N. Korea does have a long history of exaggerating its military prowess.
January 6, 2016 8:38 AM Subscribe
North Korea says it just tested a hydrogen bomb. Here's what we know. [Vox]
According to top experts, it's very plausible this was a test. "I think it is *probably* a test," Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, tweeted. "DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the formal name of North Korea] event epicenter close to test site and on 1/2 hour." Generally, earthquakes don't just happen on exactly the half hour.
1) A 5.1 magnitude "seismic event" was reported near North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site late Tuesday evening.- North Korea Claims It Tested Hydrogen Bomb but Is Doubted [The New York Times]
2) North Korea's government is claiming that the event was a hydrogen bomb test. Hydrogen bombs are a more powerful type of nuclear weapon than the North has previously tested, one that North Korea first claimed to have developed in December.
3) There is a real chance that this is a nuclear test: South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese authorities have said they believe the earthquake is manmade, and it is the same magnitude as a 2013 North Korean underground nuclear test.
4) However, experts caution, we do not yet have conclusive evidence that the earthquake was, in fact, caused by a nuclear detonation. Nor do we yet know if it was a hydrogen bomb even if it was nuclear.
Lee Cheol-woo, a member of the intelligence committee of the South Korean National Assembly, said his country’s National Intelligence Service had estimated the explosive yield that was equivalent to six kilotons of TNT. (By comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with 15 kilotons of energy.)- 'A grave threat': why North Korea's claimed nuclear test is a cause for concern [The Guardian]
A hydrogen bomb would have yielded “hundreds of kilotons or, even if it is a failed test, tens of kilotons,” Mr. Lee told reporters. The North’s last nuclear test, in February 2013, set off a magnitude 4.9 tremor. The South estimated that the bomb detonated on Wednesday resulted in a magnitude 4.8 seismic event, smaller than the 4.9 to 5.2 range that American, European and Chinese authorities had reported.
It’s the unexpected apparent detonation of a powerful nuclear weapon, now in the possession of an unpredictable, paranoid dictator. But how worried should the world really be by North Korean claims that it successfully conducted its fourth nuclear test on Wednesday morning? Very, according to an international body that monitors the ban on nuclear testing. The test, said Lassina Zerbo, head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation, was “a grave threat to international peace and security”. If North Korean descriptions of the type of bomb detonated at its main testing site are true, then Zerbo’s caution is well placed.North Korea previously.
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