North Korea could be its own worst enemy if its hectic missile programme continues to involve reckless testing in the north of the country.
Bumbling dictator Kim Jong-un is so desperate to increase his military might he may accidentally cause the downfall of his own nation.
Experts warn Mount Paektu, located on the border between China and North Korea, could blow if disruptive missile tests continue nearby.
ERIC LAFFORGUE / GETTY
Kim Jong-un may cause his own downfall by sparking a volcanic eruption at Paektu
The site is incredibly symbolic in North Korea, where it is seen as the spiritual home of the nation and protected by armed guards and fences.
It is where the country’s founder Kim il-Sung camped out during the Korean War and where his son Kim Jong-il claimed he was born – although he was actually born in Siberia.
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VOLCANO: North Korea nuclear weapons could lead to ERUPTION
Fri, May 19, 2017
A new problem may erupt: when North Korea tests a nuclear weapon, specialists say the energy could trigger a volcanic eruption in Paektu. That could be a huge disaster, killing thousands in North Korea and on the Chinese side too.
Eric Lafforgue/Exclusivepix Medi
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Paektu is an active volcano which last erupted in 1903
However, the holy site may actually prove to be the country’s worst enemy if Kim’s desperate attempts to draw level with the USA and South Korea continue.
Scientists warn thousands could die in North Korea and China if the volcano were to erupt, based on historic events.
The mountain exploded in 946 AD, one of the most powerful volcanoes to explode in the last 5,000 years. Ash covered around 1.5 million square miles of the surrounding area and sent a huge amount of debris into the air.
Mt Paetku is an incredibly holy place to North Korean citizens
The site is so important certain trees are protected by covers
Scientists warn a repeat event sparked by a nuclear test could have dire consequences as far away as Australia.
Lloyd Hamilton, a retired professor of geology, issued the dire prediction to Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop warning her of an eruption at Paektu mountain.
The barren track to the mountain is only passable in good weather
Mr Hamilton wrote in an email: “Professor Hiromitsu Taniguchi from Tohoku University claims that there is a 99 per cent chance of the Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea erupting some time in the next 15 years.
Bare buildings near Mount Paetku, an important site to North Koreans
“It erupted in 946 A.D killing 71,000 to 92,000 people in North Korea, China, Russia and Japan.
“I expect Australia would be happy to agree not to aggressively trigger an eruption of Mount Paektu if North Korea agreed to stop threatening us with its nuclear bombs, and totally removed the threat.”