Radiation 'ghost disease' poisoning North Koreans, defectors claim

  05 December 2017    Read: 458
Radiation 'ghost disease' poisoning North Koreans, defectors claim

North Korean defectors have claimed they are suffering from the effects of exposure to radiation during time spent living near the country’s nuclear test sites, AzVision.az reports citing the Independent.

Lee Jeong-hwa said she had tried to flee North Korea for seven years until finally succeeding in 2010.

During those years Kim Jong-il detonated two nuclear devices at the Punggye-ri test site, which sits within Ms Lee’s home county of Kilju.

“So many people died we began calling it ‘ghost disease',” she told NBC News. ”We thought we were dying because we were poor and we ate badly. Now we know it was the radiation.”

However, speaking in South Korea, Ms Lee told the broadcaster she had undergone radiation tests that had come back negative.

And Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, a scientist at the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies in California, told NBC that radiation leaks would have been detected by sensors in the region.

The claims of defectors are notoriously difficult to verify due to the repressive nature of the North Korean regime – and the potential propaganda value of their life stories.

Earlier this month, defectors from Kilju made similar claims in interviews with South Korean media.

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