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Thread: North Korea Appears to Test Nuclear Device

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    North Korea Appears to Test Nuclear Device

    It seems this nuclear test is still only partially success, but it is getting close.
    North Korea Appears to Test Nuclear Device - WSJ.com

    By EVAN RAMSTAD

    SEOUL—North Korea appeared to have exploded a nuclear device Tuesday, its third experimental detonation in a long effort to build weapons of mass destruction that the U.S. and other countries consider a serious threat.

    An "artificial earthquake" was detected at 11:57 a.m., according to authorities in South Korea who attributed the seismic activity to the northeastern area of North Korea where it previously detonated nuclear devices in October 2006 and May 2009.

    North Korea made no immediate statement. Its authoritarian regime gave several explicit warnings since Jan. 24 that it was planning to detonate a nuclear explosive.


    A South Korean passenger watches TV news reporting an earthquake in North Korea.

    Even before those statements, diplomats and observers in other countries had considered such an explosion likely as Pyongyang appeared to be repeating a pattern of provocative actions seen before the previous explosions.

    The U.S. Geological Survey said it detected seismic activity with a magnitude of 4.9, bigger than the seismic activity produced in North Korea's previous two blasts. A report by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said the quake registered a magnitude of 5.1.

    Both of the previous detonations were considered small by the standards of nuclear testing in other countries.

    The first one in 2006 produced a tremor that measured a magnitude 4.1, and analysts in the U.S. later estimated its explosive force at less than one kiloton. The second one in 2009 produced a seismic tremor of 4.7 and an explosive force of about two to six kilotons, according to estimates by U.S. seismic and geological experts.

    Estimates are in both cases are constrained by limited information about the geology of the mountains where the explosions took place. By contrast, the first nuclear bomb tested by the U.S. in 1945 had an explosive force of approximately 18 to 20 kilotons.

  2. #2
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    There has been a lot of talk whether this is just "make sure it goes boom" rather an actual weapon size warhead. And they may have switched over HEU instead of Pu which is easier but harder to weaponize into a smaller warhead.

    Right now, it's anywhere between 3 to 10 kt.

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    South Korea says 6-7 kt! Another freaking dud!

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Could they be using conventional explosives in a clever way to simulate a nuclear warhead (with knowledge of how the detection process works) – in order to convince the world they have a working nuclear weapon and get the deterrence value?
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
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    Too early to tell. We will be looking for vent gases. That would take several weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    South Korea says 6-7 kt! Another freaking dud!
    Sir, help me out here.

    I know squat about nuke detonations but 6-7kt does seem small.

    At about what yield will it not be considered a dud?

    Are we talking Hiroshima size or bigger?
    Last edited by YellowFever; 12 Feb 13, at 08:06.

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    Two things. The NKs had used Pu in the past and claimed that they were 20kt designs with a registered less than 1 and 1.2 kt results in two test.

    We know AQ Khan passed Chaigai I HEU blueprints to North Korea with the smallest design at 12 kts. I stated elsewhere that Chaigai I was a failure with no nuke achieving their claims.

    At a 12 kt, HEU warhead, you need 10kts to have a dependable design. At 6-7 kt, that meant the material was being blown apart faster than they were being initiated.

    So, whatever the cause, the NKs can't even fix a Paksitani mistake or that they still suck at their own Pu designs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Two things. The NKs had used Pu in the past and claimed that they were 20kt designs with a registered less than 1 and 1.2 kt results in two test.

    We know AQ Khan passed Chaigai I HEU blueprints to North Korea with the smallest design at 12 kts. I stated elsewhere that Chaigai I was a failure with no nuke achieving their claims.

    At a 12 kt, HEU warhead, you need 10kts to have a dependable design. At 6-7 kt, that meant the material was being blown apart faster than they were being initiated.

    So, whatever the cause, the NKs can't even fix a Paksitani mistake or that they still suck at their own Pu designs.
    Once again... secret Chinese sabotage?

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    But the world would have you believe that just because sanctions and endless rounds of talking with North Korea didn't prevent them from yet another nuclear test, that doesn't mean that sanctions and endless rounds of talking won't stop Iran and their nuclear program.
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    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    And this test isn't part of the Iranian nuclear program? They seem to exchange help and technology on everything else. Is it possible one day one of these nuclear tests isn't going to be a North Korean device, but an Iranian built device being tested for them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Once again... secret Chinese sabotage?
    Could very well be but I have no evidence of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    And this test isn't part of the Iranian nuclear program? They seem to exchange help and technology on everything else. Is it possible one day one of these nuclear tests isn't going to be a North Korean device, but an Iranian built device being tested for them?
    Only if they use NK materials, otherwise, we could trace where the device came from.

    But as of today, we have no evidence of nuclear co-operation between the two ... and really, does Iran want to buy NORK duds?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Could very well be but I have no evidence of it.
    Oh I know that, its just China does not want a nuclear NK, and has the access and the resources to prevent it.

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    I know near to zilch about nuclear weapons but here is my question: If this detonation had taken place in down town Manhattan would we be calling it a dud? By the same measure then compared with today's nuclear warheads Hiroshima and Nagasaki were duds.

    Call me ignorant but the NKoreans detonated a nuke device which would cause mass destruction in any populated center. The yield might be smaller compared to super power warheads but no international leader thinks right now its time to convene a security council meeting on horse meat burgers in Europe. The NK threat is real and advancing, and they are getting better by the day.

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    Is this a hypothetical article or is it saying China and Japan have moved their troops?
    (1) China has moved troops and artillery to its shared border with North Korea. It has warned, the country in public not to conduct its test. Since China rarely criticizes its client state in public, the Chinese pressure might mean that it will be on board with a more forceful response to Pyongyang. What type of sanctions will China agree to? Given how poor North Korea is, any financial sanction regime has the potential to hurt innocent people. There is no real "middle class" to speak of, unlike in Iran.
    (2) Japan, spooked because China had moved its troops, moved its troops. Japan's government is very nationalist. And South Korea's new prime minister, who had talked of rapprochement, will now have to take a harder line.Link

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Oh I know that, its just China does not want a nuclear NK, and has the access and the resources to prevent it.
    Until there is evidence, I rather not be the fool that raises a non-existing point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zinja View Post
    I know near to zilch about nuclear weapons but here is my question: If this detonation had taken place in down town Manhattan would we be calling it a dud? By the same measure then compared with today's nuclear warheads Hiroshima and Nagasaki were duds.
    The point is that it is not predictable. The fissile materials were being blown away from the initiation rather than adding to it. This time, it's 6-7 kts. The next might be two, four, one, zero.

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