North Korea tests another Nuke

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http://ca.news.yahoo.com/seismic-activity-detected-north-korea-usgs-032529887.html

A 4.9 magnitude earthquake was detected in North Korea by South Korea, most likely indicating another Nuke was detonated in the dictatorship.

Bad news, it is estimated to be bigger than the last two nukes tested.

Good news, the largest the nuke could possibly be is only 7 kilotons. While that would cause a lot of death and destruction if dropped on a major population center, it is still far from being able to level a city (Hiroshima was 20 kilotons).

North Korea earlier said it would conduct a third nuclear tests over the sanctions Japan demanded the U.N. place on the People's Democratic Republic after last years rocket tests.

It looks like any hope of Kim Jung Un being any better than his father just went up in nuclear flame.

AH, yes. Heard this in the news.

UN wanted to put more sanctions on them but they've run out of Sanctions to give.

But don't worry, they are making up new ones as we speak.

If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

Weight and mobility, the payload that they tested today is already to heavy for a reasonable rocket to reach the US, and increasing that would limit them to a det on site nuke.

Not G. Ivingname:

It looks like any hope of Kim Jung Un being any better than his father just went up in nuclear flame.

Not necessarily. We don't know how the internal politics plays out there, after all.

Incidentally, cool video about nuke tests. It's slow to get going but you'll be amazed once it gets through time a bit:

Also looking at where the British tested their nukes is worth a laugh.

Why anyone would want to live anywhere near the West coast after all that is beyond me. :V

Was it set to Michael Jackson's 'We are the world' this time?

NK having teh odd small nuclear device isn't that worrying. All it'd achieve is the horrific death of many hundreds of thousands of North Koreans, and a much smaller amount of people wherever it was initiated. The USSR and China have mighty nuclear arsenals, but don't dare do anything with them.

Well, is there any decisive indication that it was indeed a nuclear device? Because I can see them having every last Korean jump at the same time to simulate a detonation as a real possibility.

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

Also, possibly the material. The Korean peninsula is far from any radioactive ore layers themselves, the next one being SE China and SW India. And I seriously doubt even China is going to trust their crazy nephew with too much of that stuff if they still give them any.

It doesn't take that much to develop a missle that can deliver a nuclear payload to a city and level it, after all, Seoul within shelling range of North Korea.

the clockmaker:

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

Weight and mobility, the payload that they tested today is already to heavy for a reasonable rocket to reach the US, and increasing that would limit them to a det on site nuke.

I'm less worried about America's protection from this, its a given that America is safe from this, its South Korea i'm worried about

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

It is harder to safely contain the materials within the bomb. Nuclear bombs can get extremely heavy fast, so your limited by effective means to deliver the bomb to the target. North Korea's most reliably form of transportation is pack mule.

North Korea is an extremely poor nation, so the amount of money they can spend to buy nuclear fuel (and most countries have embargoes against the country), and limited amount of money actually building the bomb.

Another problem is getting engineers smart enough to make larger bombs work. You tend to not get a lot of geniuses when your entire nation has been in a state of constant famine, and no engineers are insane enough to go into the country.

Pandalisk:
It doesn't take that much to develop a missle that can deliver a nuclear payload to a city and level it, after all

Er, a payload to make a mess of a city, yeah. Levelling a city is no small thing, even a megaton yield device would leave most of London intact(ish).

OTOH, like you say, Seoul (or at least significant parts of it) is within shelling distance of NK artillery, and sustained bombardment would be capable of levelling those parts it can reach.

Does it matter whether it could level a city or not? Wouldn't the blast kill most inhabitants even if buildings remain standing? Wouldn't it be irradiated and uninhabitable regardless? I'm not too concerned with the buildings, I'm more concerned with the people living there.

the clockmaker:

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

Weight and mobility, the payload that they tested today is already to heavy for a reasonable rocket to reach the US, and increasing that would limit them to a det on site nuke.

Well yeah, I meant about the warhead itself, not so much the means of transport. I would guess that rocket tests would be more alarming as far as the geopolitics (perhaps unless you're South Korea, for whom I have much sympathy.)

Not G. Ivingname:

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

It is harder to safely contain the materials within the bomb.

[/quote]

How does that work? I thought it was relatively hard just to make them explode in the first place. Or are there serious safety considerations other than accidental detonation?

