STEM

Kim Jong Un’s recent nuclear tests may irreversibly damage the environment

By NYLA JAFRI

Kim Jong Un is a name that many have heard of, but few with delight. He is the dictator of communist North Korea and is infamous for oppressing his people, as proven in this recent case. According to the Los Angeles Times, a hydrogen bomb was detonated underground in North Korea under Kim Jong Un’s orders. This happened on Sept. 3, 2017, and reportedly caused a tremor that was felt even in Yanji, a Chinese city on the North Korean border. Unfortunately, this is not the first nuclear testing that North Korea has had–although it is the most powerful by far–but rather the sixth. While many people have only heard of this issue from a political standpoint, this testing could have and probably has had many health damaging consequences.
Famous Russian physicist, Andrei Sakharov, has proved nuclear testing to be carcinogenic, which means it has the potential to cause cancer. For example, with the frequent bombings in North Korea, the health of people of their nation and others in close proximity to the radioactive zone of the bomb may be affected by the testing.

Radiation from these tests has been increasingly noticed to rapidly grow the risk of thyroid cancer. Another example of the risks of this is mentioned in the World Economic Forum, where a nuclear bomb was tested 80 kilometers from Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.This caused over 60,000 people to die from radiation-induced cancer, and more than 500,000 people to be disabled enough to receive disability allowances. While this number is clearly overwhelming, it is the lowest official cancer statistic in the country.
Any plants that survived the blast may have been exposed to radiation absorbed it into themselves. Furthermore, any unsuspecting heterotroph may happen to eat the radioactive plant, thus absorbing the dangerous radioactive material into themselves. If omnivores or carnivores eat that animal, they would then continue to absorb the radioactive material as the cycle continues and eventually all animals and plants or their descendants would have disastrous health issues.
While many other severe health issues are caused by nuclear testing, these two examples show enough reason for why the testing is disastrous and negatively affects the already damaged Earth. With any luck, only a small percent of people in North Korea and radioactive would be affected by this testing, but since it is on their homeland, the chances are slim.

 

Categories: STEM

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