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Is North Korea Preparing Another Nuke Test?

A Fox News producer in South Korea says that South Korean officials have been noticing more unusual activity going on at the site where the nuclear test took place.

Here's a report from Reuters.

SEOUL, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The chief of South Korea's intelligence agency told lawmakers on Monday it was possible North Korea would carry out a second nuclear test, Seoul's Yonhap news agency quoted one MP as saying.


The lawmaker also quoted Kim Seung-gyu, head of the National Intelligence Service, as telling a closed-door parliamentary committee meeting that unusual signs had been detected at a North Korean town in the afternoon.

North Korea announced earlier in the day it had successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.

Also, we are now just hearing on Fox that Russian officials are reporting that NoKo's blast was equal to approximately 15,000 tons of TNT. The AP is reporting:

MOSCOW - Russia's defense minister said Monday that North Korea's nuclear test was equivalent to 5,000 tons to 15,000 tons of TNT.


That would be far greater than the force given by South Korea's geological institute, which estimated it at just 550 tons of TNT.

By comparison the bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima during World War II was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT.

Update: President Bush will comment on NoKo's test at 9:45 am ET.

Update II: Captain Ed sees the Russian report as disinformation designed to benefit NoKo:

So why is Russia insisting on overstating Kim's success? Other than sheer bloody-mindedness, it's hard to say. If we take them at their word, then we'd have to insist that Russia join in sanctions immediately, which they have so far refused to do. They may want to make the argument that Kim has enough of a nuclear deterrent that we should leave him alone, but that won't fly either.


The Russians may simply want to continue its game-playing against the West, but as I wrote earlier, the stakes are going to get very high for Vladimir Putin as well as Kim Jong-Il. If they want to bet the house on a pair of deuces, they had better prepare to lose everything.

Allahpundit is skeptical as well, but also comments that "logically it makes more sense for the U.S. and South Korea to want the underplay the success of the test than for the Russians to want to overplay it." Allah also reminds us of Russia's 50 megaton nuke test that registered a 7.0 on the Richter scale.

Think about this, too. The Soviet Union once tested a bomb with a 50-megaton yield. That's equivalent to 50 million tons of conventional explosives. Supposedly that test generated a tremor of 7.0 on the Richter scale; would a test of 550 tons then generate a 4.2?

Good point.

Update III: The AFP via the Khaleej Times is also reporting of the possibility of another NoKo nuke test:

SEOUL - Unusual activities were detected in a rugged area in North Korea on Monday, causing South Korean authorities to suspect that the communist state might be preparing a second nuclear test, a news report said.


Kim Seung-Gyu, head of South Korea's spy agency, told parliament that activity involving vehicles and some 30 to 40 people was under way at Punggyeri in the northeastern county of Kilju, Yonhap news agency reported.

"From three p.m. (06:00 GMT) today, there have been some unusual movements under way at Punggyeri where we had thought the first nuclear test would be carried out," Kim was quoted as saying.

"We have been closely following developments there to find out whether North Korea is moving to conduct a series of tests as India and Pakistan did," he said.

An unidentified lawmaker who serves on parliament's intelligence committee quoted Kim as telling the committee that there is a "sufficient possibility" of the North carrying out further nuclear tests.

Pungg yeri is where vehicle movements and the unloading of large reels of cable were spotted by satellite images last month, prompting speculation that a nuclear test was being prepared.

Punggyeri is some 30 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Hwadaeri, where South Korean officials said Monday's test appeared to have been carried out.

Kim was also quoted as saying that North Korea is believed to have stored up to 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plutonium, enough to make as many as seven nuclear bombs.

"North Korea is believed to have stored some 30 to 40 kilograms of plutonium," he was quoted as telling the intelligence committee.

Update IV: President Bush's statement on NoKo's nuke test:

The United States still trying to confirm NoKo's claim. The claim alone is a serious threat to the rest of the world. The US condemns the provocative act.

"NoKo has defied the will of the international community and the international community will respond." Bush spoke with China, South Korea, Russia, and Japan. Together they affirmed their commitment to a nuclear free Korea. They are committed to a response from the UN.

US committed to diplomacy. US will also "meet full range of our deterrent and security committments" for allies SK and Japan.

