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Thread: North Korea nuke test

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    North Korea nuke test

    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

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    Honestly, I wonder would be the straw that breaks Park and Xi's collective backs, short of actual war?

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    Sesimic Magnitude 5.1 - same as last time. Another freaking dud.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    EoE,
    Any credence to NK's claims that this is miniature bomb that they imply could be fit to a missile?
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

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    Sure they can ... but not one that would work.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    My impression is that the North Koreans are still around this stage.

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    This is frankly embarrassing. 4 tests. 4 duds.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Steve - You're probably right about what stage of development they're at with this thing.

    The so-called NorK "scientists" are claiming it was a thermonuclear (fusion) device, but with a nominal yield of only 6kT, it was either a dud (meaning only the fission part of the device worked), or it was a regular (fission) device that still produced a sub-optimal yield. Opinions vary as to whether the "scientists" are intentionally misleading the NorK leadership (particularly Kim Jong Un) since they are under pressure to produce a fusion device, or whether they are simply trying to convince the world that they actually possess a thermonuclear weapon.

    Even if they DO possess a thermonuclear device (which is doubtful), I'm sure it is still waaaaaaaay too big to put on a missile (especially one of their missiles); it would probably take a Saturn V or a Russian Energia rocket to launch it.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    The real sad thing about this, Armscontrol expertise are put through the grind. I really don't know what to say but all the experts are now proven wrong ... and that means my evals based on their evals are provened wrong ... except to sayn ... Isreal DO NOT HAVE A HYDROGEN BOMB! PERIOD!
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Isreal DO NOT HAVE A HYDROGEN BOMB! PERIOD!
    Do any members outside the big 5 possess true thermonuclear weapons or are they all boosted fission designs?

    I know there have been claims that India, Israel, and now North Korea have developed thermonuclear bombs, but I haven't seen anything indicating the large yield tests that would support those claims. It seems unlikely any country would be willing to invest the necessary amount of resources into building and maintaining a stockpile of hydrogen bombs they aren't 100% sure will work as advertised.

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    The only one I am aware of is the failed Indian test ... and maybe this one (evidence is lacking though). Israel is thought to have one but extreme doubt is now the norm since they have not tested even once and it is extremely doubtful they could have one without testing.
    Chimo

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    Do any members outside the big 5 possess true thermonuclear weapons or are they all boosted fission designs?

    I know there have been claims that India, Israel, and now North Korea have developed thermonuclear bombs, but I haven't seen anything indicating the large yield tests that would support those claims. It seems unlikely any country would be willing to invest the necessary amount of resources into building and maintaining a stockpile of hydrogen bombs they aren't 100% sure will work as advertised.
    Regular fission (atomic vs. thermonuclear) devices are, relatively speaking, much simpler and more reliable than full-on thermonuclear devices; reading through all of the trials & tribulations we went through just to get a functioning and reliable thermonuclear device, I'm surprised anybody manages to construct a workable thermonuclear device, much less a mostly-backward, isolated, xenophobic country like North Korea.

    And, as you said, unless you're prepared to spend A LOT of time and money (few countries are), it makes much more sense, economically, to stick to your basic tried-and-true atomic device, which will do almost as much damage as a thermonuclear device at a fraction of the cost. Plus, most countries simply want (need?) to have a "device" for political, propaganda, or psychological reasons, they have no real plans to actually use it (unless you're North Korea).
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    North Korea says it has carried out its first test of a hydrogen bomb with "perfect success". John Nilsson-Wright, head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, examines how plausible the claim is, and what it could mean for the region.

    What are North Korea's motives?

    The North Korean leadership is trying to do two things:

    Firstly, to strengthen Kim Jong-un's authority by demonstrating that the North is moving forward in its goal to enhance the country's military capabilities and specifically its nuclear deterrent.

    Since the 1960s, successive leaders of the DPRK have sought to develop an effective nuclear weapons programme as a means of underlining the country's political and strategic autonomy, while also boosting the reputation of its individual leaders. Kim Jong un, since coming to power in December 2011, has made the goal of a strong economy and military the centrepiece of national policy.

