea says it has detected radioactive substances released by the stricken Fuksuhima nuclear power plant on Japan’s east coast, but that they are not at a level able to do any harm to human beings.

The publication of the Chosun Workers’ Party, Rodong Shinmun stated in its Friday edition that North Korea’s Environmental Radioactivity Observation Office had detected the trace levels.

It revealed, “The substances, which appear to have been released by the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, are Iodine-131 and Cesium-137,” and added, “The levels of concentration are approximately 0.03mBq/㎥ and 0.04mBq/㎥ respectively.”

However, it continued, “Experts report that in the case of Iodine-131 this does not exceed the acceptable level of 1/240,000, so the current situation will not have a negative effect on the human body,” but added, “The Observation Office is continuing to take measurements.”

Prior to the Rodong Shinmun report, Chosun Central TV reported on the 7th that the radioactive substances had been detected in Pyongyang, Wonsan and Chongjin among others, but added, “These levels are much too low to have an effect on the human body,”

It also reported for four consecutive days from the 4th about the dangers of radioactivity and methods to counter it, advising that activities such as eating seaweed and drinking soda or beer could be of assistance.

Meanwhile, in South Korea the Korea Institute for Nuclear Safety (KINS) reported yesterday that trace amounts of Iodine-131, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 had been discovered in rainwater which fell on the South Korean island of Jeju on Wednesday night, sparking nationwide alarm and causing a number of schools on the mainland to close for the day.

However, KINS also rejected suggestions of danger to human health, saying, “Such levels are so minute that a person can drink two liters of this type of water for an entire year without any health risks.”

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Kang Mi Jin
Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.