Talk:Ryongchon disaster

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Did the BBC display new satellite pictures of the area? I have yet to see any sat photos that are newer than a year-old pic taken by Digitalglobe on May 13, 2003 [1] [2] (though I'm only looking on the Internet so far). Mulad 19:03, Apr 23, 2004 (UTC)

I believe it was a crop of the second of the images you quote. There certainly didn't look like significant devastation on it, which one would expect from the reported damage. They don't keep it on screen for very long, and certainly don't pick over the details, so I think it's old. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:57, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I can't find it now, but on the first BBC Online reports on the disaster they certainly did provide a new satellite image showing a very large black plume over the town. -- ChrisO 00:13, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Could the trains have been carrying Chemical weapons?-- 23:12, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Who knows. Until some reliable person actually goes there it's impossible to know anything for sure. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:15, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Mulad is right, there are no new pictures up to now. See . We should slow down so things can be sorted out. Awolf002 17:55, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I made some edits because I noticed someone used the abbreviation "NK" for North Korea, but this got me wondering: is it more proper usage to refer to North Korea as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)? After all, IIRC officially the DPRK claims to be the official government of all Korea, while South Korea (excuse me, the Republic of Korea [ROK] ;-) makes the same claim. Exclusively using the labels "North Korea" & "South Korea" may be considered by some as endorsing an offensive POV. -- llywrch 22:39, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I think "North Korea" and "South Korea" are fine, for this article. We don't say "People's Republic of China" every time we mention that country, not "Taiwan Republic of China" for that. If we didn't cover the matters you describe on the particular pages for those countries, I'd agree that we were expressing a point of view. But here we're using a rather uncontentious shortcut, a policy we seem to share with most (english speaking, at least) media. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 22:44, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Okay. Just for the record, I'm not endorsing this change, & I have no strong opinion either way (although I'm used to referring to East Germany as the DDR [Deutsche Demokratik Republik]). I just want to bring this issue up for consideration, & before some fanatic starts edit wars over the proper style. -- llywrch 22:55, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Nothing will stop the fanatics from ... fanaticising (!) Call NK the DPRK and someone will want it called "communist occupied korea", call SK the ROK and someone will want it called "the right-wing splinter state...". The only way to win is not to play. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:10, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yabbut the hardest trolls not to play with are the ones who start with what appears to be a reasonable request, then gradually draw you in with further requests, until you find yourself enmired in a discussion (for example) whether George W. Bush is best described as "alleged President" or "illegally elected President". Sometimes it's best just to ask a question when the point seems silly, & not when it appears to be a matter of personal honor for several people involved. (And no, I'm not going to opine which is the better description for Bush.) -- llywrch 00:20, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I know this has no relevance to the article, but it just strikes me as revolting when I think of the North Korean authorities cutting off phone lines to the rest of the world. After treating the world with aggression for so much time, they now want aid from the world, but only in a limited fashion (only letting the Red Cross in, as if the DPRK government is the doing the Red Cross a favour), and they're also cutting off phone lines to stop reporting, but as I said before, they expect aid. if they want to be isolated, they should also refuse aid. Who would want to give them aid after this? But, it seems the rest of the world's tolerance and kindness never ends! 12:07, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have heard a lot of rumors about chemical weapons, i seen a documentery about North Korea on PBS, and it was suggested that chemical weapons are transported on North Korea's railway system. --Comrade Nick 01:27, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure-- 22:38, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Assaination attempt? It is mentioned on the Kim Jong-il that the disaster could have been an assination attempt, somthing that I believe was menioned as a possibility on BBC a few days later. If anyone has info on this, I do think it should be included. --Jjcarroll 16:57, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Syrian Involvement[edit]

I recall reading reports at the time that the shipment had to do with Syrian munitions, can anybody else confirm this?


I'm removing the "koreanname" flag here, because this is neither a proper noun nor a culturally significant concept. I don't see what purpose having the Korean name would serve... I note that the title of this article on KO is ko:룡천 열차폭발 사고 ("Ryongchon train explosion accident"), which is certainly a descriptive title rather than a name.-- Visviva 07:05, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Some OR[edit]

I removed the following as wp:OR:

Reading between the lines, one conclusion is that an explosive made from ammonium nitrate was being transported by rail. Under this explanation, the explosive (maybe a form of ammonium nitrate fuel oil, or ANFO) was probably intended for canal construction, and various officials must have confused this with other explosives and pure fertilizer in their differing accounts.
If that is the case, the question of how the explosion was started remains, as these explosives need a significant initiation before they will explode, usually achieved with other explosives and a detonator. However, there have been several major events where ammonium nitrate has ignited and exploded while being handled and transported. For instance, the Texas City disaster of 1947 involved an explosion of 2,300 tonnes of the substance after it caught fire.

Bonewah (talk) 14:45, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


The photograph is described as "a small town in North Pyongan Do, North Korea". What evidence is there that it is Ryongchon Station? Biscuittin (talk) 16:43, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

I have hidden the image because I can't even be sure that it is a railway station. It looks like a town photographed from across the railway tracks. Biscuittin (talk) 16:53, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Death Toll Accuracy[edit]

BBC News reports on this event, "2004 April - More than 160 killed and hundreds more injured when train carrying oil and chemicals hits power line in town of Ryongchon."

However, this event is listed on the "List of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions" as;

Ryongchon disaster

   A train explosion in North Korea on 22 April 2004; according to official figures, 54 people were killed and 1,249 were injured.

Perhaps the a more round about death toll could be used until verification of this information from a credible source is cited.

--A1maxmad (talk) 17:22, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Blatant Bias[edit]

the line: "It was suggested that the explosion might have been an assassination attempt, but South Korean intelligence services believed that it was an accident."
Should be changed or removed since its clearly violates NPOV by using a source which, for obvious geopolitical reasons, would have said the same thing even if it were a blatant lie.
No one would suggest that the article on WW2 include the line "It was suggested that the nazi invasion of Poland wasn't in retaliation for Polish attacks, but Hitler's intelligence services believed that it was an attack."
If the source was a credibly unbiased source it would be ok but using an intelligence agency of a rival state is bad practice and opens up Wikipedia pages to generic propaganda and bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

I dont think citing South Korean intelligence services is a problem per se, as long as we note that they are the ones making the claim (which we currently do). I do think the line 'It was suggested' is a problem, however, that being a weasel word. Im open to suggestions on how to fix this statement. Bonewah (talk) 14:09, 20 December 2013 (UTC)