North Korea is suffering some literal and figurative fallout from its consistent nuclear bomb tests, affecting one nearby town so badly that the babies are born mutated, and everything is struggling to survive.
According to Fox News, a group of North Korean defectors who lived in the town of Kilju, which exists near the Punngye-ri test site, report that life around the test site has become horribly dangerous.
The Research Association of Vision of North Korea interviewed 21 North Korean defectors who lived in Kilju, a nearby town north of the Punngye-ri nuclear test site where six tests have been conducted, and said babies were reportedly being born with birth defects and residents feared radiation contamination because of the high mortality rate for any form of life, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported.
“I heard from a relative in Kilju that deformed babies were born in hospitals there,” one defector said, according to the newspaper.
Another added: “I spoke on the phone with family members I left behind there and they told me that all of the underground wells dried up after the sixth nuclear test.”
According to reports, the North Korean government doesn’t give warning to the residents when a nuclear test will be conducted under Mount Montap, where the village gets is drinking water. Only soldiers families were warned to evacuate before tests.
“During the first nuclear test [October 2006] and second one [May 2009], only family members of soldiers were evacuated to underground shafts. Ordinary people were completely unaware of the tests,” the defector said.
“I personally saw corpses floating down the river with their limbs severed,” recalled the defector, adding that local residents were also ordered to dig “deep holes for those tests.”
Fox News reported that according to the defector, 80 percent of the plant life died off of the mountain, and the trout apparently have “disappeared.”
“If you plant trees in the mountains there, 80 percent of them die. You can blame it on poor planting, but the number of trees that die is higher than in other mountains,” a defector said.
North Korean officials did not verify these accounts, however, defectors say that the government doesn’t allow people from the area to come into the capitol:
“Kilju locals who made appointments in a large hospital in Pyongyang were not allowed to enter the capital after the sixth nuclear test,” said one defector.
“People who boarded trains to the border with samples of soil, water, and leaves from Kilju County were arrested and sent to prison camps,” another defector said.