President Bush ended his statement saying the oppressed NoKo people deserve better.

Update V: Wizbang readers point out that the Richter scale is logarithmic, which means there's about a 1000 times difference between NoKo's 4.2 and Russia's 7.0 readings on the Richter scale. In other words, it isn't accurate to use the Richter scale reading for Russia's nuclear test as a comparison for NoKo's.

Update VI: John Bolton is commenting at UN now and he reminds us that today that the UN is electing the ambassador from South Korea as its secretary general. He says it's an interesting juxtaposition, the differences between the two countries. One country is active in world activities in a positive fashion and the other only inflames world tensions.

Update VI: Ambassador Dennis Ross was just on Fox News saying that it appears that China is willing to go along with symbolic UN sanctions, which will do nothing to avert NoKo. We need real, meaningful UN action. Perhaps the new South Korean UN secretary general can add some teeth to the UNSC.

Update VII: Bad news for Bush? Normally a Bush supporter on terror, Tammy Bruce was on Fox saying this NoKo nuke test is a reminder that the Bush admin has failed on this issue since he's been in office for six years and has done nothing to prevent NoKo's new nuclear development.

Update VIII: Greg Tinti has video of President Bush's statement.

Update IX: Right on time. Jay Footlik, former advisor to the Kerry/Edwards campaign, is on Fox saying that NoKo's nuke test President Bush's fault.


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Comments (56)

What President Bush will co... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

What President Bush will confirm is that Kim Jong il knew about the IMs that Foley sent AND DID NOTHING!!

Besides, like I said before, Kim Jong il doesn't have nukes. He built an earthquake machine to generate tsunamis

Maybe we can goad these stu... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

Maybe we can goad these stupid fucking assclowns into firing off another six tests or so; at that point, they'll be out of bullets.

SS

per Fox, the larger the bo... (Below threshold)
g:

per Fox, the larger the bomb, the lesser the technology. That said, if it was 15,000 tons, thats a good thing.

Actually, the difference be... (Below threshold)
Former nuke:

Actually, the difference beween a 4.2 and a 7.0 is roughly 1000 times, since the Ricter scale is logrithmic. So a .5 kiloton times 1000 is 500kt, off by a factor of 100. So the actual yield should be 50kt from a 4.2 tremor, assuming linear results. However, in order to shake rock more violently, it requires exponetially more energy to produce a more violent earthquake ( just like it requires exponentially more energy to achieve a higher speed for a given mass). At this point my internal calculator falls behind, but gut feel tells me that a .5kt test = 4.2 earthquake does in fact run true with a 50mt test = 7.0 quake. Also, this one was done far under ground, the 50mt soviet test was an airburst. That results in less energy being transmitted to the ground.

Kim-Allah's point ... (Below threshold)
Not Tony:

Kim-

Allah's point about the Richter scale misses an important point - the Richter scale is logarithmic, like magnitudes when talking about stars. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake or explosion is NOT twice as powerful as a 3.5 magnitude earthquake or explosion.

According to:

http://www.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/100/magnitude.html

...those numbers quoted are only a little bit off, well within the margin of error.

Hey, what do you know? I k... (Below threshold)
Not Tony:

Hey, what do you know? I know less AND type slower!

At this point there are sti... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

At this point there are still some unanswered questions. First is that there is still no concrete evidence that the test was nuclear, and not just a bunch of TNT. My guess is that the satelite guys have a handle on that one. Secondly, as pointed out above, just how many nuks could they have? Why not just goad them into testing all of them.

Sanctions are a waste of time. The only real defense is to let the little twerp know that if a nuk, produced in N. Korea, ever went off anywhere in the world, his bloody country would glow in the dark for the next (5) thousand years, and ground zero would be his bedroom.

And now the evidence is pla... (Below threshold)
Orange Kevin:

And now the evidence is plain enough for even the mouthbreathers to see: failure to take diplomacy seriously leads to real strategic weakness.

This one's gonna be really, really hard to blame on the Clenis.


Also, the 50-megaton blast ... (Below threshold)

Also, the 50-megaton blast was an airburst, while this one was underground, making direct comparisons by seismic response all the harder.

