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Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Test Fallout: Where Do We Go Now?


North Korea tested it's nuclear weapon over the weekend depite the warning coming from its neighbors, the US and the UN.

The United States said today it will seek U.N. sanctions to curb North Korea's import and export of material for weapons of mass destruction, as well as its illicit financial activities.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said Washington wants a resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter that goes beyond the resolution adopted by the council in July after North Korea conducted seven missile tests.

He said the U.S. wants to make it tougher for North Korea to produce or export nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and the means to deliver them, and to impose financial sanctions for what the U.S. contends is Pyongyang's counterfeiting and money laundering.

Members of the U.N. Security Council today condemned North Korea over its claim of a nuclear test, and they demanded at an emergency meeting that the communist nation return to six-party talks on its weapons program, Japan's ambassador said....

...North Korea was added to the agenda of an already scheduled council meeting that officially nominated South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon as the next secretary-general, and he said he would work to resolve the North Korean crisis.

If appointed to the top job, Mr. Ban said he would "contribute as much as I can to the resolution of all kinds of problems including the North Korean nuclear issue that may threaten international peace and security."

President Bush said North Korea's action deserves "an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council."

Japan and the United States are expected to press for tough sanctions, which might involve economic measures, breaking diplomatic ties and banning the import or export of military equipment or even a naval blockade.

I doubt the nominatiuon of a South Korean to take the secretary general's seat is "an answer" back at North Korea. However, the discussions between Japapn and the US are intriguing. A naval blockade would definitely cut the North off, and send a message that their continued behavior isn't acceptable. They straight-up lied yesterday, stating that they would put the test off until the end of the year, then they popped it off. Now, it's time for the world to move forward.

The president is going to push even harder for sanctions now. And I'm betting that he has a trick or two up his sleeve for Russia and China when it comes to the Security Council. These are the two nations that are notably dragging their feet on sanctions over both North Korea and Iran. Maybe some sanctions should be tossed down for their benefit, too. We know they've sold weapons to Iran, and we know thjathe Russians, and apparently now the French, are assisting Iran in their enrichment program.

But both nations have been openly complicit when itcomes to North Korea. As a matter of fact, were it not for China, North Korea would have already died on the vine by now. but they've been sending food and supplies over the border to keep the Kim Jong-Il regime standing upright.

I think that this test was conducted as much to send a shockwave through the world as it was to send a shockwave through its own nation and region. Now they know that Japan is upset, and so is the Phillipines. Even the Chinese got in on the codemnation game:

Chinese officials released a statement simultaneously recognizing and condemning the test.

And President Putin got in on the action, too.

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said “Russia absolutely condemns North Korea’s nuclear test.”

France, Russia, and the US all registered the test. The US said a 4.2 magnitude quake resulted from the detonation. France claimed it was equivalent to 500 tons of TNT going off, and Russia said the South Koreans grossly underestimated the explosive effectiveness of the bomb; They say it was at least a fifteen kiloton weapon.

But regardless of the size the fact of the matter is that they'bve done it. Now the world must respond, and in more ways that just letters and condemnations around the world. It's time to isolate this nation, once and for all. We have concerns that go beyond a nuke being fired at us. Our worries are just beginning. "The enemy of my enemy is my ally." An old friend reminded me that Communism and Islamofascism are compatible. How long before our enemies got to his door and knock on it in an attempt to get a nuclear weapon?

Captain's Quarters gives a brief explanation that this test really is much ado about nothing. As he points out, the size of the blast isn't anywhere near a nuclear deterrent, and barely registers as a tactical nuke. In addition, he notes that the Russians are greatly overexaggerating the impact of the test:

For those who wonder what a 4.2 Richter measurement really means, this site's deconstruction of an earthquake falsely assumed to have been a nuclear test seems particularly relevant:

Size of 1997 Event The Washington Post for August 29 gives the seismic magnitude of the event as 3.8. Quoting Pentagon officials, the Washington Times on the 28th states "initial data on the event produced 'high confidence' that the activity detected was a nuclear test equivalent to between 100 tons and 1,000 tons of TNT. The relatively small size would be consistent with tests used to determine the reliability of a nuclear weapon . . .such as a scaled-down test of a warhead primer." The Reviewed Event Bulletin of the IDC gives a seismic magnitude, mb, of 3.9, obtained by averaging readings from two stations. Magnitude is proportional to the log of the amplitude of seismic waves.