North Korea is an extremely poor nation, so the amount of money they can spend to buy nuclear fuel (and most countries have embargoes against the country), and limited amount of money actually building the bomb.

That's true. That is the reason I think waiting is a strong strategy; their economy is so heavily tilted toward the military anyway, their population growth is hardly anything-- in what way would they gain in power that could not be matched by a potential adversary in the same period of time? However, I suppose a specific technological advance with nuclear weapons could fit the bill. Though, as you say, that may be unlikely:

Another problem is getting engineers smart enough to make larger bombs work. You tend to not get a lot of geniuses when your entire nation has been in a state of constant famine, and no engineers are insane enough to go into the country.

Indeed. Somewhat handy how that works, I think. You have to at least be able to deliver food to the people in order to have an effective tyrannical regime bent on world domination.

thaluikhain:

Pandalisk:
It doesn't take that much to develop a missle that can deliver a nuclear payload to a city and level it, after all

Er, a payload to make a mess of a city, yeah. Levelling a city is no small thing, even a megaton yield device would leave most of London intact(ish).

OTOH, like you say, Seoul (or at least significant parts of it) is within shelling distance of NK artillery, and sustained bombardment would be capable of levelling those parts it can reach.

That little doozy was 15 Kilotons, i wonder if NK has put much thought into a couple of things like that. (though this design doesn't have the necessary range and twice as powerful as what the NK are capable of produce as of now anyway.)

When it doubt, make the design larger.

I can imagine living the life as a South Korean. The stress would have killed me.

The US gave them food when they promised to stop, and now they're planning another bomb. What will Iran learn from this?

"Screw the world powers, they won't attack unless their internal politics dictate so".

Glasgow:

"Screw the world powers, they won't attack unless their internal politics dictate so".

The world knew this anyway, considering it's how World War Two started.

If the UN isn't going to be bothered to bear it's fangs once in a while, then what's the point of having it? They're like a yappy, toothless Chihuahua.

Doesn't matter. They just want more food aid.

Kim Jong III, we dun give a sanction or a shit man. Just stop bragging about your toys before MERICA gives you a nuke to the face.

Peace out.

Kopikatsu:

Glasgow:

"Screw the world powers, they won't attack unless their internal politics dictate so".

The world knew this anyway, considering it's how World War Two started.

If the UN isn't going to be bothered to bear it's fangs once in a while, then what's the point of having it? They're like a yappy, toothless Chihuahua.

NK isn't somewhere you want to use as a display of strength. The UN would win, at the cost of any number of SK civilians who otherwise wouldn't have died.

Now, internal conflicts and genocides where people are already dying, sure, but starting an Asian war...not a great idea.

Danny Ocean:

Not G. Ivingname:

It looks like any hope of Kim Jung Un being any better than his father just went up in nuclear flame.

Not necessarily. We don't know how the internal politics plays out there, after all.

Incidentally, cool video about nuke tests. It's slow to get going but you'll be amazed once it gets through time a bit:

Also looking at where the British tested their nukes is worth a laugh.

Why anyone would want to live anywhere near the West coast after all that is beyond me. :V

By the time I was half way through that my main thought was 'Fucks sake America (and to a lesser extent the USSR) how the fuck do you not know how nukes work by now? What new developments can possibly require like 5 tests a month?'
The only reasonable explanation I could come up with was that they liked the pretty colours.

Glasgow:
I can imagine living the life as a South Korean. The stress would have killed me.

The US gave them food when they promised to stop, and now they're planning another bomb. What will Iran learn from this?

"Screw the world powers, they won't attack unless their internal politics dictate so".

I think even Iran isn't so deluded that they'd put themselves at that much risk of pissing off the US. They know they'd lose any sort of all-out war in a flash, even if they involved nukes. The US alone has them and NK outnumbered a million to one. They've tested the boundaries for sure, but they know there are limits.

However, I wouldn't put it past NK to not learn any lessons until it's too late. They are so irrational I think they could try to go to war with the US. They'd fail, but they'd still do it, and SK would be their most effective card to play. Or rather, to hold hostage and try to abate retaliation.

But yeah, like you said I would be pretty freaked out living in SK. I mean, in the US we complain about the cartels and gangs from Mexico, but really compared to North Korea those cartels are a bunch of well-behaved schoolchildren.

ClockworkPenguin:
By the time I was half way through that my main thought was 'Fucks sake America (and to a lesser extent the USSR) how the fuck do you not know how nukes work by now? What new developments can possibly require like 5 tests a month?'
The only reasonable explanation I could come up with was that they liked the pretty colours.

