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South Korea begins radiation tests on North Korean defectors

S.Korea kicks off radiation tests on N.Korean defectors
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An official at Seoul‘s Unification Ministry said on Tuesday that radiation exposure tests on North Korean defectors from areas near the reclusive country’s Punggye-ri nuclear testing site had begun.

The radiation testing, which began on Monday, is expected to be completed by November, with the results likely to be made public in late December, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The test will be carried out on 89 defectors who lived in Kilju county and its surrounding areas and fled to the North following the country’s first nuclear test in 2006.

The North carried out all six of its nuclear tests at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in Kilju, the country’s northeastern province.

In 2017 and 2018, the South Korean government conducted similar tests on 40 North Korean defectors.

Among the 89 defectors who will be tested, nine are suspected of having been exposed to radiation during previous government tests.

The Transitional Justice Working Group, an advocacy group for human rights in the North, stated in a February report that hundreds of thousands of residents living near the Punggye-ri site are at risk of exposure to radioactive materials spread by underground water.

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Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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