North Korea’s nuclear tests make residents sick with “ghost disease”, say deserters –

North Korea’s nuclear tests make residents sick with “ghost disease”, say deserters


North Koreans who defected but lived near a nuclear testing site in the rebel nation now believe they are experiencing the dangerous effects of exposure to harmful radiation, and caused serious health problems, according to a report published on Sunday.

"So many people died that we started calling it 'ghost disease'," said Lee Jeong Hwa, who escaped from his home in Kilju County in 2010, where the Punggye nuclear testing site is located. ri, to NBC News. "We thought we were dying because we were poor and we ate poorly, now we know what the radiation was."

Lee is not the only defector who believes that radiation is taking its toll on the people who lived there. [19659005] The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported in November that nearly two dozen deserters said the area surrounding Punggye-ri is becoming a "wasteland" where vegetation is dying and babies are born with deformities.

Deserters said drinking water in the area came from Mount Mantap, where nuclear tests were conducted clandestinely.


Rhee Yeong Sil told NBC News that he previously defected in 2013, a neighbor of his gave birth a baby so deformed that no one could determine its gender.

"I did not have bads," Rhee said. "In North Korea, deformed babies usually die, so the parents killed the baby."

Lee told NBC News that the Unification Ministry of South Korea has tested it, along with other defectors, and found no signs of contamination due to radiation from nuclear tests.

It is "badumed" that cancer or other diseases found in North Korean defectors are due to nuclear tests, but it is difficult to confirm, the Korean Nuclear Safety Institute told the network.

There is also concern that strong winds blow persistent radiation to Japan through the Sea of ​​Japan.

Less than a week ago, the regime launched what it called its "largest" intercontinental ballistic missile that, according to South Korean officials, could have the ability to hit targets as far as 8,100 miles away, putting Washington, DC, within reach.

NORTH KOREA SAYS THAT THE US MILITARY EXERCISES OF KOREA AND SOUTH KOREA ARE DRIVEN TO THE "BRINCO OF A NUCLEAR WAR" [19659006] The missile, launched on November 28 around 1:30 p.m. ET, was the first to make the regime since his test on September 15 when he fired an intermediate-range missile overflying the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

October marked the first month that the regime did not test a missile since January. Between February and September, North Korea launched a missile on average every two weeks.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking news for Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah .

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