North Korea nuclear test site part-collapsed, unusable: Chinese experts

Two studies involving Chinese experts have found that a 4.1-magnitude aftershock that took place 8 1/2 minutes after the first quake following a bomb blast caused the collapse of rock inside the mountain. ICMD, April 25, 2018 North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has partially collapsed following a massive bomb blast last year, making it unusable, Chinese seismologists have concluded. The North’s leader Kim Jong Un declared last week that his regime would halt nuclear and long-range missile tests and shut down its nuclear site at Punggye-ri under Mount Mantap in the country’s northeast. The offer came days before his summit this Friday with the South’s President Moon Jae-in, which is scheduled to be followed by a summit with US President Donald Trump. North Korea conducted five of its six nuclear tests at the site, with the biggest blast last September 3 triggering a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that was felt across the northern border with China. The North claimed it tested a hydrogen bomb. Landslides and earthquakes following the explosion led to speculation that the site was suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”. Two studies involving Chinese experts have found that a 4.1-magnitude aftershock that took place 8 1/2 minutes after the first quake caused the collapse of rock inside the mountain. “It is necessary to continue monitoring possible leaks of radioactive materials caused by the collapse incident,” said the University of Science and Technology of China in a summary of one study posted on its website. The university said the study would be published in Geophysicial Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. An English-language abstract by the study authors in another section of the university’s website concluded: “The occurrence of the collapse should deem the underground infrastructure beneath mountain Mantap not be used for any future nuclear tests.” The line about the site being unusable does not appear in the Chinese-language summary and it was unclear whether it would be included in the journal. One of the study’s authors, Lianxing Wen of New York’s Stony Brook University, did not immediately respond to emailed questions. A second study led by Chinese scientists, including experts from the China Earthquake Administration, also concluded that the September aftershock had caused a collapse. “The aftershock was neither a secondary explosion nor a triggered tectonic earthquake,” said the second study, published last month, also in Geophysicial Research Letters. “It occurred due to a process comparable to a ‘mirror image’ of the explosion, that is, a rock collapse, or compaction, for the ?rst time documented in North Korea’s test site,” it said. The second study, however, did not determine whether the site was unusable or leaking radiation. “Seismic models, like in this paper, provide only partial understanding of the underground explosions,” it said, adding that further studies are necessary to look at radioactive leaks or possible groundwater contamination. The two studies reached their conclusions by looking at data from seismic monitoring stations. China has deployed radiation monitoring stations along its border with North Korea. A state-run newspaper in the northeastern province of Jilin last year published a list of tips on how civilians can protect themselves in the event of a nuclear attack. -- Agencies/HT

At least 6 policemen martyred in Quetta suicide attack on police

two suicide bombers also attacked a Frontier Corps (FC) checkpost in Quetta's Mian Ghundi area, however, the FC personnel killed the attackers following an exchange of fire, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. QUETTA: ICMD, April 24, 2018 At least six policemen were martyred and seven others were injured when a suicide bomber targeted a police van on Airport Road in Quetta on Tuesday evening. Moreover, two suicide bombers also attacked a Frontier Corps (FC) checkpost in Quetta's Mian Ghundi area, however, the FC personnel killed the attackers following an exchange of fire, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. “The first suicide bomber blew himself up outside a FC checkpost in the outskirts of Quetta city after he was spotted by the guards,” Balochistan Home Secretary Ghulam Ali Baloch told AFP. “Just in the next moments, another bomber who was covering the first attacker exchanged fire with the security forces and later blew himself up.” Some eight paramilitary officials were wounded in this attack, he added. Around half an hour later a third bomber drove his motorcycle into a police truck on a road leading to the airport, killing at least six policemen, Baloch added. Moazam Jah Ansari, Quetta's police chief, confirmed the attacks and said the bombing of the police truck was so powerful that the vehicle overturned. It was not clear whether the third bomber was wearing an explosive vest or if the bike was filled with explosives. “Seven policemen were injured in this attack,” he said, adding that the three blasts may have been coordinated. Police and FC personnel rushed to the blast site and cordoned off the area. No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks. In January this year, at least seven people were killed on Quetta's Zarghoon Road when a suicide bomber rammed into a parked police truck, injuring 16 people, police said. -- Courtesy AFP More on Balochistan Two Men Belonged To Hazara Community Killed In Quetta Attack Click: http://induschronicle.com.pk/latest.php

A regime worse than martial law imposed across Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: ICMD, April 23, 2018 Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that recent actions by the top judiciary indicate that a regime worse than a martial law has been imposed across Pakistan. Nawaz and his daughter Maryam arrived from London earlier on Monday to attend the accountability proceedings. The two had requested an exemption from appearance citing Kulsoom Nawaz’s deteriorating heath, however, their exemption plea was not entertained by the court. “What is prevalent in the country is not democracy, but the worst kind of dictatorship under [Chief Justice Mian] Saqib Nisar,” he said while speaking to reporters inside the accountability court after appearing in the Avenfield flats reference hearing. He also referred to recent hurdles faced by a protest movement and media organisations. “What is happening in the country is not less than a ‘judicial martial law’,” said the former PM, who returned from London late on Sunday. “In my political life, I have never seen such restrictions on media and freedom of speech,” he added. Nawaz then quoted former president Idi Amin of Uganda and said, “I can guarantee freedom of speech but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech.” -- MD