Netizen Voices: Fear of Radiation from North Korea

Protesting North Korea’s nuclear tests in Harbin, China.

After North Korea’s nuclear test yesterday, Chinese netizens have voiced concern that radiation could reach across the border. Rumors about nuclear pollution in the northeast continue to surface, but to date the government has issued no formal report. Today, the People’s Daily tried to quell fears on Weibo by reporting the results of Japan’s radiation tests:

@PeoplesDaily: [North Korean Nuclear Test: Japan Has Not Detected Radioactivity] The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology reported on the 13th that following North Korea’s nuclear test, levels of radioactivity measured throughout Japan were the same as before the test. Additionally, Self-Defense Forces aircraft flew in Japanese airspace on the 12th, collecting large amounts of airborne particles, which they delivered to the Japan Chemical Analysis Center, the organization under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology that is entrusted with analyzing the samples. No radioactivity from the nuclear test was detected. via @TopNewsInternational

@人民日报:【朝核试:日本没有监测到放射性物质】日本文部科学省13日宣布,朝鲜进行核试验后,日本全国监测的放射线量数据与核试验前相比没有变化。此外,自卫队飞机12日在日本上空采集大气尘埃,交由文部科学省下属的财团法人日本分析中心进行分析,也没有检测出来自核试验的放射性物质。via@新国际

Instead of calming the public, the People’s Daily only provoked more anger and uncertainty among netizens. People left comments on Weibo asking what Chinese government scientists had to hide:

@UnconventionalChildKing: Excuse me, what about China’s test results? Are they stalling on tests? Or do they not dare to release the results?

@非主流孩子王:请问中国政府的监测结果呢?它就在挨着我们,是没监测?还是不敢公布?

@laodan2010: The People’s Daily is overlooking the common concerns of the Chinese people and isn’t reporting on the state of China’s test results. Meanwhile, it’s announcing Japan’s test results. It really is asking for a tongue-lashing!

@laodan2010:人民日报避开中国人的普遍忧虑,不公布中国监测情况,而左顾言他发布日本的检测,真是找骂!

@SecretlyLaughingPiglet: An explosion occurs on China’s border, but we still have to learn whether or not there is radioactivity from foreign media. Our society and government are truly tragic.

@偷笑的小猪:中国边上爆炸,还得通过外媒获得是否有辐射,这个社会政府悲哀啊

@TheThirdEarl: CCTV journalists reported live from the scene during the U.S. snowstorm, while this is happening right on our national border. I don’t know what high-level or national media think about this, but comparing the two incidents, how can average people tolerate this?

@伯爵-三世:美国暴风雪央视记者现场直播,而这事就在国境边,不知道高层或国家级媒体咋想的,二相比较,叫百姓情何已堪啊

@WangChuan: The People’s Daily cares so much for the Japanese people! It’s Japan’s conscience-in-media.

@王川: 人民日报对日本人民十分关心!是日本的良心报

@SanHeTech: The Chinese government should publicly announce how radiation from North Korea’s nuclear explosion has impacted China. It’s enough that they won’t announce anything themselves, but now they are even deleting online information from the Japanese government. Isn’t that low of them?

@三合技术:朝鲜核爆,对中国核污染如何,中国政府应当公告。自已不公告也就罢了,网上还删除日本政府的消息,这不是缺德吗?

@SuYaoshirley: I demand that detection tests take place in Jilin. We are in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, very close to North Korea, and an unnatural earthquake shook us. If there is nuclear radiation and radioactive pollution, we will have no way of ensuring our physical health!

@苏瑶shirley:强烈要求对吉林进行监测,我们身处延边州地区距离朝鲜最近,非自然地震波及到了我们,如果有核辐射及放射性物质,我们的身体健康将无法得到保证!

@SanHeTech: When we have no enemies, we create them and say that external hostile forces are trying to overthrow the government. When we have enemies, even when they set off nuclear explosions on our doorstep, we still say they’re targeting enemies 80,000 kilometers away and that it doesn’t have a d**n thing to do with us.

@三合技术:没有敌人,制造敌人也要说有境外势力要搞颠覆;有了敌人,即使他们在家门口搞核爆也要说他们是针对八万里以外的敌人,跟自己没鸟事。

Despite chastising North Korea, China’s lukewarm response to the nuclear tests is seen by western analysts as nothing more than a Cold War-style feint.

Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Liz Carter.