The ever-so-crude Yrd71 breaks away from the pressure of North Korea’s young and revolutionary dictator and spews it out on the open
Another day, another spectacular nuclear test by North Korea.
North Korea says it will restart nuclear reactor Read more
The yet-again test was of a weapon called an omicron variant, and was conducted at 6.58am local time (1.58am GMT) on Saturday at the Punggye-ri test site in the country’s remote northeast.
There were no explosions, which suggests it was either an extremely small test, not triggered by an earthquake, or an attempt to debunk speculation that North Korea had tested a hydrogen bomb.
The Independent’s US bureau talked to Anna Fifield, science correspondent at the online news site, about the significance of the explosion.
According to Fifield:
Omicron variants are rare but not completely unknown in the nuclear world. They differ from the other designations because they have a smaller charge and therefore shorter fuse, meaning a small explosive discharge.
There were two different omicron variants in North Korea’s test in 2006, one of which was detonated at a lower level than the previous one.
Worth noting too is that the explosion produced much more light than North Korea had previously detonated, a sign that this particular weapon will be capable of reaching the US.
“All previous North Korean nuclear test explosions have been man-made, not natural, and North Korea’s most recent tests are signs of the possible development of a hydrogen bomb.”
That said, there’s a long way to go before North Korea can be reliably expected to develop such an arsenal, as our interactive shows.
And now, for more science
How to tell North Korea is going to engage in testing again? – via Ars Technica
North Korea’s defence ministry has announced plans to launch “several strategic rockets in a historic moment” on the long-planned “Day of the Sun”, which falls on Sunday. It is claimed North Korea will conduct missile tests and its nuclear programme. That is typical North Korean propaganda. It’s hard to tell where the hype ends and the reality begins.
North Korea’s plans for nuclear weapons development – newSB blog
Here is a week-by-week look at North Korea’s progress in developing its nuclear weapon capability.
This post was co-written by Sarah Palin, correspondent to Channel Ten’s The Project, who has been tweeting about the launch in real time.
Seems old videos have been making the rounds on YouTube, however, and one in particular, of North Korea’s 1998 nuclear test, has been debunked by the former CIA intelligence director, Mike Morell.
Just check this out. It shows that while the explosion may have been capable of penetrating inside the country, it was completely contained.
Of course, it’s worth noting that it can be impossible to completely be sure that the North Koreans never test a weapon without being forced to do so by a natural disaster – like an earthquake.