North Korea’s Nuclear Test

The Guardian reports that the underground nuclear test was so powerful it triggered an earthquake.

This is North Korea’s second test of a nuclear device — the first was in October 2006:

In Seoul, Defense Minister Lee Sang-Hee told a parliamentary hearing on Monday that the blast this time appeared to be bigger than the 2006 test. But he added that more data was needed before determining the scale of the blast. He said a 4.4 magnitude tremor may mean a nuclear detonation of anywhere between one and 20 kilotons.

If the test on Monday was more successful than the one in 2006, it could mean that North Korea has bolstered its atomic weapons capabilities — and its leverage over the United States, which has sought to denuclearize the North.

In the Department of No Kidding, Pres. Obama called the test a “grave concern to all nations“:

“North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security,” Obama said in a statement after Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test and reportedly fired a short-range missile.

The force of the bomb exploded today is comparable to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry:

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the underground detonation occurred at 9:54 a.m. in the northern city of Kilchu and had a yield of between 10 and 20 kilotons. If verified, the result would dwarf that of North Korea’s first nuclear blast in October 2006, which had a yield of less than one kiloton, according to the office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, which killed an estimated 140,000 people, had an estimated yield of 15 kilotons.

Michelle Malkin chortles excitedly at this unexpected chance to use her new favorite expression, which apparently fired her imagination so forcefully after Joe Biden used the phrase once at a campaign rally, that she’s applied for a copyright on it:

Gird your loins, as they say[.]

No, Michelle, not “as they say” — as you say, at every opportunity and non-opportunity.

Predictably, Michelle criticizes the Obama administration for cutting missile defense, as does Moe Lane — never mind that missile defense has been a failed program since its “Star Wars” days in the Reagan administration, and that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is the one pushing for the cuts.

D-Day doesn’t expect that Pyongyang will take Washington’s stern promise “to stand up to this behavior” very seriously:

… With troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is hardly in the position to invade, and making an airstrike seems unlikely as well. The sanctions are about as deep as you can get already, and the Kim Jong-il regime has dealt with it. He seems to have no compunction against mass starvation of his own people. The nuclear explosion triggered an earthquake in the country, suggesting that the North Koreans don’t exactly care about the safety and security of their own people. I don’t see a lot of options here. The North Koreans historically have sought headlines rather than peace or stability. They are the screaming baby in the corner demanding attention. It’s unclear what they want after that attention is paid.

More commentary from Steve Hynd and Cheryl Rofer (of Whirled View).

Explore posts in the same categories: National Security, Politics

2 Comments on “North Korea’s Nuclear Test”

  1. libertyboy Says:

    Nothing defines a moonbat better than a statement such as:

    “never mind that missile defense has been a failed program since its “Star Wars” days in the Reagan administration”

    Apparently all the successful tests and shootdowns are another 911 conspiracy….

    • Kathy Says:

      Nothing defines a wingnut better than a statement such as “Apparently all the successful tests and shootdowns are another 911 conspiracy….” with no sources cited at all.

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