Actually, I'm a bit surprised the North didn't set it off above ground. They couldn't care less about the environment. The mountainous Korean terrain must have a few isolated valleys suitable for a test, and the resulting pictures of a mushroom-cloud and half-vaporized targets would be of huge propaganda value to them.

Perhaps the new So... (Below threshold)
Perhaps the new South Korean UN secretary general can add some teeth to the UNSC.

Don't bet on it. The South Korean government long ago decided that they didn't want the financial burden of trying to, you know, help out their cousins when the North falls. So they're only too happy to prop up the North. They actually suppress defector stories of suffering. They have decided they care more about money and "stability" than the welfare of their fellow Koreans.

Orange Kevin : Actually the... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Orange Kevin : Actually the cost of development was provided by 'Clenis'. Billions of dollars in blackmail paid by a stupid broad with (I hope) the knowledge that paying blackmail leads to more blackmail. Kim wants billions more in blackmail. Where is Madam NotAllTooBright? She'll give him the finances to develop weapons to reach NY since the previous donation only reaches middle America.

Looks like GOP shoulda been... (Below threshold)
ja:

Looks like GOP shoulda been concentrating on NK instead of oil rich Iraq Aye Bushians? Imminent failure

Has anyone heard anything t... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Has anyone heard anything today about S Korean protests about the US military?

Wonder if they want us out of their country today. Do dems have an exit strategy for SoKo??

jaSo He should hav... (Below threshold)
914:

ja

So He should have invaded North Korea first?? Is this Your brilliant synopsis?

Another Bush failure. Not ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Another Bush failure. Not only did Bush look the other way on this, he actually used our money to fund the bomb!

Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, "The US Government has announced that it will release $95m to North Korea as part of an agreement to replace the Stalinist country's own nuclear programme, which the US suspected was being misused."

"In releasing the funding, President George W Bush waived the Framework's requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it has not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors."

Here is the best part:

President Bush argued that the decision was "vital to the national security interests of the United States".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia-pacific/1908571.stm

Question:How did t... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Question:

How did the gargoyle obtain the ability to make nuclear weapons ? (Hint: it wasn't the $95 million release in '02. It occurred in the latter half of the 90's)

So thats where the W... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

So thats where the WMD's are!

For the life of me, I canno... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

For the life of me, I cannot understand why we don't simply pull our troops out of South Korea, say, "You guys have fun," and wash our hands of the whole sorry situation.

North Korea has absolutely *nothing* we want, and they're threatening precisely nothing we care about. What are they gonna do?

Nuke South Korea? Invade South Korea? Good, says I, one less ungrateful pile of asshats to coddle - and one less competitor in the world. Let 'em all starve in the dark.

Give WMDs to terrorists? Even Kim isn't insane enough to do this without getting something *worthwhile* in return - and when he'll get nuked down to the foundations of his shithole if we even *suspect* he supplied WMDs to some raghead, then his price would have to be far in excess of anything said terrorists could possibly supply.

Give WMDs to Iran? Same problem - except now both ends of the transaction have a delivery address.

Just pull outta there and tell South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Japan, "He's your problem. Enjoy. We'll be over here behind our missile shield. Let us know how it all works out. Good luck."

SS

BarneyG2000,The $95M... (Below threshold)

BarneyG2000,
The $95M was the continuation of a deal created by Clinton. I'll agree that it didn't make a whole lot of sense to release the funds and then scrap the agreement, but it was Clinton's plan and if Gore had been elected, they would have gotten the $95M anyway.

What probably would have been different if Gore were in office, would be that North Korea would have taken a slower path to getting the bomb than they did. Mike's claim that they got the ability to make nuclear weapons in the latter half of the nineties is true, but not revelant to what happened after 2002. Before Bush terminated the Agreed Framework, North Korea was working on centrifuges to process enriched uranium. While this is a path to a weapon, it's much easier to simply use plutonium and cut out the hugely time consuming and tedious process with the centrifuges for much more simple processing. After Bush terminated the Agreed Framework, North Korea simply responded by kicking out all inspectors and getting their old plutonium fuel rods out from under lock and key. With the plutonium, their path to the bomb was fairly easy and striaghtforward and all the centrifuges that they had been processing uranium with became irrelevant. See this 2004 article for all the details.

