October 9, 2006

North Korea Tests Nuclear Bomb

Carroll Andrew Morse

The North Korean government is claiming it tested a nuclear bomb last night. Here is the Washington Post report on the claim…

North Korea declared on Monday that it had conducted its first nuclear test, asserting a claim to be the world's newest nuclear power and drawing strong international condemnation.

The South Korean government informed officials in Washington that an explosion occurred at 10:36 a.m. local time. Minutes later, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency announced the test, calling it "a historical event that has brought our military and our people huge joy."

The United States Geological Survey has confirmed a seismic event occurring on the Korean peninsula at the time of the claimed nuclear test…
The U.S. Geological Survey registered a "seismic event" of magnitude 4.2 at 10:35 a.m. Monday local time (9:35 p.m. Sunday EDT) 240 miles northeast of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist at the agency. She said the event occurred 45 miles north of the North Korean town of Kimchaek.

Russia's defense minister said the reported test was equivalent to between 5,000 tons and 15,000 tons of TNT, the Associated Press reported. That would make the blast possibly as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in World War II, which was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, the news agency said. Although the United States and Asian countries said they had registered a seismic event, Russia said its monitoring services had detected a nuclear explosion, but no radiation.


There’s growing speculation circulating around the blogosphere that the North Korean test was a dud, either a deliberate fake, or a bomb too small to be considered significant. Instapundit is providing a catalog of interesting links. As Matt Druge likes to say, “developing”…

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"the reported test was equivalent to between 5,000 tons and 15,000 tons of TNT,"

It would seem to me that all NK would have to do is to bury between 5,000 and 15,000 tons of TNT and light it off, and then make the claim that they had a successful nuclear device test. I remember reading a number of years ago that we had satellites in orbit that could detect radation and underground nuclear tests. Was this wishful thinking or do they really exist?

If Russia detected an explosion but no radiation, how do they know it was nuclear in nature and not just a bunch of C4 set off in an underground cave?

Enquiring minds want to know ...

Posted by: Vulgorilla at October 9, 2006 9:32 AM

We all need to see "Team America: World Police" now that the crazy little guy's Napoleonic complex has consequences.

Posted by: Rhody at October 11, 2006 4:07 PM