North Korea nuclear tests are ‘leading to deformed babies and turning province into wasteland.’
Defectors say 80 per cent of trees die and underground wells have run dry.
The North Korea‘s nuclear tests are responsible for the death of at least 200 workers and have turned the nuclear test site into a wasteland where babies are born with defects, 21 defectors have reported.
The defectors from Kilju county, where the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test facility is located, have said 80 per cent of trees that are planted die and underground wells have run dry.
One defector said people in the region are worried about contamination from radiation, as deformed babies were born in hospitals in Kilju.
Another former resident, referring to the regime’s most recent nuclear test, said: “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.”
The defectors, which include one person who claimed to have experienced two nuclear tests in October 2006 and May 2009, said locals were not warned in advance. Only family members of soldiers were evacuated to underground shafts. Ordinary people were completely unaware of the tests.
Other sources said residents from Kilju have been banned from making hospital appointments in the capital, Pyongyang, since the most recent nuclear test.
Officials are reportedly attempting to contain leaks from the area by arresting anyone caught boarding trains from Kilju with samples of soil, water or leaves, and sending them to prison camps.