The Richter scale was an od... (Below threshold)
david:

The Richter scale was an odd duck developed for shallow focus Southern California earthquakes and is rarely used today. We use the moment magnitude scale, which is directly related to the energy released. It is also logarithmic, but correlates to the energy released, each whole number releases 32 times the energy of the previous level. (3 is equal to two tons of TNT and 4 is 64 tons of TNT). The RUssian claim of 7 is silly, that could be measured in the US and FELT in South Korea. I was living in the Virgin Islands when a level 7 earthquake hit the Dominican Republic. I watched books dance off my bookshelves during that event.

I hereby propose the follow... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

I hereby propose the following corollaries to Godwin's Law:

1. In any discussion on a political blog, the probability that some BDS deranged, brainless, leftwing asshat will post a comment blaming Bush or calling the Bush administration a 'failure' approaches 1. This appears to hold true regardless of the topic of the original post.

2. In any discussion on a political blog, if Bill Clinton is mentioned in anything less than glowing terms, the probability that some BDS deranged, brainless, leftwing asshat will post a comment whining about the right's 'obsession' with Clinton approaches 1.

Kim probably stacked severa... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Kim probably stacked several tons of Chinese firecrackers in a cave and set them off. He's hoping Madam NotAllToBright, escorted by Dimmy Carter will show up with another check for a few billion. He needs to restock his 'booze' cabinet.

I love the picture of Kim toasting Madam NotAllTooBright when she delivered the check. http://junkyardblog.net/

Following the democrats demand that the President 'take it to the U.N.' has really paid off, hasn't it?

The U.N. is worthless so get them out of the U.S. and quit paying for their raper parties around the world.

Democrats still have no agenda so 'monday' morning quarter backing is they're only option, but they still lose 99.99% of the Sunday games on Monday morning. Monday morning quarter backing fails, so out some homosexuals. Great game plan for a failure.

In releasi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

In releasing the funding, President George W Bush waived the Framework's requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it has not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors.

This isn't about blame, it's about responsibility - and making reponsible choices at the ballot box this November.

The Republicans are reponsible for waiving the requirement for inspections.

Scrappy said: "Following... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Scrappy said: "Following the democrats demand that the President 'take it to the U.N.' has really paid off, hasn't it?"

The facts:

The United States will seek U.N. sanctions to curb North Korea's import and export of material that could be used to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction, as well as its illicit financial activities, Ambassador John Bolton said.

Are the Democrats telling Bolton what to do Scrappy, is that what you're suggesting now?

Own and fix it Republicans - and quit blaming the Democrats for your choices.

Bush waived the inspections, and is now telling Bolton to seek UN sanctions - so if sanctions are a bad idea accept responsibility for that decision, and please, Republicans, quit lying about it.

So Lee...are you saying tha... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

So Lee...are you saying that NoKo went from no nukes to conducting an underground test in 4 years or even 6 years? and it only cost 95 million?

Own and fix it Republica... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Own and fix it Republicans - and quit blaming the Democrats for your choices.

Lee, did you come out of decade long coma in 2001?? You can't be serious.

And lie about what now? (and you bolded it, you must mean business) Jesus christ, Lee, you're so full of BDS that no matter what Bush does or has done or does not do you will see fault in it. It simply doesn't matter to you.

So please, why don't you just come out and state what you think should be done with N. Korea? What should the President do? Do you have solutions or only criticism in that one track mind of yours?

Vagabond - Without the insp... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Vagabond - Without the inspections - who knows?

It was a huge, HUGE, mistake to waive the inspections.

And Lee...From the... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

And Lee...

From the same article you are quoting:

It (North Korea) has systematically refused to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into its nuclear facility at the Yongbyon research base north of the capital.

According to their interpertation of the 1994 Agreed Framework, they didn't need inspectors until after the LWR were built which was expected to be in May 2005.

The Bush admin. probably re... (Below threshold)
robert:

The Bush admin. probably realizes that the 900 lb gorilla in the room is China.

North Korea has been a proxy in the past and I'm not so sure they are not doing China's work now. China is building armed forces at a fast pace and has used lasers to blind our satelites in recent weeks.

If Japan gets nukes Taiwan might also, which will give China the pretext it needs to threaten Taiwan again, and screw with everyone.

