Although there still isn’t any official confirmation that the tunnel collapse actually occurred, according to Japan’s TV Asahi, an unnamed North Korean ‘source’ claimed that up to 100 people were trapped in the tunnels before rescue teams went in after them, at which point the structure collapsed, raising the death toll to at least 200 people.
The date on which the incident occurred is also unknown. Although it is believed to have happened on October 10, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said that it’s still unclear when exactly the tunnel collapsed. Yonhap reported that the disaster occurred as a result of North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, which was conducted at the same site.
Not long before the tunnel collapsed, Seoul warned North Korea that one more nuclear detonation could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak, with enough force to destroy its mountain test site once and for all and potentially even trigger a radiation leak. Despite these continued warnings, it is unlikely that Kim Jong-Un will stop testing nuclear missiles any time soon. (Related: Here is what war with North Korea would actually look like.)
In addition to warnings from South Korea, including the country’s weather agency chief Nam Jae-Cheol, U.S. experts have also stated that further nuclear testing could result in more tragedies in the future. Five of North Korea’s recent missile tests have been carried out under Mount Mantap, but after three small earthquakes that occurred near the site of the blasts, the region is now said to be suffering from “Tired Mountain Syndrome.”
While there is no way to tell how much more destruction will occur as a result of North Korea’s nuclear tests, the fact remains that both natural and manmade structures will continue to weaken as these tests go on.
At this point, the fact that Kim Jong-Un is a crazed, unstable warmonger isn’t exactly up for debate. For several months now, the North Korean regime has been making numerous threats against the United States, claiming that they will not hesitate to use their military capabilities if it reaches that point. (Related: Analysts confirms that North Korea’s nuclear missiles can now reach New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles.)
As President Trump prepares for his much anticipated tour across several parts of Asia next week, Trump is already receiving stern warnings from people like Anita Kumar, a reporter for McClatchy News to “watch what language he uses” out of fear that the North Korean regime may be provoked. Kumar’s warning comes on the heels of claims made by experts who have suggested that North Korea could conduct its 23rd missile test this year during President Trump’s time in Asia between November 3 and November 14.
“What experts are telling me, though, is that there might be a missile test by North Korea while President Trump is traveling,” she said. “That’s going to put him on the spot while he’s in China or South Korea. So that would be huge. He’d have to decide then and there how to react.”
While it is certainly a possibility that North Korea could intentionally conduct another nuclear test that coincides with Trump’s Asia tour, many would argue President Trump’s tough rhetoric is something that Americans should get behind instead of constantly discouraging it. Of course, it will anger the North Koreans, but the most important thing that the United States can do in the face of this enemy is stand strong and show the world that we are not the same passive country that we were for eight years under Barack Obama. America needs to show her teeth, and thankfully, our commander-in-chief seems to agree.