Eruption at Mt. Baekdu

There has been some concern lately regarding Mt. Baekdu and the possibility of its eruption. Volcanologist Hiromitsu Taniguchi claims that there is a 99% chance that Mount Baekdu will erupt within the next two decades. If it erupts, he says that it will be similar to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the United States. This eruption was rated as 5 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) and Taniguchi predicts that Mt. Baekdu will reach a 4 or 5 on the VEI. Eruptions designated as having a VEI of 5 or higher are considered “very large” explosive events, and occur worldwide on an average of only about once every two decades, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a scientific agency of the U.S. government.”

As you can imagine, such an explosion could be detrimental to both North and South Korea, and even the surrounding countries. After the tsunami in Japan last year, North Korea requested to hold talks with South Korea regarding the volcanic activity but the two have failed to hold any further talks or conduct an on-site survey of Mount Baekdu since then. The volcano last erupted in 1903. Continue reading

In the News – Three convicted of N. Korea rumor-based stock rigging

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In the News – Three convicted of N. Korea rumor-based stock rigging

SEOUL, June 28 (Yonhap) — Three men who manipulated stock prices by spreading false rumors of a nuclear reactor explosion in North Korea have been sentenced to prison terms, court officials said Thursday.

The rumors, which circulated through an online messenger service, claimed a light-water reactor had exploded in North Korea and was leaking radioactive materials that could reach the South.

On Jan 6, the rumors hit South Korean stock markets, causing the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index to fall 1.11 percent, after shedding as much as 2.12 percent at one point. The local currency depreciated 0.88 percent against the greenback.

A 28-year-old surnamed Woo was sentenced to two years in prison, according to officials at the Seoul Central District Court.

The court sentenced Woo’s two accomplices to one and a half years and one year in prison, suspended for three years.

The three pocketed a total of 29 million won (US$17,323) from the difference in stock prices triggered by their schemes, the officials said.

The trio was also involved in a separate stock manipulation in February that stemmed from false rumors of a vaccine development at a pharmaceutical company.

Original article can be found here.