Nork NanoNuke

The big news, obviously, is that the North Koreans have apparently detonated a nuclear device. I’ve been away from the internet and am currently quite busy, so I’ll direct you to some round-ups at some of my favorite sites. Most of these have many links to check out:

Instapundit notes, among other things, that China and Japan seem to be on the same page about this, as they often have of late. That doesn’t bode well for the DPRK.

Wizbang: North Korea Says it Successfully Conducted Its First Nuclear Weapons Test

Also Wizbang: Is North Korea Preparing Another Nuke Test?

Pajamas Media has a large collection.

Winds of Change has some, too.

Murdoc has two quick things to say. First, it will be interesting to see what the reaction to this is, particularly if a second test is, in fact, performed. I’m not talking about what people say, condemnation at the UN, blah blah blah. I’m talking about what people do.

This will tell us two things: A) Where everyone really stands on the issue of North Korean nukes, and B) What a reaction to Iranian nuclear tests will likely be like.

This could end up being “put up or shut up” time. If we falter, Iran will get the message and charge ahead. If we stand strong, we could head off much future trouble.

The second thing I’m thinking is that this test could very well have been a near-total failure. Although initial reports claim the test might have been as powerful as 15 kilotons, there’s evidence that it may have been as weak as 550 tons. A 550 ton nuclear bomb is a waste of good radioactive material.

If the 550 ton number is accurate, it appears that the DPRK’s nukes are about as capable as the DPRK’s ICBMs.

UPDATE: NORK Nuclear Test: It’s A Dud:

A plutonium device should produce a yield in the range of the 20 kilotons, like the one we dropped on Nagasaki. No one has ever dudded their first test of a simple fission device. North Korean nuclear scientists are now officially the worst ever.


  1. I did some more thinking, if the 4.2 on the Richter scale is accurate (I haven’t read around yet, maybe it’s been re-appraised) I put the device at 4kT. By my calculations it takes 2kT of energy to make a 4.2 earthquake, but not all of the device’s energy goes into shaking the ground. I’m guessing 50% does and the rest either melts rock or tears it up locally. Hence 4kT. It’s possible that even less does, which means the device is larger, but I’d be quite surprised if it’s over 8kT.

  2. Nicholas – You are right – in that a big bomb is easier to make. Especially if you are starting from scratch. What I am afraid of, is that KN’s stole a design for a Davy Crocket.(M-388) If they did – that is stuff of nightmares.

  3. That means that while the US and other countries were sending food to keep their people alive, the NK leaders were saving money to make a bomb. This should not be so cheap. Amazing life… What people will do? IMHO, nothing for the moment. In fact there aren’t too many options, except to isolate them further. If so, they could come to a point where they will invade the South, and then the US can make some ‘live’ tests in the North to teach them how to build a good bomb. The same could happens with Iran. In fact, there is a question that remains: how do you make the difference between the countries that are allowed to have a nuke, and the other that are not? Should we put them in some kind of exam or test?

  4. Delphi : Perhaps being a congenital liar and genocidal maniac can be a disqualification. That would save anyone bothering with Mr. Kim anyway.

  5. Nicholas, it would have been great for all of us to be able to know from the very beggining ‘who is who’. I feel something personal against this guy and his father: I remeber that our former president (Ceausescu) started to act like a dumb bastard as soon as he came back from his visit to NK. He learned a lot from there… And I could not agree more with ‘the axis of devil’.

  6. Delphi : Well I think part of the problem is this. If I make an agreement with somebody, and they break it, then I know not to trust them every again. However, if the US government makes an agreement with somebody, and they break it, then it’s the US government’s fault for not trying hard enough. It requires another try and more careful tip-toeing next time. And the next time. And the next time. Maybe after about 50 years of being screwed over, somebody will figure out not to trust these people any more. But I’m sure the UN will veto taking any action against the breaking of these contracts. After all the US is evil and North Koreans are angels with legitimate gripes. Right?

  7. Guys, guys, guys…by talking about a series of broken agreements you make it sound like the root of today’s situation goes back quite some time. But, if you’ve been reading the news and analysis on this, you’ll know that it’s all Bush’s fault. Keep it straight, now. LOL. What I’d like to see is a ‘Path to the North Korean Bomb’ miniseries on ABC just like ‘Path to 9/11’. Thousands of heads would explode across America…