Oops! I found the wrong location for Mount Mantap. :-( See Update 2 at the bottom of the page for the correct location.
Mount Mantap is approximately 17 Km North-Northwest from P’unggye-yok, a rail-road station, Kilju County, North Hamgyeong Province. (Source)
This GlobalSecurity.org article continues:
In the late 1990s, the South Korean Government became aware that a tunnel was being dug in the area. According to another report, US intelligence had been monitoring the Kilju area since 2002. US satellite imagery detected mounds left from the digging of tunnels. It was possible to estimate the depth of the tunnel based on the amount of soil removed.
Since late August 2004, US intelligence had reportedly monitored activity consistent with preparations for a nuclear test. The activities included the movement of materials around several suspected test sites, including one near a location where intelligence agencies reported in 2003 a series of tests of conventional explosives. Although there were several tunnels deep enough and with suitable terrain for a test throughout the country, there was only one place with a lot of activity.
By late April 2005, there were reports that North Koreans were constructing a reviewing stand and filling in a tunnel, both signs that an underground nuclear test was imminent. (Source)
Please follow the source links to read the entire article.
Another GlobalSecurity.org article shows satellite photos of the support building surrounding the suspected underground nuclear test site. The pictures don’t show a wide enough view to clearly show the location of Mount Mantap.
Fortunately, GlobalSecurity.org lists multiple other names for P’unggye-yok: Kilju, Kilchu, Kisshu, and Gilju. Google Earth was able to find Kilchu near the intersection of the blue lines shown on the picture above. (The blue lines are North-South and East-West lines from prominent coastal features of North Korea. The picture below shows the general location of the detailed view.) Going north from P’unggye-yok “approximately 17 Km North-Northwest” places Mount Mantap somewhere around the red oval (which is not a mountain, but a river bed…).
P’unggye-yok is only about 30 Km from North Korea’s Musadan-ri missile facility (green circle).
The Google Earth Community already has markers for other items around P’unggye-yok. Maybe in a few days, someone will find the exact location that matches the satellite pictures shown on GlobalSecurity.org.
Update: The pictures now link to Google maps or you can use the links below:
ArmsControlWonk found the correct location of the suspected site nearly two months ago, with pictures and a Google Earth .kmz file. Wow, I wish I found ArmsControlWonk a couple of days ago…
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