Thus far, neither Bush or Clinton has been willing to confront the real concern in the area. Given this, it is perhaps understandable, if unforgivable, that Clinton (Carter) bought off the North Koreans with that deal that now looks silly.

It is also understandable that Bush wants the 6 party talks, to bring China in. Anything else
is pissing in the wind.

Japan is very aware that many Chinese hold strong feelings against them going back to WWII. Add this to their understandable fear of nukes and you begin to understand the panic in Tokyo.


J. R. - another "reading/co... (Below threshold)
Lee:

J. R. - another "reading/comprehnsion challenged Republican" said "And lie about what now? (and you bolded it, you must mean business)"

Scrappy said: "Following the democrats demand that the President 'take it to the U.N.' has really paid off, hasn't it?"

Scrappy is lying when he said the Democrats are responsibile for "taking it to the U.N.," J.R. -- Bush and Bolton have made the decision to do that.

Republicans also made the decision back in 2002 to waive the inspections.

Back in 2002:

According to the Framework, North Korea should be fully compliant with IAEA safeguards when "a significant proportion" of the project is completed.

The builders say that will be around May 2005, and given the inspections will take at least three years, this means that North Korea should start admitting inspectors now.

But Pyongyang believes that they should only allow the inspections to start, rather than finish, by that date.

The head of the Non-proliferation Policy Education Centre in Washington, a critic of the Agreed Framework, has warned that even when the new reactors are completed they may not be tamper-proof.

"These reactors are like all reactors, They have the potential to make weapons. So you might end up supplying the worst nuclear violator with the means to acquire the very weapons we're trying to prevent it acquiring," Henry Sokolski told the Far Eastern Economic Review.


Andf that's exactly what the Republicans idid -- hand North Korea the nuclear "key".

Bush waived the inspections, and we now have a dangerous despot with his finger approaching the nuclear trigger.

If you aren't going to fix this, Republicans, at least quit lying about it. The American people deserve better.

Vagabond - So North Korea d... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Vagabond - So North Korea didn't want the inspections - what a surprise! Now we know why.

Who waived the requirement for inspections, Vagabond ? Who gave in to the tin-horn despot's demands, and gave them nuclear capability?

The fact that they didn't want inspections is exactly why the requirement for inspections, negotiated by Clinton, should have been adhered to.

Instead the Republicans rolled over, as they handed over $96 million, and look at the result.

What good were the inspecti... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

What good were the inspections doing, Lee.

According to an IAEA report, NoKo ALREADY had enough weapons grade plutonium to make a nuke.
Also, according to the IAEA, NoKO had violated every agreement under the 1994 Agreed Framework.

BESIDES, it's easier to nuke a place without inspectors there....

Oh I see Lee, so one commen... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Oh I see Lee, so one commenter mentions something and you associate that with all Republicans. Yes, my reading comprehension is a much bigger problem then your stereotyping and ignorance.

And once again, did you wake up from a decade long coma in 2001? Because that is the only reason someone could flat out state:

Andf that's exactly what the Republicans idid -- hand North Korea the nuclear "key".

But again, I'll ask you, what do you think we should do now? Show us your foreign policy excellence.

J.R. -- see additional lies... (Below threshold)
Lee:

J.R. -- see additional lies... from this thread:

imhotep: "Thanks to you, President Carter, the North Korean's now have Nuclear Weapons. Good job."

That's a lie, Bush waived the inspections, and the development of the bomb has occurred under his watch, not Carter's.

Mitchell: "Excellent point. Clinton kicked the can down the street for 8 years while the program produced a bomb."

The development of the bomb could not have occurred prior to 2003. Mitchell lied.

bill: "Clinton's 1994 deal bears fruit."

It wasn't Clinton's deal, but Bush's waiver of a key provision of the deal, that gave NoKo the ability to devlop the bomb. Bill lied.

I'd go on, but shooting down your own repeated lies bore me. You can proceed to be lead around by conservative who repeat lie after lie after lie if you wish.

Lee...it just hit me. You t... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Lee...it just hit me. You think that the inspectors who were there in NoKo up to December 1992 were there to inspect the LWR. They were not. They were there to monitor that the current nuke plants were 1) to be sealed and 2) to remain sealed (which by the way, NoKo cut the seals in December 2002 and kicked out the inspectors, not to be confused with the non-existent inspectors in the 1994 Agreed Framework).

