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Europeans and Jane's say NK Nuke Test May Have Been a FAILURE!

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:12 PM
Original message
Europeans and Jane's say NK Nuke Test May Have Been a FAILURE!
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 05:17 PM by RamboLiberal
On Edit adding Jane's.

http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/ne...

North Korea claims nuclear test

By Joseph Bermudez Jr JDW Correspondent
Colorado

Initial South Korean Ministry of Defence and National Intelligence Service reports indicated that a 3.58-3.7-magnitude blast was detected emanating from a North Korean nuclear test at 10.36 am local time (01:36 GMT). Subsequent reports from the US Geological Survey (USGS) place the magnitude of the tremor at 4.2 on the Richter scale. The difference in the reports is due to the fact that the USGS assessment, being somewhat later, was able to incorporate a larger number of sensor reports in its preparation.

The USGS data identifies the time and location of the blast as 9 October at 01:35:27 (GMT) and centred at 41.311N, 129.114E at a depth 0-1 km. This places the site approximately 42 km northwest of Kilchu, in the province of North Hamgyong, on the remote slopes of Mant'ap-san Mountain. This coincides with reports that first appeared during 2005 of suspicious tunnelling and construction activities in the area. Subsequent reports during the past month indicate that the North Koreans had excavated a 700 m-long horizontal tunnel under Mant'ap-san.

Although details are tentative, initial and unconfirmed South Korean reports indicate that the test was a fission device with a yield of .55 kT. By comparison the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima yielded approximately 12.5 kT. The figure of .55 kT, however, seems too low given the 4.2 register on the Richter scale. This could suggest - depending upon the geological make-up of the test site - a yield of 2-12 kT. If, however, the lower yield is correct, it would suggest that the test had been a "pre- or post-detonation" event (ie a failure), as it had been anticipated that North Korea's first nuclear test would have a significantly higher yield.

http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1231/dropping-the-f-bomb...

Well, the French are the first to drop the F-bomb on North Koreafailure.

Speaking to reporters, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie (right) said it was an explosion with a force of about half a kiloton, which is not an extremely powerful explosion, or it shows that there could have been a failure.

APs Katherine Schrader paraphrased the official statement from the US Director of National Intelligence simply noting the subkiloton yield was ahistorical. Would it kill AP to run the full quote?

The Intelligence Community detected a Sub-Kiloton explosive event in North Korea. We cannot confirm if it was a nuclear explosion. For an initial test a yield of several Kilotons has been historically observed. The NK Mission Manager will continue to monitor and gather analysis throughout the day.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com /

Jane's Defense Weekly, a premier source on this sort of thing, says that if the initial reports of a .55 kT (half a kiloton) blast are correct "it would suggest that the test had been a "pre- or post-detonation" event (ie a failure), as it had been anticipated that North Korea's first nuclear test would have a significantly higher yield."

<scroll down>

No one seems willing to come out and say it yet. But it's really starting to look like that North Korean nuclear test didn't work. An unnamed intel official tells the Times that "We have assessed that the explosion in North Korea was a sub-kiloton explosion." I don't want to wade very far in at all on the technical details of evaluating this blast. I can't imagine a topic more distant from any expertise I have. But that would be really, really small for a nuclear blast.

Is it possible that the North Korean nuclear test was as big a failure as President Bush's nuclear policy?

Late Update: From what I can tell, the foreign press is entertaining the thought that this might have been a failed test more than the US press. The French Defense Minister has already said the meager yield suggests the test may have failed. I'd like to follow this closely. So if you see press reports that shed more light on this question, please let me know.



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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wishful thinking?
Because half a kiloton is still a big fucking explosion.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I just updated and Jane's Defense Weekly is saying this
And I would think that one source that knows what the heck it's talking about.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'd think plenty of sources would know what they heck...
they're talking about.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. why in the hell would the Russians think differently?
they said 5-15 kt. ???
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spag68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. nuclear explosions
of that magnitude seem small to me. I remember we had nuclear tipped cannons and anti submarine torpedo's that had higher yields then that in 1960, when I was in the Navy. They were called ASROCS, had a 10 mile range from the ship and could be self guided to within 10 or 20 yards from the submarine targets.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. delete
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 05:24 PM by tocqueville

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sludge reporting that Bill Gertz doubts it was not nuclear
GERTZ: U.S. doubts Korean test was nuclear; Readings fall short of atomic explosion... MORE...

U.S. intelligence agencies say, based on preliminary indications, that North Korea did not produce its first nuclear blast yesterday, WASHINGTON TIMES star reporter Bill Gertz is set to report in Tuesday editions.

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that seismic readings show that the conventional high explosives used to create a chain reaction in a plutonium-based device went off, but that the blast's readings were shy of a typical nuclear detonation.

The underground explosion, which Pyongyang dubbed a historic nuclear test, is thought to have been the equivalent of several hundred tons of TNT, far short of the several thousand tons of TNT, or kilotons, that are signs of a nuclear blast, the official said. Developing...

http://www.drudgereport.com /

That and $3.55 will get me a mocha, but I do wonder if Jane's is correct.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. Half a kiloton is unimaginably huge
"Divine Strake" was planned to be about equivalent to half a kiloton. It would have been the largest conventional explosion in U.S. history. If North Korea can pull that off, they are making one mighty big boom.

Furthermore, they may have only used enough nuclear material to prove their nuclear capability to experts. It would make sense for them to want to preserve all the enriched uranium or plutonium as they could, for other bombs.

We may get a lot of propaganda about this not being a "real bomb", but I think that is just to minimize the psychological effect in the west now that the event has occurred.

"Codenamed 'Divine Strake', the test will not involve a conventional bomb as such, but will detonate a vast pile (amounting to 700 tonnes) of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil (ANFO) with 136 kg of C-4 explosive - the US equivalent of Semtex - as the initiator. As part of a series conducted by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the explosion will be equivalent to more than half a kiloton or 500 tonnes of TNT, the largest conventional explosion to date."

http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/ne...
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