The Richter scale is an exponential/logarithmic scale (we native Californians know this from birth), so the difference between 3.9 and 4.2 would mean that the seismic strength was three times stronger than the 1997 event. That would mean the yield on North Korea's nuclear test would have been between 300 and 3,000 tons, not 5K - 15K as the Russians claim. It fits with the initial Western estimate of 550 tons, although that's on the low side of the scale. Unless the estimate of the seismic strength gets revised upwards, we're dealing with a very small yield -- which is why the North Koreans may be preparing a second test.

A second test? North Korea can't be allowed to continue down this path, The sanctions should go in place, and yes I'd even support a naval blockade of the peninsula. Kim Jong-Il has just upset the world. I think it's time for him to see what he's about to reap from his arrogance. We don't want to see a crisis develop in his own country, but we don't really have a choice. We can't negotiate with him. The six-nation talks should be called off immediately. Let him stew while the world squeezes the life out of his regime.

Sabrina McKinney

UPDATE: According to Yahoo's Asian News Division some are questioning whether or not this was a dud.

North Korea sets off an earthshaking explosion _ and claims it was nuclear. Was it? For scientists, that was not a quick and easy question to answer.

Like earthquakes, large explosions send out shockwaves that can be detected on seismographs. Big nuclear bombs make big waves, with clear signatures that make them fairly easy to detect, analyze and confirm that they were caused by splitting atoms. But smaller blasts _ as North Korea's appears to have been _ are trickier to break down.

The natural sound of the Earth, with its constant seismic activity of tectonic plates grinding together, complicates the task of trying to determine whether a smaller blast was caused by conventional explosives or a nuclear device, said Xavier Clement of France's Atomic Energy Commission.

He likened the problem to trying to "detect the violins or a flute in a symphony orchestra when you are playing the cymbals."

His agency estimated the North Korean blast at around 1 kiloton or less _ equivalent to the explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT. For a nuclear device, that would be so weak that the French defense minister suggested that "there could have been a failure" with the North Korean reported test.

If this was a failure, their announcement of a second test could be a cover for the first one's failure. DEFENSETECH says this is a dud, overall.

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.

Of course, I want to see what the US IC says. If/when the test vents, we could have some radionuclide data -- maybe in the next 72 hours or so.

But, from the initial data, I'd say someone with no workable nuclear weapons (Kim Jong Il, I am looking at you) should be crapping his pants right now.

First the missile, then the bomb. Got anything else you wanna try out there, chief?

DEFENSETECH link courtesy of The Instapundit himself. And this doesn't bode well for Kim. DEFENSETECH is right in ponting out that no nation has produced a dud on their first simple test. Was it an earthquake? I doubt it. But with the magnitude that the experts are giving, this was definitely not the "great accomplishment" that the North Korean regime is hyping. They're demanding congratulations for their endeavors. They're lucky they're being laughed off the face of the planet right now. The most congratulatory message they might receive is a love letter from Osama or al-Zawahiri.

The standard condemnations were handed out today over this, and the world then went back to work. Japan is still moving towards rearming. The Phillipines are still working on regional sanctions. And the US demanded that the Security Council pull their thumbs out of their collective @$$e$, and come to terms regarding global sanctions against the "Norks." (I can't take credit for that word; It appears to be the slang being tossed around the 'Net when referring to North Korea. Remember, I'm still new to this lingo.) They've proven they have rudimentary abilities in constructing a nuclear device.

Let me just throw this out there. They've got this ability, and while DEFENSETECH is willing to state that their scientists stink, the sheer fact of the matter is that they can make one. Even a small one is deadly serious. And we all know why, too. Our enemies are still looking for nuclear technology. For the right price, a small device like this could wind up in their hands. And while it appears to be significantly less than the 5K to 15K warhead they said it was, the damage would be devastating. It's time to step in and stop this little runt.

And, as usual, Allah and the blog-hounds at Pajamas Media are all over this.


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