They know how they work in the general sense, yeah, but that's not to say they don't need testing like everything else. Every new weapon, or even civilian appliance like cars or phones are tested, even if people know how rifles, cars or phones work.

thaluikhain:

ClockworkPenguin:
By the time I was half way through that my main thought was 'Fucks sake America (and to a lesser extent the USSR) how the fuck do you not know how nukes work by now? What new developments can possibly require like 5 tests a month?'
The only reasonable explanation I could come up with was that they liked the pretty colours.

They know how they work in the general sense, yeah, but that's not to say they don't need testing like everything else. Every new weapon, or even civilian appliance like cars or phones are tested, even if people know how rifles, cars or phones work.

In general, I'm all over testing, safety and quality control but if testing cars and phones caused localised catastrophe's, I might recommend holding off for major design changes, rather than every little tweak.

Not G. Ivingname:

It looks like any hope of Kim Jung Un being any better than his father just went up in nuclear flame.

It is actually possible that he is even worse.

There have been rumors that he enjoyed torturing animals before he became the leader of NK.

Lilani:
But yeah, like you said I would be pretty freaked out living in SK. I mean, in the US we complain about the cartels and gangs from Mexico, but really compared to North Korea those cartels are a bunch of well-behaved schoolchildren.

Having lived here for a while now I think I can say that the majority of people in the South don't give a good Goddamn and are more stressed about work than they are about the pedantic tantrums thrown in the North, which happen all the bloody time. Sadly, the situation isn't likely resolvable without a whole lot of hassle, to put it lightly, so most people don't have the time to bother worrying about what might happen. Even the younger and more enlightened generations don't have time to worry about it; they're too busy preparing for university entrance exams so they can get good degrees and thus better jobs. So yes, while I'm sure that a few people stress about it I'd say most don't bother wasting the energy. I know I haven't personally.

Additionally, while I think that Kim Jong-Un is a maniac and a touch disturbed, I don't think he's exactly suicidal and he is educated enough to know that his country is in shambles to the point that starting something with the South, and thus America, would be unproductive for everyone, and especially him and his so-called country. Even if he were to manage to bugger up Seoul (and he could, sure) he has to know that his entire country would get rolled over easily since his army is under-trained, under-equipped and under-fed, like most of the population, and so wouldn't stand a single chance of anything other than getting demolished. As the head of the ship, he'd be going down with it and so would all the luxuries afforded to him by virtue of his birth. No, I doubt that anything is going to come of this other than a few people getting riled up. TO most people here, it's business as usual.

Of course, living here now, I may not be around to eat those words should they be proven wrong, so let it now be said that if I get vaporized in the next few months, I was incorrect and I apologize.

Hardcore_gamer:

Not G. Ivingname:

It looks like any hope of Kim Jung Un being any better than his father just went up in nuclear flame.

It is actually possible that he is even worse.

There have been rumors that he enjoyed torturing animals before he became the leader of NK.

Yeah... we didn't even have a second picture of the guy before he was placed as Supreme Leader, so I'm going to assume that unsubstantiated rumors are just that, rumors.

On topic: It's been one hell of a week. What? It's only Tuesday? Please let the rest of the week go smoothly. We've had enough shit to deal with for the month, much less the week.

Now if you'll excuse me while I go to advise a Korean dictator on his next move...

No oil? Check.
No Value? Check.
Not muslim? Check.
Israel doesn't care? Check.
Nuclear testing? Checkerooni.

Conclusion? Invasion Unlikely.

Seanchaidh:

Not G. Ivingname:

Seanchaidh:
If you can achieve a 7 kiloton nuclear explosion, what's to stop you from just putting more explosive and fissile material into a larger but otherwise identical design and assuming it will work about as well?

It is harder to safely contain the materials within the bomb.

How does that work? I thought it was relatively hard just to make them explode in the first place. Or are there serious safety considerations other than accidental detonation?

More radioactive material means more radiation you have to contain.

Although, North Korea cares about it's people just as much as you care about the stain on your T-shirt, so they may throw sanity to the wind.

Lilani:

Glasgow:
I can imagine living the life as a South Korean. The stress would have killed me.

The US gave them food when they promised to stop, and now they're planning another bomb. What will Iran learn from this?

"Screw the world powers, they won't attack unless their internal politics dictate so".

