Monday, October 09, 2006


North Korean nuke test a dud?

Judging by the seismic data, it looks like the North Korean nuclear test was probably a failure. The yield was less than one kiloton; you'd expect around 20 kilotons for an initial test like this.

More speculation from Kevin Drum and at Arms Control Wonk.

Of course, the North Korean government won't admit this. It's probably in the best interests of the Bush administration to make us think the test was successful, but US government agencies have this nasty habit of telling the truth in their initial reports.

Now here's an amusing thought about this terribly non-amusing situation. North Korea got some of its nuclear technology from A.Q. Khan of Pakistan. (This is a Wikipedia link, so take it with a grain of salt, but the link between Khan the North Korean nuclear program is well known.)

Wouldn't it be hilarious if it turned out that A.Q. Khan had deliberately given bad information to the North Koreans?

This is pure speculation on my part.

UPDATE: There are reports of a new earthquake, indicating a possible second test, but the USGS still only shows the initial 4.2 quake.

it is qite possible that even with the right help from him they dont have the resources at the moment to further expand on his research and make a successful test.
Sure enough, the new quake was a false alarm. There was a 6.0 off the east coast of Japan.

Earthquakes are located by triangulating information from multiple seismographs. It can take a while to collect the information. Shortly after a quake, it's not uncommon to get the location wrong.
Testing, testing...
Posting a comment at Wed 2006-10-11 22:13:12 PDT
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