Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

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Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site (Hangul풍계리 핵 실험장; Hanja豊溪里 核 實驗場) is North Korea's only known nuclear test site and is located in Kilju County, North Hamgyong Province. Based on currently known satellite imagery, Its exact location is 41°16'47.87"N, 129° 5'10.51"E. The site is where the 2006, 2009, 2013, January 2016, September 2016, and 2017 North Korean nuclear tests took place.


The site is located in mountainous terrain 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Mantapsan, 2 km (1.2 mi) west of Hwasong concentration camp and 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of the Punggye-ri village, and has three visible tunnel entrances.[1]

The most proximate place to the possible nuclear underground test site is Chik-tong, a small populated place located at 41°16'00"N 129°06'00"E.[2] Sungjibaegam is a settlement located 24 kilometres (15 mi) from the tremor of the 2013 test.[3] Punggye-ri railway station is located at 41.130833° N, 129.163611° E.[4]The Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site is located at 41°16'47.87"N, 129° 5'10.51"E.


In January 2013, Google Maps was updated to include various locations in North Korea.[5] On 8 April 2013, South Korea had observed activity at Punggye-ri, suggesting that a fourth underground test was being prepared.[6] It was later believed that the tunneling activity that started in April was for a long term project, and that a nuclear test wouldn't occur soon.[7] On 6 January 2016, North Korean state media announced that they had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb at the location.[8] Satellite imagery captured for monitoring website 38 North between January and April 2017 suggests that a further nuclear test was being prepared at the site,[9]which they carried out on September 3, 2017. A tunnel collapsed at the Punggye-ri site after this nuclear test. Due to the possibility of being radioactively contaminated, people from the Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been banned from entering Pyongyang since the test.[10]


  1. ^ "Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility - Facilities - NTI". NTI: Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. 
  2. ^ John Pike. "Chik-tong, P'unggye-yok / Punggye-ri (Kilju / Kilchu / Kisshu / Gilju)". Archived from the original on 10 October 2006. 
  3. ^ "M5.1 – 24km ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea". USGS. 12 February 2013. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "P'unggye-yok, North Korea". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Cavan Sieczkowski (29 January 2013). "Google Maps North Korea: Prison Camps, Nuclear Complexes Pinpointed In New Images (PHOTOS)". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Activity at North’s nuke test site-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily". Koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  7. ^ 38 North (25 June 2013). "New Tunneling Activity at the North Korean Nuclear Test Site". 38 North. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "North Korea claims Thermonuclear Test". britainscoldwar.uk. 6 January 2016. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Davis, William J. Broad, Kenan; Patel, Jugal K. (2017-04-12). "North Korea May Be Preparing Its 6th Nuclear Test". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 14 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  10. ^ "Nuke Site Residents Banned from Pyongyang". Chosun Ilbo. 2017-09-20. 

Coordinates: 41°16′41″N 129°05′15″E / 41.2780677°N 129.087408°E / 41.2780677; 129.087408

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