I think even Iran isn't so deluded that they'd put themselves at that much risk of pissing off the US. They know they'd lose any sort of all-out war in a flash, even if they involved nukes. The US alone has them and NK outnumbered a million to one. They've tested the boundaries for sure, but they know there are limits.

However, I wouldn't put it past NK to not learn any lessons until it's too late. They are so irrational I think they could try to go to war with the US. They'd fail, but they'd still do it, and SK would be their most effective card to play. Or rather, to hold hostage and try to abate retaliation.

But yeah, like you said I would be pretty freaked out living in SK. I mean, in the US we complain about the cartels and gangs from Mexico, but really compared to North Korea those cartels are a bunch of well-behaved schoolchildren.

I can't agree Iran would loose a war against the US. There's a reason why those mountains stopped Saddam two decades ago. Making a land invasion a-la Iraq would prove to fail. Currently the US is already at war with Iran. Secret Ops for the most part, we see a lot of it. Assassinations, Sabotages, Intelligence, Media blitz, Economical sanctions... Iran is hurting. Hopefully there will be a student's revolution, I would love to see a different regime there.

No chance for that in N. Korea. Country is as tight as it gets. At least that's what we know so far.

Not G. Ivingname:

Seanchaidh:

Not G. Ivingname:

It is harder to safely contain the materials within the bomb.

How does that work? I thought it was relatively hard just to make them explode in the first place. Or are there serious safety considerations other than accidental detonation?

More radioactive material means more radiation you have to contain.

Although, North Korea cares about it's people just as much as you care about the stain on your T-shirt, so they may throw sanity to the wind.

The USA had exploded over six hundred nuclear bombs on US soil, especially in the Nevada desert and its surroundings. Trust me when I say that governments don't really give a toss when generals get a hard-on for this kind of weapon.

10kt? Aww, how cute, look at the little baby nuke! I really wish the rest of the world would stop handling North Korea with kid gloves. As long as everyone keeps bowing to their demands they'll keep throwing these little fits. If everyone else just said "Yeah, you guys can get fucked" and stopped talking to them altogether, you'd have a self-solving problem.

To be quite honest it doesn't matter all to much how big of a yield they can get out of their weapons if they do not manage to significantly shrink the size of the device itself. As of now its probably a safe bet that their weapons are about the same size as US devices from the late 40s and early 50s. This means that they are pretty damn big. Now for the US this wasn't a huge problem do to our large strategic bombers such as the B-29. North Korea does not have any such aircraft and their missiles can hardly deliver small satellites, much less accurately deliver a nuclear warhead of such size and weight. As of now the most effective way they could use one of their warheads is to sneak under the DMV where there are a lot of US/S. Korean soldiers and detonate it there. Beyond that and trucks they have no way to actually harm anyone with the damn things.

Ravinoff:
10kt? Aww, how cute, look at the little baby nuke! I really wish the rest of the world would stop handling North Korea with kid gloves. As long as everyone keeps bowing to their demands they'll keep throwing these little fits. If everyone else just said "Yeah, you guys can get fucked" and stopped talking to them altogether, you'd have a self-solving problem.

You do realize that recently the UN has had a special meeting specifically to make up new resolution against them because North Korea already has every single existing embargo?
Also, since the fall of the USSR and most other big communist players and the growing capitalism in China they have slowly lost every last support they had to the point that they are now more or less completely depending in China's whim, who are mostly trying to keep all the millions of starved, uneducated and poor Koreans in the country and away from themselves. There's pretty much no international investment apart from a few Chinese and Russian transport companies. But the country does have significant amounts of coal, iron, zinc, gold and copper and is apparently the tenth largest fruit producer in the world (which makes you wonder how they get all those famines constantly) so they do have some things that make them interesting enough trading partners for China and the South.

Still, nobody just bows to their demands at all. The USSR and China as the more powerful nations certainly never did bow so much as freely support and Japan still hasn't forgiven them all the abductions of their people since the 70s, some of whom they still hold hostage.
South Korea during the 80s and 90s had an active policy trying to economically isolate the North (Nordpolitik), and has since Kim Jong-il's takeover in '98 until 2009 had a non-tolerance but peaceful coexistence pact (Sunshine Policy)... although the North pretty much killed and buried that agreement in the last few years.

Fun fact I just stumbled into: who here knew that North Korea had its own computer OS? It's called Red Star OS and is a Linux based development that since 2002 has supplanted Windows.

