North Korea Sets of Atmospheric Nuclear Test?

This post was written by marc on September 12, 2004
Posted Under: Bush

On September 9 a mushroom cloud about 3 miles wide appeared over North Korea. While the Bush controlled press await word form the Whitehouse for them to figure out how they are going to spin it – seems to me that there’s only one thing that makes a 3 mile wide mushroom cloud. North Korea has tested a nuke by exploding it in the atmosphere.

Reader Comments

This, from an article on Japan Today:

“But as of Sunday afternoon, the North Korean government had said nothing about it, and North Korean media carried no reports.”


“The source also noted that the site of the explosion and mushroom cloud is not far from the North’s Taepodong missile base, the report said.”

Full article here:

Accident? Pre-emptive strike?

Written By MadBlue on September 12th, 2004 @ 12:44 am

The AP reports that the mushroom cloud was 4 kilometers in diameter, about 2.3 miles. However, BBC News reports that the cloud was 4 kilometers in -radius-. Also, both South Korea and the United States government are both unwilling to say that it is a nuclear test.

First, it is very unlikely that if North Korea were so inclined to perform a nuclear test that they would do it so close to China–the Yanggang province in which the blast occured is on the Chinese border, and the farthest away from China you can go and stay inside that province is 50 miles. Second, mushroom clouds (even of that size) can be formed by non-nuclear devices. The recently developed MOAB by the United States proved that.

However, I’m not as ready as the American and South Korean governments to dismiss this as completely non-nuclear. However, I’m quite positive that South Korea, China, and the U.S. all have inteligence information about the blast that they’re not sharing with the public, which is of course the smart thing to do–it’d be stupid to tip their hands and reveal their sources if they have evidence that this was non-nuclear.

I think the strongest indication of not to worry right now is South Korea’s non-chalance with the incident–being the hated neighbor of the North, it stands to reason that if it were a nuclear blast, South Korea would be far more worried than they’re letting on.

Written By Mance on September 12th, 2004 @ 11:01 am

>>it – seems to me that there’s only one thing that makes a 3 mile wide mushroom cloud. <<

A perfect example of why it’s a good thing for everyone that you live in your little corner of the internet and are not responsible for anything important. Your conclusions are way to primitive to be responsible for any real authority.

Written By JamesWier on September 12th, 2004 @ 11:06 am

…Since we all know Marc won’t post this…

>Crime Rates Lower under Bush than any President since records were Kept!<

I’m sure Marc will probably just censor this post rather than try to spin it, but for those interested, go read the facts.

Written By KennethCreason on September 12th, 2004 @ 3:22 pm

Not to be an ass, but did you actually read that article? It didn’t praise any one administration for the deterioration of violent crimes. It also said that it didn’t count property crimes or murders which went up. Another statistic the article points out is the violent crime rate dropped nearly 40 percent since ’93, that is a fairly large sample period, and not under just one president.

On the topic of the giant mushroom cloud I do not really know what to think, like Mance said, South Korea seems particularly unworried. At the same time, Iraq never had an instance of such happening before we attacked them. Everyone in the rest of the world was not particularly worried at the time about Saddam, and he did not come right out and say that he had intentions of building a nuclear weapons program.

Speculate all you want, but I am 10 times more afraid of Kim Jong Il than I was of the heavily sanctioned Saddam. Why do we play off major UN violations by one man, but condem another for the same actions that we don’t have proof he committed? I swear the hypocrisy that is neo-con knows no boundary.

Written By M. Wills on September 12th, 2004 @ 4:16 pm

For once, I agree with you, Wills. The South is unworried, which suggests to me they have more evidence they have not yet released. However, there are a few things that are too coincidental to be ignored. First, the blast occured on the National Day of North Korea, which would be the ideal day for moving their country to a new level of power. Also, the province that the blast occured in an area that intelligence reports say may have housed a North Korean uranium enrichment program, and there are several known military bases there.

On the flip side, we can look at other things. North Korea is the most secretive country in the world, and has succeeeded at this for fifty years. I don’t think that even someone as crazy as Kim Jong-Il would tip his hand like that and do an open, atmospheric nuclear test when he knows that he’s being watched.

Written By Mance on September 12th, 2004 @ 4:41 pm

How is the UN responding to North Korea’s major UN violations?

Regarding the Bush administration, getting the US directly involved with North Korea would be a very sticky situation, what with China right there and all.

Besides, all we really know is what they officially say about North Korea. We don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. North Korea’s been branded a part of the “Axis of Evil” afterall, I’m sure Bush et al are aware of how potentially dangerous the situation is.

Written By MadBlue on September 12th, 2004 @ 4:48 pm

Well, now we know that North Korea says the explosion and mushroom cloud was the detonation of a mountain as part of a hydroelectric project.

I’m assuming it wasn’t nuclear. I doubt North Korea would be stupid enough to explode a nuclear device so close to their its Chinese border.

Written By MadBlue on September 13th, 2004 @ 3:27 am

The British government confirmed what North Korea said. In a rather stunning move, they invited the visiting British ambassador to tour the area so that he could see for himself.

Written By Mance on September 13th, 2004 @ 4:35 pm

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