Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More On NoKo Nuke Puke

Go to memeorandum for news on the NoKo nuke, and this is what you'll find:
That's much the same as the preliminary suggestion of a dud yesterday by Jeffrey Lewis at Defense Tech. (A bit off topic, but I have to ask: Are there no good cameras in NoKo? Finding anything useable out of that country is a challenge.)

Here's the gist of the dud argument, as Gertz' sources told him:
U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that seismic readings show that the conventional high explosives used to create a chain reaction in a plutonium-based device went off, but that the blast's readings were shy of a typical nuclear detonation.

"We're still evaluating the data, and as more data comes in, we hope to develop a clearer picture," said one official familiar with intelligence reports. ...

The official said that so far, "it appears there was more fizz than pop."
Wretchard at Belmont Club thinks this is all evidence that NoKo might have done something much scarier than build a difficult to delilver bulky nuke; his headline: Was North Korea Testing a suitcase nuke? He points out that not much is known about these Russian-tech devices, but one thing that is know is that their yield is about one kiloton -- about the measured yield of Kim Il Jung's blast.

The media has been known to stampede down bunny trails -- JonBenet's killer comes to mind -- so we'll file this story under developing ... but yikes!

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