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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:53 AM
Original message
Russia: Nuke Test greater than reported
10/9/2006, 6:37 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) Russia's defense minister said Monday that North Korea's nuclear blast was equivalent to 5,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT.

That would be far greater than the force given by South Korea's geological institute, which estimated it at just 550 tons of TNT.

By comparison the bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima during World War II was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT.

In 1996, France detonated a bomb beneath Fangataufa Atoll about 750 miles southeast of Tahiti that had a yield of about 120,000 tons of TNT.

http://www.cleveland.com/newsflash/international/index....
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Has anyone shown
exactly where this test took place in North Korea?
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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Mag 4.2 earthquake
4.2 (Light)
Date-Time Monday, October 9, 2006 at 01:35:27 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, October 9, 2006 at 10:35:27 AM
= local time at epicenter Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 41.294N, 129.134E
Depth 0 km (~0 mile) set by location program
Region NORTH KOREA
Distances 70 km (40 miles) N of Kimchaek, North Korea
90 km (55 miles) SW of Chongjin, North Korea
180 km (115 miles) S of Yanji, Jilin, China
385 km (240 miles) NE of PYONGYANG, North Korea

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Maps/10...

? is that it?
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Hope this works:
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Freedom_from_Chains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. So relative speaking this was a small bomb. n/t
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Relatively speaking. It could flatten half of Manhattan, but *only* half
The scale and depth of the problems this administration ignores is astounding to me. Dick Gephardt called it: miserable failure, right across the board.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. It's typical for an unboosted fission bomb.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:12 AM by Tesha
~15KT seems to be a very common yield for "My First BombTM".

You need access to tritium to efficiently go higher, either through
boosted fission or through fusion (thermonuclear bombs). A fission-
only bomb becomes less efficient and much dirtier (fallout) if you
try to go much larger; it simply can't "burn" all the nuclear fuel
before it "disassembles".

Tesha

P.S.: Not that tritium is that hard to obtain, but it's another
step down the road and not necessary for proving a political
point using "My First BombTM".
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:10 AM
Response to Original message
4. Ok, they're in the nuke club.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 06:17 AM by Jim4Wes
The initial dubious report of 550 tons had me thinking they something was wrong with those numbers.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. Google Earth
Those are some serious mountains in that area.
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shadow 99 Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
8. Russia is playing a game to force us to leave him alone.
The seismic record of today's nuclear test by North Korea reveals a very small impact, almost so small that nuclear experts wonder if it isn't a hoax by Kim Jong-Il. Russia, however, wants everyone to know that they're very impressed by the test:

Russia's defense minister said Monday that North Korea's nuclear test was equivalent to 5,000 tons to 15,000 tons of TNT. That would be far greater than the force given by South Korea's geological institute, which estimated it at just 550 tons of TNT.
By comparison the bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima during World War II was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT.

The AP reports that Pyongyang alerted Russia to the test two hours before the test took place. Perhaps Russia is working from their pledged yield. In the meantime, one has to believe that South Korean seismologists would have a better position with which to measure the force expended by the test.

Why is this important? The yield of the device has to be significant enough to provide a military deterrent. A 550-ton-yield nuke is worse than useless. One can build conventional bombs with more impact than what Kim tested this morning, and with none of the diplomatic messiness that Kim has created over the last twelve years. A 550-ton-yield nuke doesn't even make a good tactical weapon, let alone a strategic deterrent.

Even a 5000-ton-yield nuke would have a questionable deterrent level, considering the inventory in the arsenals of the world's declared nuclear powers. It might have some value as a terrorist weapon, but it would do no more damage than a Stealth bombing run can do, and the latter has a lot more accuracy than the former. No one would shrug at a bomb that has one-third of the power of the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, but we expected more than that -- and right now, it looks like Kim only has a bomb one-tenth of that size.

