If a nuclear conflict erupts on the Korean Peninsula, Chernobyl would look like a “kids’ fairytale,” Russia’s president said. Tensions have been escalating rapidly, with last week seeing conflicting reports about North Korean nuclear activity.
Speaking at the annual industrial fair in Hannover, Vladimir Putin compared the possible nuclear brawl between Seoul and Pyongyang with one of the worst nuclear accidents in history – the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Korean nuke conflict may make Chernobyl look like ‘fairytale’ – Putin
According to Putin, the consequences of the nuclear conflict on the Korean Peninsula would far exceed the industrial disaster in Chernobyl.
The situation on the peninsula remains highly destabilized. On Monday, South Korea said a new nuclear test by the North was ‘not imminent’. However, the statement came shortly after Seoul had accused Pyongyang of gearing up for its fourth nuclear test.
Also on Monday, South Korean Yonhap news agency reported that North Korea is withdrawing its workers from the Kaesong industrial zone shared with the South.
Earlier a South Korean government source talking to the country’s Joongang Daily said that Pyongyang appeared to be making preparations for another underground nuclear test at Punggye-ri, the site of its previous test.
“We have detected increased activity of labor forces and vehicles at the southern tunnel of the test site in Punggye-ri, where the regime has worked on maintenance for facilities since its third nuclear test in February”, one of South’s top government officials said. He added that “the activities appear to be similar to those before the third test, so we are closely monitoring the site.”
The official went on to say that the South Korean government “were also tipped off that Pyongyang would soon carry out an additional nuclear test…but we are analyzing if it is indeed preparation for an additional test or it is just to pressure Seoul and Washington.”
The news came on the heels of the report by a top South Korean security official that their northern neighbor could be gearing up for a test-launch this week – just a day after the United States had earlier delayed its own unrelated missile launch for fear of provoking Pyongyang.
Chief national security adviser to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said it was not yet clear if the launch would come before or after Wednesday, April 10, which is the date by which North Korea recommends any foreign diplomats leave its territory.