Experts Say North Korea's Weapons Testing Could Increase Risk For Volcanic Eruption

Geo Beats - Friday, 19 May 2017
Some experts have suggested the continued weapons testing by North Korea could raise the possibility of a volcanic eruption. While North Korea poses a serious threat to many countries, the nation's continued weapons testing may put many of its own citizens in danger by potentially triggering a volcanic eruption. As a recent Express report notes, "Experts warn Mount Paektu, located on the border between China and North Korea, could blow if disruptive missile tests continue nearby." The 9,000-foot-tall peak is considered sacred by many North Koreans.  Given Mount Paektu's location in the isolated nation, relatively little is known about the volcano, but following some rumblings, an international team of scientists was sent there several years ago to gather more data. Describing its enormous power, the New York Times says, "When it last awoke about a thousand years ago, the so-called Millennium Eruption unleashed one of the most violent volcanic events in recorded human history." If it were to erupt today, Bruce Bennett, a defense analyst, told CNN, "[it] could be an absolutely huge eruption, kill thousands -- if not tens of thousands -- of Chinese and North Koreans. We don't know if a bigger nuclear explosion will set it off, but it is certainly possible...The Chinese for years have been worried that he's (Kim Jong Un) going to cause a volcano to erupt." However, experts say based on the recent tests done by North Korea, they are unlikely to trigger an eruption but such a scenario could become more of a possibility if the country started testing more powerful weapons. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has made it clear that all options are on the table when it comes to curbing North Korea's threats. Vice President Mike Pence had particularly strong words for the regime, saying last month that the U.S. and its allies will “bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on the regime in North Korea, and we will do so until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”  He also warned, “The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready.” 

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