So why is Russia insisting on overstating Kim's success? Other than sheer bloody-mindedness, it's hard to say. If we take them at their word, then we'd have to insist that Russia join in sanctions immediately, which they have so far refused to do. They may want to make the argument that Kim has enough of a nuclear deterrent that we should leave him alone, but that won't fly either.

The Russians may simply want to continue its game-playing against the West, but as I wrote earlier, the stakes are going to get very high for Vladimir Putin as well as Kim Jong-Il. If they want to bet the house on a pair of deuces, they had better prepare to lose everything.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. You sure about that?
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:20 AM by Tesha
> A 550-ton-yield nuke is worse than useless. One can build conventional
> bombs with more impact than what Kim tested this morning, ...

You sure about that?

When has anyone built and delivered a bomb using 1,100,000 pounds of TNT?
'Cause that's what a nuke with a puny 550 *TONS* of effect is equivalent to.

I think you read "pounds" where the report said "tons".

By the way, here's what a 10-20 Ton yield nuke looks like, mounted on
the front end of a small rocket. We developed it and someone apparently
deemed it "useful" at least at the time.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_%28nuclear_d...

Tesha
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Threedifferentones Donating Member (820 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. A primitive fission bomb of the size SK reported
is of limited use. The bomb dropped on hiroshima was a big blast, but not compared to a modern fusion bomb. The largest bombs currently in service in America are equivalent to 1.2 million tons of TNT. During the Cold War, America kept bombs with yields greater than 9 million tons. 550 tons is what, 1/30 the size of Hiroshima? Such bombs are useful in battles, but if thats the best NK can do they aren't in the same league as the other nuclear powers, in the sense that a few bombs of that size do not carry the same threat as a few "small" strategic, ie the size of Hirsohima, bombs carry.
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TheLastMohican Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Didn't you get it by now?
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 08:32 AM by TheLastMohican
Russia is going to do what is best in her interests. And these interests very often run contrary to US interests. Don't forget China and India.
Looks like the forced "democratisation" of North Korea should be put to shelf forever.
Saddam was a stupid guy, he had no nukes, nobody would have touched him if he had.
The days of PNACers are over.
Welcome to the multi-polar world.

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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Or is Russia in cahoots with Bush, to inspire fear?
LOL... I believe that's the first time in my life I've spelled out the word 'cahoots' or even seen it in print. Hope I got it right.
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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. I strenuously disagree with this assessment.
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 09:53 AM by realpolitik
1. no fission device is trivial if detonated over a key soft facility. The cleanup alone would be an economy stomper. I am thinking, say, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Diego. This puts at risk any military presence we have in the region, and creates incentive for non nuclear states to develop their own weapons.

2. The SK govt has as much reason to downsell the yield as the Russians might have to upscale it.

3. By saying that a B1 bomber could drop an equivalent load of conventional explosive you dismiss portability. A MOAB bomb, or even a Daisy Cutter, takes a bit of heavy lifting to get where you need it. Back in the 60;s, we had the Davy Crockett tactical nuke on a field recoiless stand that looked like an anti-tank weapon, and delivered ~1KT IIRC. Nukes are deadlier because they are easier to deliver than a MOAB. The American backpack bomb, the w54SADM is a case in point. Imagine the OKC bomb only in a backpack as opposed to a box van, then multiply x4 and add decontam and triage/treatment complications.

4. a small yield device being only good for terrorists... uhhh. Even if you were right, that is still bad news.

5. I also think that you will find that Mr. Kim's deterrent effect will be just fine and dandy.

6. One potential October surprise target off the table. At least I hope so.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Stuff and nonsense. Pfft.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. This was a political statement test - not a weapons test
If I was Lil' Kim and had a limited quantity of Pu, I would not squander it on a dick wagging exercise like this.

They made their point - they have the ways and means to build atomic weapons.

Weaponizing it is the next step...

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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. The biggest MOABs have been about 20 tons TNT equivalent
So 500 tons would be like 25 MOABS. It's not small.
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