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WP: Low Yield Of (North Korea) Blast Surprises Analysts

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:52 PM
Original message
WP: Low Yield Of (North Korea) Blast Surprises Analysts
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

The explosion set off by North Korea yesterday appears to have been extremely small for a nuclear blast, complicating U.S. intelligence efforts to determine whether the country's first such test was successful or signaled that Pyongyang's capabilities are less advanced than expected, several senior U.S. and foreign government officials and analysts said.

A variety of seismic readings around the world yesterday appear to have resulted from no more than a half-kiloton explosion, three officials said -- equivalent to 500 tons of TNT and far smaller than the 21- to 23-kiloton plutonium bomb the U.S. military dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945.

A senior intelligence official called it a "sub-kiloton" explosion detonated inside a horizontal mountain tunnel and said its low yield caught analysts by surprise. "For an initial test, a yield of several kilotons has been historically observed," the official said.

A U.S. government official said the North Koreans, in a call to the Chinese shortly before the test was conducted, said it would be four kilotons. The official said it is possible the explosive yield was as low as 200 tons. France and South Korea both issued sub-kiloton estimates, and officials dismissed as inaccurate an early Russian estimate that the blast resulted from a five-to-15-kiloton explosion.

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tuvor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. americablog's take, if you're interested.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's a fake or a dud...
I'm pretty sure they didn't intentionally design a low yield tactical nuke.

Either they are trying to bluff us or their bomb "fizzled" because the conventional explosives used to push the subcritical pieces together didn't quite go off as planned.

Doug D.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Or a front..
Who knows what lies behind the curtain.

According to Sun Tzu..

All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I thought that right after it happened...
It was the "no radiation leakage" thing the North Koreans were over emphasizing.
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Yeah...I'm going with dud. nt
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Interestingly, before we detonated the first bomb at Alamagordo
we detonated a 100 ton conventional explosion before that to gauge the yield of the nuke when we detonated it later.
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Do you know what that explosive used?
It seems like actually producing 500 tons of TNT would be a pretty huge effort in itself, but I may be wrong.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. Although India and Pakistan tested half a kiloton devices
during their early tests, it is possible that the low yield of the NK test was due to the fact they failed to achieve a symmetrical implosion. They should do better the next time around.
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seriousstan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Doubt it, Ill son is a maniacal fool. This will send him ape shit.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. It sounds weirdly like boating:
"A variety of seismic readings around the world yesterday appear to have resulted from no more than a half-kiloton explosion, three officials said -- equivalent to 500 tons of TNT and far smaller than the 21- to 23-kiloton plutonium bomb the U.S. military dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945."
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Selteri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
10. Eh, I'm more surprised how the news has been going on...
like they havne't had nukes since '93.

It's discgraceful to watch the fearmongering press acting so surprised when they've been known to have nukes and have been saber rattling ever since Bush put KJI on his 'Accis uv Eevul' group while NK had been relatively quiet happily taking food for it's people in leiu of not building up more nukes.

Just shows me that we have idiots in the press and an idiot as the president.
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. Did chimpy move his test from Las Vegas to North Korea?
Divine Strake? That was going to be about 700 tons...
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