by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 7, 2016
Japan said Thursday it has detected no changes in radiation levels within its territory, following North Korea's claimed test of a hydrogen bomb the day before.
Concern in Japan over potential radiation drifting across the sea from North Korea skyrockets whenever it conducts underground nuclear tests, though none has ever been traced to the country after its three previous ones.
Japan is particularly sensitive to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests as prevailing winds blow from the Korean peninsula towards Japan and Pyongyang's ballistic rockets have flown over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.
"There was no particular change" so far in levels of radiation after Pyongyang's surprise underground explosion, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said in a statement.
It added that "no artificial radioactive nuclides" were detected from air samples collected by three Japanese air force planes which flew over the archipelago on Wednesday.
Also, some 300 monitoring posts across the country registered no meaningful change in radiation levels between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning as of 8:00 am (2300 GMT Wednesday), the NRA said.
Satoshi Yamamoto, an NRA official, told reporters late Wednesday that in general radioactive material is not even expected to be released in the case of underground nuclear tests.
Nevertheless, nuclear authorities are strengthening their monitoring activities "to confirm that radiation levels remain normal" after North Korea's test, Yamamoto said.
Japan did not detect artificial radioactive materials at the time of Pyongyang's three previous nuclear explosions between 2006 and 2013, he said.
Fresh results from a second round of flight by air force planes Thursday will be announced Friday, the NRA said.
But even if artificial radioactive material is detected, it would be difficult to discern whether it came from atomic bombs or a more destructive hydrogen device as the only material an H-bomb produces that an atomic bomb does not is helium, Yamamoto said.
Separately, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his South Korean opposite number Yun Byung-Se agreed Thursday in a telephone call that their countries will "closely cooperate" with other key players including China and the United States in responding to the test, Japan's foreign ministry said in a statement.
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
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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|