May 25, 2009

In depth analysis: North Korea

The Project for the CTBT has a calculation from Martin Kalinowski:
The U.S. Geological Survey readings indicate a seismic body wave of magnitude of 4.7, which is larger as compared to the value of 4.1 ± 0.1 in 2006. According a preliminary assessment by Martin Kalinowski of the University of Hamburg, this corresponds to an explosive yield of about 3 to 8 kilotons TNT equivalent with a most likely yield of 4 kt. In 2006. The yield of the 2006 test explosion was approximately 0.5 to 0.8 kt TNT equivalent.

Here is Kalinowski's fact sheet.

For more wonky level coverage, make sure you follow Arms Control Wonk.

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North Korea conducts a second nuclear test

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed an atomic explosion at 9:54 a.m. (0054 GMT) in northeastern North Korea, estimating the blast's yield at 10 to 20 kilotons - comparable to the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Monday's atomic test was conducted about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of the northern city of Kilju, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said, speaking on state-run Rossiya television. Here is a Google Earth kmz of the test site.

Kilju, in the northeastern province of North Hamgyong, is where North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in October 2006.

Pyongyang is believed to have enough weaponized plutonium for at least a half-dozen atomic bombs. However, experts say scientists have not yet mastered the miniaturization needed to mount a nuclear device onto a long-range missile.

Hours later, the regime test-fired three short-range, ground-to-air missiles, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed sources. U.N. Security Council resolutions bar North Korea from engaging in any ballistic missile-related activity. [via MSNBC.com and Arms Control Wonk]

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May 15, 2008

Reflections on Pokhran II

Over at Verification, there is a series of posts commemorating the tenth anniversary of India and Pakistan's test series. Well worth checking out.

Here is a link to our Special Report on the events.

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March 27, 2007

CIA says North Korea nuclear test a failure

North Korea's nuclear test last October was a failure and gives no credence to Pyongyang's claim to being a nuclear weapons state, U.S. CIA Director Michael Hayden was quoted as saying by a South Korean newspaper on Wednesday.

"The United States does not recognize North Korea as a nuclear weapons state," Hayden was quoted as saying by a South Korean defense official in the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper. "It's because the nuclear test last year was a failure." [via Yahoo!]

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