The inspectors Bush waived dealt with the LWRs which won't be ready until May 2005.

And have you noticed that e... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And have you noticed that every time Republicans are caught red-handed lying their only response is "well what would you have done?" - What I would have done is hold NoKo to the requirement for inspections, and we wouldn't be discussing their current nuclear capability, *shhat.

What would I do today? Insure the truth gets out there so the lying and inept Republicans have less of a chance of continuing their idiotic march down the road of one disaster after another, J.R. - thanks for asking.

I'm holding up my civic responsibilities, JR, are you? Or are you just trolling people who are telling the truth because you're afraid the capital gains tax might go up if you don't?

robert-The China q... (Below threshold)
Rory:

robert-

The China question....

That's a complicated one-and I think that is the answer to the Russian reaction. Most with even a percursory interest in recent history remember that the beginning of the unraveling of the Soviet Union and the dismantling of the Cold War balance was percipitated by fractures in the Russian-Chinese alignment. Russia always tried to take the lead but the border between those countries always remained one of the longest and most guarded.

Nixon opening relations with China and, then that being followed through by the economic pressure put on Russia by the nuclear arms race and the threat of SDI lead to Reagan's economic defeat of the Soviets.

I do think though that China views North Korea more as a threat to their internal stability -rather than a complete agent of their will.

I also think Russia is still interested in China being weakened. The biggest loser in this-so far-is China. That might be a rush to judgement as the tests have not been verified yet.

This event of North Korea going forward despite China's efforts is an attempt to show their independence and not evidence of their being an agency of the Chinese. When you consider China's dealings with Taiwan-there is no way that North Korea's disobedience is going to be viewed favorably by the Chinese.

Actually how China r... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Actually how China responds to this will answer the China question...

Lee, thanks for your respon... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Lee, thanks for your response.

Unfortunately it's just more of the same from you. All blame resides at the feet of GWB, absolution to all those before him. Those "lies" you cite from other commenters are only lies in your world. You know, the one where kids were flying kites in Iraq before we came in and destroyed the place.

So here's what you would have done:

What I would have done is hold NoKo to the requirement for inspections, and we wouldn't be discussing their current nuclear capability, *shhat.

And when they denied entry to the inspectors, as they had done before, what would your recourse be. Seeing that you already feel that no force was necessary when Iraq didn't live up to their obligations, what would you have done to back up the requirements that inspectors be allowed. More sanctions? More talks? With nothing to back it up, it would just be another empty threat. And to a tyrant like Kim it means nothing.

I'd go on, but shooting down your own repeated lies bore me.

Please cite my lies.

some idiot(like our trolls)... (Below threshold)
jp:

some idiot(like our trolls) called into Washington Journal on CSPAN friday with Frum....they made the claim of course they we attacked iraq for the oil and b/c they were militarily weak......Frum started out by saying, "if we were going to go to war for oil, we'd pick Canada since they have alot more of it and barely have a military(why is that lefties)"......then all the other idiotic claims related.

have to wonder, if the US is imperalist as the left claims, why does Canada, Mexico, Cuba still have their own country and govt.???? thats what imperalist nations do, take over weakier countries around them

Rory,You may be ri... (Below threshold)
robert:

Rory,

You may be right, North Korea may be acting directly against Chinese wishes and pissing them off.

But this would go against about 50 years of history.

As I stated before, I'm not so sure the Chinese are so pissed and that North Korea has gone against them so much.

China is controlled by Generals and party members with total control, resistance to which is absolutely penalized severely. These are tough dudes, used to getting their way.

Are we are now to believe that these absolute rulers will now let North Korea flip them the bird and their only response is a feeble one in the UN?

I don't buy it, it is out of character.

Some years ago Ho Chi Minh screwed with them, and China marched their army to within a few miles of Hanoi, just to make a point. This is the China I know.

You don't tug on superman's cape,
You don't spit into the wind,
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,
And you don't mess around with general Li.

Great point jp! By their ow... (Below threshold)
914:

Great point jp! By their own views if they had even one ounce of merit? The U.S. would have taken over the world 40 years ago. And Clinton, Carter would never have been a president.

