When North Korea does something stupid, my post “Where in the World is North Korea?” gets a ton of hits. As you can see from my page view chart, yesterday North Korea was especially stupid. :-/
A North Korean Lieutenant General opened negotiations earlier today with his South Korean counterpart as follows:
Bush … goes out jogging one morning and, preoccupied with international affairs, fails to notice that a car is heading straight at him.
A group of schoolchildren pull the president away just in time, saving his life, and a grateful Bush offers them anything they want in the world as a reward.
“We want a place reserved for us at Arlington Memorial Cemetery,” say the children.
“Why is that?” he asks.
“Because our parents will kill us if they find out what we’ve done.” (Source.)
Apparently, the urge to tell jokes about authority figures exists everywhere. In North Korea, however, living to tell another joke means directing the humor elsewhere, instead of the obvious target.
Many have speculated whether North Korea’s claimed nuclear test test was a dud, a fizzle, or an outright fake. U.S. Intelligence officials confirmed that North Korea’s claimed nuclear test was indeed nuclear. Whether it was successful is another issue.
Officials said intelligence indicated the North Koreans predicted an explosion the equivalent of four kilotons of high explosives — but the test released less than one kiloton. (Source.)
From what I’ve read, four kilotons is a small nuclear device for a first attempt. For nukes, smaller is more difficult. Was North Korea attempting to make a smaller device that could be delivered by one of their missiles, or were they just trying to conserve their limited nuclear materials?
Except for my wife and family, that is my favourite photo. Rumsfeld
Mr Rumsfeld showed the picture to illustrate how backward the northern regime really is — and how oppressed its people are. Without electricity there can be none of the appliances that make life easy and that we take for granted, he said. (Source)
More people are questioning whether the North Korean test was successful. Why? Maybe because no one wants to consider the alternatives:
- If the explosion was nuclear and successful, the relatively small seismic shock suggests the yield was quite small, much smaller than the sweet spot of 15-20 kilotons most countries have used for their first nuclear tests. Designing smaller nukes is more difficult and normally done after testing larger devices. If North Korea already has small nukes, then North Korean’s nuclear program is more advanced. This could also suggest that North Korea is getting help from other countries who already have nukes or want nukes.
- If the explosion was nuclear and relatively large yield, then North Korea designed a test site that effectively shields the true magnitude of the nuke. Although I’m way over my head here, the seismic shock is dependent on both the yield of the bomb and the coupling of the blast to the ground. Apparently, using a very large underground chamber is one way of decreasing the coupling. In this case, then the world’s visibility into North Korea’s nuclear program will be more limited.
Or, maybe the world knows the yield was large, the test was successful, and is just denying Kim Jong-il the congratulations he desires. ;-)
Time to learn a new word: fizzle.
“Either this was a deceit using a few hundred tons of chemical high explosives or it was a nuclear device that did not go as intended,” said Bob Puerifoy, a former Sandia National Laboratories weapons executive. “I won’t call it a dud — a few hundred tons of explosives is not a dud — but a fizzle. And the designer probably has been shot by now.”
Rather than blaming North Korea, there must be some other cause for North Korea’s claimed nuke test. Choose your favorite.
- It’s Bush’s fault.
- It’s Clinton’s fault.
- It’s Carter’s fault.
- It’s a conspiracy to get Foley off the front pages.
- It’s a conspiracy to get a South Korean Secretary-General of the United Nations.
It’s particularly enjoyable that the two following inconsistent theories come from the same article.
- “North Korea is living under constant threat from mentally unstable Bush regime since he included North Korea and Iran in his famous axis of evil speech.” The “NK is afraid of the US” excuse.
- “The US is in no position to take any military action against North Korea to pursue their regime change policy or air strike on its Nuclear facilities because that will bring death and destruction in millions.” The “NK isn’t afraid of the US” excuse.
I’m sure there will be more theories proposed. How about:
- It’s Iran’s fault. They talked North Korea into the test to distract the world.
- It’s Israel’s fault. They talked North Korea into the test to justify their own possession of nukes.
- It’s Hugo Chavez’s fault. The devil made him do it.
- It’s the shadow government’s fault. They want us to give up more civil rights are on our relentless march to a one world government.
- It’s Dennis Hastert’s fault. He had an e-mail warning of the test for two years and did nothing about it.
So far, I’ve seen NK, Nork, and NoKo. Are there others? According to Wikipedia, Nork is slang for North Koreans, not the country’s name. (My apologies if Nork is derogatory — Wikipedia doesn’t say.)
US intelligence has detected an explosion of less than one kilotonne in magnitude in North Korea but has not been able to determine whether it was nuclear or not, a senior intelligence official said. (Source)