Where in the World is Mount Mantap? (Part 2)

Oops! I found the wrong location for Mount Mantap. :-( See Update 2 at the bottom of the page for the correct location.

Yesterday, I asked Where in the World is Mount Mantap? Today, thanks to GlobalSecurity.org, we know:

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:

Update 2:

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…

Related on blogan

Where in the World is Mount Mantap?

Mount Mantap is in the news:

North Korea has constructed an underground tunnel for possible use in a nuclear weapons test, a Grand National Party lawmaker with close ties to the intelligence community said [September 21, 2006].

Chung Hyung-keun cited sources in the National Intelligence Service for his claim. He said a shaft 700 meters (0.4 miles) deep has been sunk into Mount Mantap in North Hamkyong province with a horizontal tunnel running nearby. (Source)

But where in the world is Mount Mantap? I cannot find it. At best I can limit it to the region shaded in the map. That’s where North Korea has its Musudan-ri missile facility.

While searching, I found this interesting opinion.

[C]arrying out nuclear tests inside North Korea would be an extremely sticky action. That is because this kind of nuclear testing could only be carried out underground. There is absolutely no way they could do in the air or above ground. Even with underground nuclear testing, you normally need a fifty to sixty kilometer square of desert for a nuclear test. In the U.S., this would be something like the Nevada desert. Unless you have the kind they have in India or Pakistan, you cannot do it. The reason for this is that the underground water system gets damaged. North Korea has a very abundant flow of underground water, and if you carry out an underground nuclear test in this kind of place, radioactive materials would get into the water supply for the whole of the Korean peninsula, and also flow out into the Sea of Japan. As a consequence, if there were any underground nuclear testing in the Korean peninsula, it would not be just the ecological system, but also the topography of the land that would be damaged. (Source: 1, 2)

If you know where Mount Mantap is, please tell me.

Update: See Where in the World is Mount Mantap? (Part 2).