A video to which he had access The Associated Press shows columns of black smoke rising from a north korean city Next to the border with China, between reports about what had occurred explosions with several dead in the place this week.
Ni North Korea ni China they made statements about what happened on Monday in the North Korean city of Hyesan.
But South Korean media and external monitoring groups reported that dozens of people had been killed or injured in gas explosions in a residential area.
Those reports could not be independently confirmed.
The video acquired by AP shows orange flames and black smoke rising into the sky from Hyesan, while loud sounds that look like explosions are heard.
At least 15 dead in North Korea after an explosion. A fire reached a gas network, according to ‘Daily NK’. No information confirmed by Chinese or North Korean authorities pic.twitter.com/RfhT5N3Cc3
– 6w (@ 6w_es) August 5, 2020
A few people are seen watching the scene from the Chinese side of the border.
The video was taken by Wang Bo, a travel agent who said he shot it from a park in the Chinese border town of Changbai.
“I saw explosions and there were many onlookers looking in that direction. We don’t know why there were explosions,” said Wang.
Wang, who said he had visited Hyesan earlier, said the explosions had occurred near the orphanage and the city’s tourist office.
Many Chinese towns are very close to North Korea, separated only by the river border.
Wang explained that from the Changjiang Binjiang Park, where he recorded the video, “In summer we see North Koreans bathing in the river, and in winter people can walk on the frozen Yalu River.”
The Associated Press verified the location of the video after examining other videos of tourists in the park, which show the same structures and lights. Other videos of the alleged explosions have been circulated on Chinese and South Korean social media.
In Seoul, the South Korean spy agency and the Unification Ministry, which manages relations with North Korea, said they could not initially confirm the blast reports. Unification Ministry spokesman Yoh Sangkey told reporters that he regretted any possible victims.
Daily NK, a Seoul-based outlet specializing in news about North Korea, said Wednesday that 15 people had died and the number could rise, according to sources in North Korea that it did not identify.
The media had previously indicated that the incident had started with gasoline accumulated in a house in Hyesan, which ignited and caused an explosion from a nearby gas cylinder, which in turn triggered a series of explosions of gas cylinders connected to other houses. .
Other South Korean media published similar reports. Ahn Kyung-su, an investigator, said one of his sources of North Korean refugees in South Korea had learned of the alleged blasts from a phone call Tuesday with a relative in Hyesan.
South Korean state media, which rarely lists fatal accidents in the country, did not comment on the alleged blasts.
However, in 2017, state media reported six deaths when a mine roof collapsed.
In 2014, state media said that members of the government had apologized for the collapse of a building under construction in Pyongyang, the capital.