No traces of radioactive contamination were found in air samples collected from near North Korea's reported nuclear test site, South Korea's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said on Tuesday (13 September). Soon after the detonation, South Korea had said it was sending several sea vessels and airplanes to collect air and water samples to study the impact of the nuclear test on the environment.
Although the commission said that it did not find any traces of radioactive substances from the samples collected, it stressed that it would continue to collect more samples to further study the surroundings of Pyongyang's latest and most powerful nuclear test, Reuters reported.
Soon after Kim Jong-un's regime conducted the fifth nuclear test on 9 September both Seoul and the US sent airplanes and sea vessels equipped with radionuclide detectors to study the level of contamination in the air and water around the detonation area. In addition to studying the contamination levels, South Korea and the US also wanted to determine the radioactive substances North Korea used in its nuclear test.
South Korean's Air Force had sent light attack planes fitted with radionuclide detectors to measure the level of atmospheric exposure in the easternmost Gangwon Province, while the navy dispatched a fleet of sea vessels equipped with similar detectors to the East Sea.
Amid investigation into the latest nuclear test, the North is reported to have completed preparations for yet another test of a nuclear weapon.
In response to repeated "military provocation" from Kim Jong-un-led North Korea, the US on Tuesday flew two supersonic bombers over the region in what appears to be a show of strength. Meanwhile, the United Nations and other countries strongly condemned Pyongyang's repeated pursuit of nuclear warheads and are mulling further tighter sanctions against the country.