AT LEAST 200 people have reportedly been killed at Kim Jong-un’s nuclear test site in North Korea after a tunnel collapsed.
A North Korean official told a Japanese news agency the collapse occurred during the construction of a tunnel at the Pukyung nuclear test site in the northeast of North Korea on October 10.
According to the report, 100 people were trapped in tunnels, and a further collapse occurred during the rescue operation, killing at least 100 more.
The accident, TV Asahi reported, was due to the weakening of the surrounding grounds due to the sixth nuclear test conducted on March 3.
It comes as the White House says US President Donald Trump will not visit the Demilitarized Zone during his upcoming trip to Asia – a break from many previous administrations.
A senior administration official told reporters during a White House background briefing that there’s not enough time in the president’s schedule to accommodate a visit to the border zone that has separated the North and South for 64 years.
Mr Trump will be visiting Camp Humphreys, a military base about 64 kilometers south of Seoul, to highlight the US-South Korean partnership and burden-sharing, instead.
Mr Trump was invited to visit the base by Korean President Moon Jae-in.
In a recent speech at the United Nations, Mr Trump said he would “totally destroy” North Korea, if necessary.
He also derided Kim as “little Rocket Man.”
Every president but one since Ronald Reagan has visited the DMZ – often wearing bomber-style jackets and flanked by military officers.
Trump will depart Friday for a trip that will take him to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The president will be attending several summits, hold a series of bilateral meetings, will be feted at banquets and spend time golfing with Japanese President Shinzo Abe.
Mr Trump will also be meeting for the first time with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been accused of human rights abuses, including killing suspected drug dealers.
The White House has said that Mr Trump could raise concerns with the program.