Hey, Maybe they've got some merit there?

robert-Cripes I ca... (Below threshold)
Rory:

robert-

Cripes I can't figure it out. FOX News is reporting that China is going to freeze their assets.

The only thing is if China has violated the 'truce" by allowing one of their surrogates to gain nuclear capabilities then what do we do?

Arm up Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan? Then back off f the DMZ and get the hell out of their range? What a mess.

China should at least be interested in their OWN economic stability and the trade offs flow both ways....

Hell-they've got the Olympics coming up-who's going to want to vacation next to the "radiactive glow"?

914-I had that deb... (Below threshold)
jp:

914-

I had that debate not long ago with some loons that watch keith Olberman on a regular basis....their response to the facts was, "the definition of imperialism has changed over time"...

to which I replied, its true words change definition over time. Classical Liberalism is the antithesis of modern progressive liberalism and at one time we called happy people "gay", which now means something totally different.........therefor if imperalism now means all the good the US does in the world while allowing other nations their Sovereingty then its a good label to have. Just like being a liberal use to be a good label a long time ago

"Bush did nothing..."... (Below threshold)
tyree:

"Bush did nothing..."
I am a busy man with to much to do but the President's administration has done a lot to put more pressure on North Korea. He got the Chinese to hold up supplies of gasoline and the Vietnamese to stop laundering Kim's money. That is two examples I can recall from reading the daily paper. Only in the minds of the BDS infected socialists, communists, anarchists and liberals does that add up to "nothing".

robert-Let me also... (Below threshold)
Rory:

robert-

Let me also float this one by you.

The number one rule of diplomacy use to be never ever bluff.

I think China values the weight of words particularly their own .

Now the North Koreans appear to have called their bluff-I don't think they have much to gain by that and they have to respond.

Yes, in point of fact it ma... (Below threshold)
914:

Yes, in point of fact it may well be that China did not anticipate that they too could be blackmailed for food ,money and weapons themselves and may have to invade??After all,, They are right next to the radioactive munchgin..

Can we put the liberals uni... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Can we put the liberals unilateral talks mime to rest?

In Iraq they were for multilateralism now-when it behooves them they are all for unilateralism.

Can you imagine Kim Jong-Il not playing one party agianst the other? Lying about what was said by one party to another party in the region?

As if the Kim Jong-Il regime would have any credibility. The Democrats want to Continue the Capitulation of Clinton and let the little Napoleanic complexed blackmailer Kim dictate the rules of engagement.

Clouds of obfuscation , bending to the whims of foreign dictates and dictators continue to be the Democratic "answers"..

The old Moynihan wing excluded-but about the only true one left there is Zell Miller, and we know what he has to say about Democrats-A National Party No More.

KIM!!!! (Priestap, that is,... (Below threshold)
cat:

KIM!!!! (Priestap, that is, not Jong-il)

You actually had to be told that the Richter scale is logarithmic?

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And you still think you're qualified to comment on anything?

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What exactly do they teach you in American schools?

You think that China is bei... (Below threshold)
robert:

You think that China is being blackmailed?

Hoo boy! Sorry, I just can't go there with you.

Every once in a while, someone gets bold and starts some sort of movement or protest. The Chinese let it play for a while, then come down hard.

Remember Tibet? Remember Tiannamen? One child only? Lots of examples, millions of refugees, incarcerations and deaths.

If the Chinese really were pissed, the army would be on the move. Instead, the Chinese UN rep. urges caution and warns about "coming down too hard".

Oh yeh, those humanitarians always think about coming down too hard. Right.

Cat, where are you from? I'... (Below threshold)

Cat, where are you from? I'm American, that's the first thing I noticed and thought was that the Scale is actually logarithmic...and people are allowed a few mistakes. I'm not sure where Kim is from, but if she is from areas not prone to earthquakes, knowing what scale the Richter is based off of is a moot point, what does it matter if you're not going to feel one? Besides, it wasn't her that wrote it first, it was Allahpundit, she just didn't catch it.

Anyone who is an American Voter is qualified to comment on anything pertaining to our Government. She may not be qualified to define the accuracy of said measurements, but she can express her opinions and commentary all she likes.

