The Punggye-ri site in the north-west of the country is where North Korea has conducted its five most recent nuclear bomb tests and any further blasts could cause the entire site to collapse, which would have a devastating effect on the region.
The site is widely believed to be where Sunday’s blast took place, which prompted a 6.3-magnitude earthquake and was claimed by Pyongyang to be the “perfect” detonation of a hydrogen bomb.
A team of scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China said their research had suggested all the tests were carried out under the same mountain, with further tests risking a major environmental disaster.
Wang Naiyan, the former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and senior researcher on China’s nuclear weapons programme, said another test could cause the whole mountain to cave in on itself, leaving a hole that would cause radiation to leak out across the region.
He told the South China Morning Post: “We call it ‘taking the roof off’. If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things.”
Wang added that nuclear bomb testing requires a mountain with a high peak but relatively flat slopes, meaning Pyongyang does not have an abundance of suitable peaks to choose from.
The increasing size of North Korea’s nuclear bombs is also boosting the risk of blowing the top off the mountain.
Wang added: “A 100 kiloton bomb is a relatively large bomb. The North Korean government should stop the tests as they pose a huge threat not only to North Korea but to other countries, especially China.”
The news comes after Pyongyang claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear warhead which could be fitted onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICMB), leaving the possibility of war an ever likely prospect.
On Tuesday morning, sources revealed that North Korea had been seen moving yet another missile towards the western coast.
The rocket started moving on Monday, a day after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test and was reportedly spotted moving at night to avoid surveillance.
The Western side of the peninsula brings the missile closer to enemies of the Kim regime include Japan and the US amid rising fears of World War 3.
A Hwasong-14 ICBM tested earlier this year by Kim Jong-un’s cruel regime was found to be capable of reaching the US mainland, prompting an exchange of insults and threats between Pyongyang and US President Donald Trump.
The international community has offered a variety of different proposals to resolve the escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula, but is yet to unanimously agree a solution.
Russia and China have called for diplomacy and said new threats and sanctions will not deter the Kim regime.
The US, Japan and South Korea appear to be moving away from diplomacy and towards more powerful means of reducing the threat, with Seoul conducting a series of military drills in a show of force against their hostile northern neighbours.