    The test comes a few days in advance of Kim's birthday and this demonstration of military defiance may be intended to bolster Kim's credentials as the country's supreme leader and effective commander-in-chief.

    Secondly, by provoking international attention - by bringing the diplomatic spotlight back onto North Korea - the aim is to force the international community, and specifically the United States, to negotiate with the North.

    Pyongyang hopes to prompt talks leading, amongst other things, to a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War, diplomatic recognition from the United States, and some measure of integration with the global economy and the relaxation of economic sanctions.

    Was the latest nuclear test successful?

    It's too early to say whether this was in fact a genuine H-bomb test. Early reports of the seismic activity surrounding the putative test site in the country's north-east suggest that it was a 6 kiloton test, roughly equivalent to the last test the North carried out in February 2013.

    A genuine H-bomb would most likely produce a much higher yield and therefore technical specialists are sceptical about the North's claim to have tested a fully-fledged hydrogen bomb.

    Some have speculated that hydrogen isotopes may have been used in the nuclear chain reaction, providing limited, formal confirmation of the "hydrogen" character of the bomb, but this would be far short of a genuine, fusion (as opposed to fission) device.

    It will take considerable time to gather sufficient technical data to ascertain the precise nature of the test.

    Judging from the process of remote data gathering following the 2013 test, it will take weeks, perhaps months, for international scientists and monitoring agencies to be able to develop a clear view on the test.

    What are the likely repercussions in the region?

    The response from South Korea and Japan has been, as one would expect, sharply to condemn the actions of the North.

    Together with their US ally, Seoul and Tokyo have anticipated the likelihood of a fourth North Korean test for some time and should already have devised a well-planned and co-ordinated response.

    China has also spoken out forcefully against the actions of its North Korean ally and China's leader, Xi Jinping, will likely be intensely irritated by the further ratcheting up of tensions on the peninsula.

    Senior Chinese participation in the 10 October Workers' Party of Korea anniversary celebrations last year had suggested that Beijing had been able to exert some moderating influence on the North.

    This new development suggests China's influence is far weaker than might have appeared and that Kim Jong-un is committed to acting in defiance of his Chinese ally.
    What can the international community do to temper the North's nuclear ambitions?

    An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was speedily convened. There will be efforts to draft a resolution condemning the North's actions as a violation of international law.

    This is likely to be coupled with fresh efforts to impose tighter economic sanctions against the North Korean government, particularly measures targeted against senior members of the government and the elite in Pyongyang.

    However, sanctions in the past have had limited impact in retarding the North's nuclear programme.

    A critical issue here is the reluctance of China, which provides the bulk of North Korea's food and energy assistance, to impose substantive pressure on the DPRK for fear of destabilising the Kim government.

    Regime collapse risks generating an exodus of North Korean refugees across the 800-mile border with China, as well as a power vacuum in the North that might be filled by the US and its South Korean ally - two scenarios that Beijing is keen to avoid.

    What are the long-term implications?

    A North Korea that steadily enhances its nuclear and conventional force capabilities poses a growing strategic danger to the region.

    The biggest worry is that through the latest test, the North will be able to miniaturise a nuclear warhead (a hydrogen weapon provides, pound for pound, more destructive clout than an atomic bomb) and in turn place it on a land or submarine-based ballistic missile capable of hitting South Korea, Japan or possibly the west coast of the United States.

    For now, the evidence suggests that the North is some years away from developing such a capability, but the longer the North is able to test with impunity, the more fragile the strategic calculus in the region becomes and the more limited the choices of the surrounding powers when it comes to confronting the North Korean challenge.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35240935

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be funny if 10 years from now, we find out Kim never had any nukes at all. He was just making some poor bastards dig big holes in the ground only to fill them with tons of High Explosives he could set off to rustle some jimmies in the international community.

    Ahh wishful thinking.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    Wouldn't it be funny if 10 years from now, we find out Kim never had any nukes at all. He was just making some poor bastards dig big holes in the ground only to fill them with tons of High Explosives he could set off to rustle some jimmies in the international community.

    Ahh wishful thinking.
    You mean there is no WMD? Bush lied, people died? The intelligence agencies from 17 nations were all wrong at the same time? Surely you jest!
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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