[EDITORIALS]What really happened?A huge explosion was reported in the Yanggang region of North Korea but there has yet to be any clear explanation of what happened. The foreign media and experts are mentioning the possibility that it could have been a nuclear weapons test. However, several facts make that scenario unlikely. For one thing, no radioactive residue was found. And a Blue House official strongly discounted the possibility of a nuclear test.
Nevertheless, considering the recent political state of the Korean Peninsula, such an explosion cannot help but prompt concern. North Korea has discontinued most ongoing inter-Korean dialogues, including between governments. The internal power struggle within North Korea has reportedly gotten more intense lately. There are rumors circulating in the United States that North Korea might conduct a nuclear test in October.
This explosion happened in an area known to be a strategic military location at which Rodong missiles are also based. Under these circumstances, when there has been an explosion that was even bigger than the one in Yongcheon in April, it is only right for the government to tell the people what is going on. The government claims that it has grasped the situation from the beginning.
If so, why didn’t the government take any action for the last three days? The government should have opened a National Security Council meeting immediately and explained to the public what it knows so far. There was a belated council meeting but the issue was said to be dealt with briefly. Such an attitude from the government is a reflection that it had no access to in-depth information related to the explosion. Isn’t this because of the difficulty of accessing core information on the North, such as satellite data? Is the joint information-sharing system with the United States functioning properly?
If it turns out that the explosion was not a simple accident, it could have serious consequences for the stability of the Korean Peninsula; this goes without saying in the unlikely case that the explosion had indeed been a nuclear test. We urge North Korea not to play with fire, which could upset the entire international community in these risky times. The government should use all information networking available to find out about this explosion and inform the public about it. North Korea should also step out of its self-imposed isolation and reveal the truth itself.