Scientists from Beijing believe the Punggye-ri nuclear facility is unstable and that just one more explosion could blow the top off of Mount Mantap, beneath which all six of North Korea’s nuclear tests thave been conducted. That could lead to the mountain collapsing, causing radioactive waste to escape and blow aross the border into China just 50 miles away. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Geology and Geophysics warned Pyongyang delegates of the risk during a briefing in Beijing soon after North Korea’s last nuclear test on September 3, according ot the South China Morning Post. Tellingly, the meeting occured two days before North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters at the United Nations Assembly in New York Pyongyang was considering conducting a hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean. Zhai Mingguo, a senior Chinese geologist who organised the September 20 briefing, told the newspaper: “This is a big, sophisticated problem requiring multiple, systematic approaches. “Our meeting is only a part of the efforts.” The North Korea delegation was reportedly led by Lee Doh-sik, director of the Geological Research Institute at the State Academy of Sciences. Another Chinese professor said the scientist was “a top geologist” but was not involved in the country’s nuclear development program. Sources described the meeting as “friendly” but would not reveal further details of the discussions. Relations between North Korea and China, the rogue state’s only ally, have become strained amidst Kim Jong-un’s obsessive pursuit of nuclear weapons. Beijing has come under increasing pressure from the US to use its influence to try and de-escelate the fued between Washington and Pyongyang. China has said it will strictly enforce UN Security Council sanctions banning imports of North Korean coal, textiles and seafood, while cutting off oil shipments to the North.
And China isn’t doing nearly enough. The fact that the U.S. now has 3 U.S. Navy aircraft Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) in the Pacific, something unheard of, should be a sufficient hint to China that the U.S. is tired of this dance.