Jeffrey LewisMore North Korea Nuclear Testing Rumors

Pick a test site. Any test site.

From the Korea Herald

The Seoul government is now working closely with U.S. intelligence agencies on identifying the North’s possible test site.


However, all acquired intelligence has been dependent on statements by North Korean defectors without satisfactory verification.

Some analysts said North Korea may conduct nuclear tests in an unknown place other than those widely suspected sites.

An opposition lawmaker claimed that North Korea has eight underground tunnels where a nuclear test can be conducted.

And this, from Reuters:

North Korea is “more or less ready” to conduct a nuclear test deep inside an abandoned coal mine but might hold off it can win concesssions from the United States, a Chinese source briefed by Pyongyang said on Friday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a device would be detonated about 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) inside a mine near the border with China in the north of the country.


His comments could not be independently confirmed, but South Korea newspapers reported that although there were thousands of mine shafts that could be used for a test. Seoul and neighbouring countries were closely monitoring three or four sites.


Hankook Ilbo said a test would not have to take place in Gilju since there are so many disused mine shafts, and named the districts of Hagab and Shijung in the province of Jagang, which shares a border with China, as potential sites.

“Finding the test site beforehand would be akin to finding a needle in the Han River,” it said.

Rumored test date is Sunday, the thinking being that October 8 is the anniversary of the Dear Leader becoming General Secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea.

You know how he loves fireworks.

And, here is the GoogleEarth placemark for the P’unggye-yok/Kilju /Kilchu/Gilju site at 41° 07’ 51” N, 129° 09’ 49” E.


  1. Georg Schoefbaenker (History)

    After their latest missile tests were on July 4, 2006 a likely date to test might also be Nov 7th, 2006.