North Korea‘s leader Kim Jong-un regularly threatens to reduce his Western rivals “to debris” and fears are growing the crazed despot could finally press the big red button.
Special bunkers designed to withstand a nuclear blast are now being sold in South Korea’s capital of Seoul – with the help of a British firm.
UK bunker experts Castellex have been working alongside South Korean company Chumdan Bunker System (CBS) over the past months as the nuclear crisis on the peninsula developed.
CBS owner Go Wan Hyeok said the demand for affordable bunkers led him to set up Seoul – and he also wants to branch out to Europe and the UK within five years.
He joked of hoping Kim goes ahead and fires a missile so he can prove how strong his shelters really are.
Mr Go Wan said: “I’m wishing that he presses the button and shoots the bomb! I think more people will be selling bunkers on the high street in the next five years but I’m the first in the world. I want to then open up showrooms in Europe and my friends in the UK.”
He said his shelters were “affordable” – although a bunker capable of protecting a family of four will sill set you back 30 million won (approximately £20,000).
READ MORE: Will North Korea launch another nuclear missile test?
The high price tag is not stopping sales soaring, Mr Go Wan said.
He said: “This is certainly affordable for most families in Korea. We can make them any size. It takes three weeks to make one.
“We have lots of people come into the shop and our team of ten are getting calls every day.”
The bunkers include solar panels and generators capable of powering the bunker for up to a month following a blast.
They have four beds – although Mr Go Wan said customised models are available for up to eight people, with space for a computer, TV, fridge and other home essentials. Some models can even be fitted with CCTV periscopes.
It follows a similar surge in sales of survival kits in South Korea.
In September Hong Soon-chul of eBay Korea warned: “There has been a recent surge in demand for survival kits.
“We don’t advertise or market such items because it could raise unnecessary concerns but the demand is out there.”
Auction, another website, also reported a surge in demand.
They said sales for hand-held radios had risen 46 per cent and combat rations by 77 per cent from September 2 to 5. This was around the time North Korea carried out a highly provocative nuclear test, a move which sent alarm bells ringing from Washington to Japan.