Skeleon:
Does it matter whether it could level a city or not? Wouldn't the blast kill most inhabitants even if buildings remain standing? Wouldn't it be irradiated and uninhabitable regardless? I'm not too concerned with the buildings, I'm more concerned with the people living there.

your 7KT nuke going off would have a blast and initial radiation zone of around 1.5 km/0.95 mi

http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/ is intersting to look at and realise exactly how destructive these things are.

*disclaimer* this poster is not responsible for your simulating nuclear weapon explosions in the above simulator which results in being put on government watchlists and having people in black suits abducting you to cuba in the middle of the night

The UN is useless, and all the sanctions in the world to NK is just made to look good. I say we cut off ALL NK aid, and make them think twice, about building their military vs feeding their people.

Lilani:

Glasgow:
I can imagine living the life as a South Korean. The stress would have killed me.

The US gave them food when they promised to stop, and now they're planning another bomb. What will Iran learn from this?

"Screw the world powers, they won't attack unless their internal politics dictate so".

I think even Iran isn't so deluded that they'd put themselves at that much risk of pissing off the US. They know they'd lose any sort of all-out war in a flash, even if they involved nukes. The US alone has them and NK outnumbered a million to one. They've tested the boundaries for sure, but they know there are limits.

However, I wouldn't put it past NK to not learn any lessons until it's too late. They are so irrational I think they could try to go to war with the US. They'd fail, but they'd still do it, and SK would be their most effective card to play. Or rather, to hold hostage and try to abate retaliation.

But yeah, like you said I would be pretty freaked out living in SK. I mean, in the US we complain about the cartels and gangs from Mexico, but really compared to North Korea those cartels are a bunch of well-behaved schoolchildren.

Atleast the NK stays on their side of the border, and really has nothing. The leader however is insane, and is one those wackos like those in Iran that WILL have all their people killed/in a invasion to get some petty revenge.

thaluikhain:
NK having teh odd small nuclear device isn't that worrying. All it'd achieve is the horrific death of many hundreds of thousands of North Koreans, and a much smaller amount of people wherever it was initiated. The USSR and China have mighty nuclear arsenals, but don't dare do anything with them.

While you're mostly right, Nort Korea is by far the most unpredictable of nuclear powers as far as the course its government takes is concerned.

They get all this crazy propaganda about destroying the US and the west and worship their leaders, they're like Palestinians on crack as far as indoctrination is concerned. And if they grow up with that in their head, who's to say none of them will ever be crazy enough to start reaching for big red buttons?

Ravinoff:
10kt? Aww, how cute, look at the little baby nuke! I really wish the rest of the world would stop handling North Korea with kid gloves. As long as everyone keeps bowing to their demands they'll keep throwing these little fits. If everyone else just said "Yeah, you guys can get fucked" and stopped talking to them altogether, you'd have a self-solving problem.

There are two things to keep in mind here: first is China. China is pretty much the whole reason that NK can do what it likes at this point - its leadership routinely backs the Kim dynasty with financial, diplomatic and material aid - presumably out of ideology, old alliances and the plain fear of having a US military presence right next door when things come to a close. Without getting China in the boat NK gets a free pass and is potentially able to undermine any sanctions through their shared border. There is only so much the US can do on it's own in this case.

It gets even more complicated with the leadership change in the Chinese government that is currently taking place with Xi Jinping replacing Hu Jintao as one part of the usual leadership duo. As long as he and Mr. Obama haven't managed to find a clear course and formulated a plan for a potential aftermath for a worst case scenario, things are unlikely to change on the Chinese side. The prospects are even less favourable, given the state of the relations between Japan and China over the Senkaku (or Diaoyu - however you want to call them) islands and the continuous sabre rattling by the Chinese authorities which makes it questionable how much ground the Chinese will give on these kinds of security matters in any case.

Second is the nuke itself: while it wasn't very powerful, the North Korean authorities seemed eager to emphasize that the bomb was "smaller and light" in contrast to previous explosive devices - incidentally a requirement to make nuclear warheads fit onto ICBMs. And if NK develops that kind of capability, a US intervention will get much more improbable. Any US administration will have to think twice before engaging in a military intervention that bears a risk that one of the first acts in a possible war could be the obliteration of downtown LA by a nuclear device.

EDIT: I shouldn't write in the morning...edited this post to make it more readable.

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