October 31, 2006

North Korea To Return to Talks

North Korea agreed Tuesday to rejoin six-nation nuclear disarmament talks in a surprise diplomatic breakthrough three weeks after the communist regime conducted its first known atomic test. A U.S. envoy said the talks could resume as early as November.
October 16, 2006

U.S. confirms N. Korea blast was radioactive

Air samples gathered last week contain radioactive materials that confirm that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte’s office said Monday. The release can be found here (pdf).

or here is the whole statement:
Analysis of air samples collected on October 11, 2006 detected radioactive debris which confirms that North
Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion in the vicinity of Píunggye on October 9, 2006. The explosion yield was less than a kiloton.
October 10, 2006

If at first you don't succeed...

Well it looks North Korea's nuclear test did not turn out as large as their scientists had hoped. We have been reviewing the publicly available seismograms and using some good old physics, and it looks like it was a fizzle. Expect a formal answer in a day or two. Don't feel too bad for them, some readers might recall Lawrence Livermore's first test in the Nevada desert.

Test Tower from the Ruth nuclear test

The Ruth shot was a fizzle. The predicted yield was 1.5 to 3 kt, while the 200 ton yield was a fraction of that. Especially embarrassing to Lawrence Livermore (UCRL at the time) was that only the top 100 feet of the 300 foot shot tower was vaporized (though much of the remainder was scattered across the desert). It was standard practice at that time for each test to totally erase all evidence associated with it (automatically "declassifying" the site), which Ruth failed to do.
October 08, 2006

White House Confirms 'Seismic Event' Near Suspected N. Korean Nuclear Test Site

The United States and South Korea detected a seismic event Sunday night at a suspected nuclear test site in North Korea, the White House said Monday after North Korea claimed it had conducted an underground nuclear test.

"At this point we are not confirming a nuclear test," White House spokesman Tony Snow emphasized. [via Washington Post]

Official Statement from North Korea on its Nuclear Test

We have posted the text of the nuclear test annoucement from the North Korean News Agency in our Nuclear Crisis: North Korea section.

Update: NK Nuclear Test locale?

Been trying to locate the site of the suspected test.

Jeffery Lewis's original post at http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1167/nork-nuke-test-site still seems about right.

The press is reporting that it occured Kilju city, which might the same place as Kilchu. Google Earth refers to Hwangt-a am as near the suspected test tunnel.

North Korea Says Nuclear Test Successful

North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test. The country's official Korean Central News Agency said the test was performed successfully and there was no radioactive leakage from the site.

"The nuclear test is a historic event that brought happiness to the our military and people," KCNA said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (9:36 p.m. EDT Sunday) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, citing defense officials.

The Japanese government set up a task force in response to reports of the test, Kyodo News agency said Monday. Ministers and officials were urgently called to discuss the situation, the agency reported.

Officials at the Prime Minister's Office were not immediately available to confirm the report. [via ABC News]
October 04, 2006

Honey, get the kids and pack our bags....

Iran 'to open atomic site tours'

Iran's president has ordered that the country's nuclear sites be opened to foreign tourists to prove its program is peaceful, state media report. No details were given on the nature of the trips, or when they might begin.

Possible attractions would include the plants at Isfahan and Natanz, or a reactor being built in Bushehr.

And to think I was going to suggest a nice mountain cabin....

DPRK Nuclear Test?

From the statement by the North Korean FM statement:

Firstly, the field of scientific research of the DPRK will in the future conduct a nuclear test under the condition where safety is firmly guaranteed.


It must be Ocotber, since things are getting scary out there.

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