Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















NUKEWARS
Apparent North Korea nuclear blast as quake rocks test site
By Giles HEWITT
Seoul (AFP) Jan 6, 2016


North Korea quake a 'suspected explosion': China seismologists
Beijing (AFP) Jan 6, 2016 - An earthquake in North Korea Wednesday morning was a "suspected explosion", Chinese seismologists said, following fears of another nuclear test by Pyongyang.

The tremor registered inside North Korea was a "suspected explosion", the China Earthquake Network Centre said on its website. It gave the depth as zero kilometres and the magnitude as 4.9.

The notice was similar to one given by China in 2013 following an earthquake in North Korea which turned out to have been caused by a nuclear test.

Beijing is a close ally of Pyongyang but relations have become more strained in recent years, in part because of the North's persistence with its nuclear programme in the face of international condemnation.

China condemned the 2013 nuclear test.

Officials in Seoul also said a 5.1 magnitude tremor was detected close to North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Wednesday.

North Korea quake possible 'nuclear test': Japan
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 6, 2016 - The Japanese government said Wednesday that an earthquake recorded in North Korea might have been caused by a nuclear test.

"Considering past cases, there is the possibility that this might be a nuclear test by North Korea," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said at a regular briefing, adding that Tokyo was analysing the situation.

He said senior officials from government agencies concerned were gathering at the prime minister's office to share and analyse data.

Japan has taken steps in recent years to upgrade its intelligence-gathering capability including launching satellites to monitor North Korea, which has carried out previous nuclear tests and routinely threatens Japan.

North Korea appeared to have carried out a nuclear test Wednesday -- its fourth -- with seismologists detecting a 5.1 magnitude tremor next to its main atomic test site in the northeast of the country.

The website of the China Earthquake Network Centre described the seismic activity, which came just two days before North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's birthday, as a "suspected explosion".

North Korea state radio said Pyongyang would make a "special announcement" at 12:00 Pyongyang time (0330 GMT). It gave no details of the content.

The Korea Meteorological Administration told AFP that initial analysis suggested the quake was "artificial," while the Japanese government said there was a strong possibility that "this might be a nuclear test".

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake -- detected at 10:00 am Pyongyang time (0130 GMT) -- was in the northeast of the country, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) northwest of Kilju city, placing it right next to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

Any confirmed test will trigger widespread international condemnation of North Korea, which has already conducted three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013 -- all at Punggye-ri.

It would certainly result in a tightening of international sanctions imposed after the North's previous nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

In Seoul, the presidential Blue House called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, as officials scrambled to confirm the precise nature of the tremor.

Last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had suggested Pyongyang had already developed a hydrogen bomb -- although the claim was greeted with scepticism by international experts.

A hydrogen, or thermonuclear device, uses fusion in a chain reaction that results in a far more powerful explosion.

North Korea has hinted before at the possession of "stronger, more powerful" weapons, but Kim's remarks were believed to be the first direct reference to an H-bomb.

Researchers at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said last month that recent satellite images showed North Korea was excavating a new tunnel at Punggye-ri.

"While there are no indications that a nuclear test is imminent, the new tunnel adds to North Korea's ability to conduct additional detonations over the coming years if it chooses to do so," they said at the time.

A nuclear test would be seen as major slap in the face to the North's chief ally China and extinguish any chance of a resumption of six-country talks on North Korea's nuclear programme that Beijing has been pushing for.

After its last nuclear test in 2013, the North restarted a plutonium reactor that it had shut down at its Yongbyon complex in 2007 under an aid-for-disarmament accord.

The Yongbyon reactor is capable of producing six kilograms (13 pounds) of plutonium a year -- enough for one nuclear bomb Pyongyang is currently believed to have enough plutonium for as many as six bombs, after using part of its stock for at least two of its three atomic tests to date.

It is still unclear whether the 2013 test used plutonium or uranium as its fissile material.

A basic uranium bomb is no more potent than a basic plutonium one, but the uranium enrichment path holds various advantages for the North, which has substantial deposits of uranium ore.

Uranium enrichment carries a far smaller footprint than plutonium and can be carried out using centrifuge cascades in relatively small buildings that give off no heat.

.


Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
All about missiles at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
NUKEWARS
Kim Jong-Un vows to raise living standards, warns foreign 'provocateurs'
Seoul (AFP) Jan 1, 2016
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said raising living standards was his top priority in a low-key annual New Year's address on Friday that avoided any explicit reference to the country's nuclear weapons programme. The 30-minute televised speech was not without the normal bellicose rhetoric - threatening a "sacred war" if provoked and stressing the need to develop "varied" military strike opti ... read more


NUKEWARS
Saudi intercepts missile fired from Yemen capital

Germany withdraws Patriot missiles from Turkey

Israeli missile interceptor passes final test

New SBIRS ground system celebrates two major milestones

NUKEWARS
Indian Navy test-fires long range surface-to-air missile

Lockheed Martin to supply 12 rocket systems to UAE

Iran has more missiles than it can hide: General

Iranian navy test fires rockets near US carrier

NUKEWARS
Tern moves closer to full-scale demonstration of VTOL UAVs for small ships

DARPA awards Northrop Grumman Phase III TERN contract

Drone helps icebreaker navigate treacherous Antarctic

Army unit retires Hunter unmanned aircraft systems

NUKEWARS
Raytheon to produce, test Navy Multiband Terminals

ADS to build one of two satellites for future COMSAT NG system

Thales and Airbus to supply French military satellite communications

Elbit upgrades tactical intelligence capabilities for Asian country

NUKEWARS
Kongsberg receives CROWS program order

Russia's Uran-9 robotic combat system hits international market

Turkey contracts Otokar for Cobra II armored vehicles

Forensic seismology tested on 2006 munitions depot 'cook-off' in Baghdad

NUKEWARS
Germany warns Saudi Arabia it may review military exports

Pentagon needs to cut more civilian jobs, report finds

U.S., Russia dominate arms transfers to developing countries

PM Abe's cabinet approves largest defence budget

NUKEWARS
PM Abe pledges to keep Japan out of war

Beijing rejects Vietnam protest over South China Sea landing

China restructures military as Xi eyes 'strong army'

China announces military reforms

NUKEWARS
Program seeks ability to assemble atom-sized pieces into practical products

New acoustic technique reveals structural information in nanoscale materials

Nanodevices at one-hundredth the cost

Scientists blueprint tiny cellular 'nanomachine'




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.