Disturbing reports have
emerged from North Korea stating that the country’s
nuclear program has had a crippling effect on nationals who
live near a major testing site.
The Research Association of Vision of North Korea spoke with 21
defectors from Kilju, a town near the Punngye-ri nuclear
test site where six tests have been conducted, according to
South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
The group painted an extremely bleak picture of the current
state of the region, claiming that about 80 percent of trees
planted in the city die and that all of their underground wells
have run dry due to nuclear activity.
“I heard from a relative in Kilju that deformed babies were
born in hospitals there,” one defector told the paper.
Another defector who fled the country in 2010 said that North
Korean authorities provided no warning before the nuclear
tests and no protection afterward
“During the first nuclear test (October of 2006) and second one
(May of 2009), only family members of soldiers were evacuated
to underground shafts,” the defector recalled. “Ordinary people
were completely unaware of the tests.”
“I personally saw corpses floating down the river with their
limbs severed,” one added.
SEE: Satellite photos of Punngye-
During the bombshell interview, the defectors also alleged that
people who live near the site have been banned from hospitals
in the capital, Pyongyang.
“Kilju locals who made appointments in a large hospital in
Pyongyang were not allowed to enter the capital after the sixth
nuclear test,” one defector admitted.
The group also claimed that anyone caught boarding trains with
samples of soil, water or leaves were arrested and sent to
prison camps, in an effort to keep the state
of Kilju under wraps.