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World North Korean defectors show signs of radiation exposure

02:46  28 december  2017
02:46  28 december  2017 Source:   cbsnews.com

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SEOUL, South Korea — Four defectors from the area near North Korea ’s nuclear testing site showed symptoms that could be attributed to radiation exposure , but scientists said they could not conclude that the health problems had been caused by a nuclear test

Four North Korean defectors have shown symptoms linked to radiation exposure , according to the Yonhap News Agency, citing the South Korean government. South Korean officials began testing defectors from that area for signs of radiation exposure in October, one month after North Korea

A screengrab from North Korean state television shows a missile, claimed by Pyongyang to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile, being launched from an unknown location, on Tue., July 4, 2017.: north-korea-missile-launch-july-4-2017-2.jpg © KRT/APTN north-korea-missile-launch-july-4-2017-2.jpg

Four North Korean defectors have shown symptoms linked to radiation exposure, according to the Yonhap News Agency, citing the South Korean government. However, scientists were unable to determine whether the defectors' symptoms were the direct cause of nuclear tests.

The defectors are among 30 former residents of from Kilju county in North Korea, the location of a known nuclear test site. South Korean officials began testing defectors from that area for signs of radiation exposure in October, one month after North Korea claimed to detonate a hydrogen bomb

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South Korean scientists and doctors who have been examining North Korean defectors have stumbled upon yet another horrifying discovery: At least four of the defectors have shown signs of radiation exposure , the South Korean government said on Wednesday - although researchers could

+ SEOUL – At least four defectors from North Korea have shown signs of radiation exposure , the South Korean government said on Wednesday, although researchers could not confirm if they were was related to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Story continues below.

U.S. officials said that explosion was almost 10 times larger than the blast from the bomb dropped over Hiroshima during World War II. The October blast registered as a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, and satellite images showed several landslides around the test area, prompting fears of radiation exposure. 

However, the four individuals who exhibited symptoms of exposure defected before the most recent test. A researcher at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, which conducted the exams, told reporters that the defectors were exposed to radiation between 2009 and 2013, Reuters reported

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests at the Punggye-ri test site in Kilju county since 2006. 

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While the South Korean researchers noted changes to chromosomes in four of the defectors, they say that could have been caused by other factors aside from nuclear tests, including smoking.

More data is needed to determine the cause of the symptoms, including information about the defectors' lifestyles prior to leaving North Korea.

The South Korean government plans to conduct future radiation testing and is advising North Korean defectors to get regular check-ups. 

CDC to hold briefing on how public can prepare for nuclear war .
This comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea . President Trump tweeted Tuesday night, boasting about the size of his "nuclear button" and how it's "much bigger & more powerful" than North Korea's."North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Mr. Trump tweeted.

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