Just remember that Kim Jong Ill only started rattling his cage crying like a baby once George Bush put him in the "Axis of Evil" in some of his first State of the Union Adresses (I remember). I bet he rushed to produce the nukes once that happened (hence the low-yield), whereas before he was probably just biding his time.

Frankly, sitting here in Se... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Frankly, sitting here in Seattle, knowing we'd be on the top of any NKPR first-strike list, I find majorly fucking disconcerting.

For now, I'm thankful that their birds can fly only so far. But if they continue their successful flight tests, we're going to have a major problem, particularly here on the West Coast. (Thank God, our Missle Defense tests have been successful. Hopefully that's not a false sense of security I have in the pit of my stomach.)

I say forget about how we got here, who got us here and what lead to what; all that crap is just that. This is a "What do we do now, sir?" moment. So partisan carping has to go. I don't know a ton about international politics or diplomacy, but know enough to know that Dems and GOPers better work together to solve this and solve it without partisan capring. Or will lose a city over it.

And it just may be the one I'm living in.

I recommend <a href="http:/... (Below threshold)
Ric Locke:

I recommend this page for reference as to earthquake power.

Part way down we get:

logES = 11.8 + 1.5M

Where ES is the energy of a seismic event, and M is the Richter magnitude.

Then there is a table:


Richter TNT for Seismic Example
Magnitude Energy Yield (approximate)

-1.5                6 ounces   Breaking a rock on a lab table
 1.0               30 pounds   Large Blast at a Construction Site
 1.5              320 pounds
 2.0                1 ton      Large Quarry or Mine Blast
 2.5              4.6 tons
 3.0               29 tons
 3.5               73 tons   
 4.0            1,000 tons     Small Nuclear Weapon
 4.5            5,100 tons     Average Tornado (total energy)
 5.0           32,000 tons
 5.5           80,000 tons     Little Skull Mtn., NV Quake, 1992
 6.0        1 million tons     Double Spring Flat, NV Quake, 1994
 6.5        5 million tons     Northridge, CA Quake, 1994
 7.0       32 million tons     Hyogo-Ken Nanbu, Japan Quake, 1995; Largest Thermonuclear Weapon
 7.5      160 million tons     Landers, CA Quake, 1992
 8.0        1 billion tons     San Francisco, CA Quake, 1906
 8.5        5 billion tons     Anchorage, AK Quake, 1964
 9.0       32 billion tons     Chilean Quake, 1960
10.0       1 trillion tons     (San-Andreas type fault circling Earth)
12.0     160 trillion tons     (Fault Earth in half through center,
                               OR Earth's daily receipt of solar energy)


So yes, the magnitudes and energy levels Kim mentioned are quite reasonable.

Sorry about the extra spacing, but the blog software insisted on helping me with the formatting.

Regards,
Ric

excellent thread! can't hel... (Below threshold)
ed:

excellent thread! can't help but notice, tho, that lee the (presumably) lefty neglects time and time again to offer his thoughts as to a solution. going instead with the time-honored "it's all bush's fault" dogma.

which is why i gave up on the socialists/democrats back in 2002. they were doing the same thing on 9-11: blaming bush for everything; blasting his military response to the death of 3000 americans with all their might. but never - and i mean NEVER - saying what they would do different if they were in charge.

which is the dems in a nutshell. it's all about regaining power to them: they'll tell any lie; dodge any specific question; and spread their cheeks for any 'hate america' group that'll get them a few more votes. how can anyone with a brain trust the security of the nation to these 2-bit whores interested only in themselves?

yeah, the gop stinks. but what the dems have to offer is a lot worse, i think.

"excellent thread! can't... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"excellent thread! can't help but notice, tho, that lee the (presumably) lefty neglects time and time again to offer his thoughts as to a solution. going instead with the time-honored "it's all bush's fault" dogma."

And then, long after most people will move on to other topics, along comes the bleating sheep of the conservative right. They never discuss the topic at hand, but instead just slam those on the left who dare disagree with the crown.

The topic of the blog post is North Korea and nuclear testing. My comments were on topic. *sshats like ed are only here in a desperate attempt to save a few votes for their failing party with its failing policies and repeated foreign and domestic disasters. Why not address the topic at hand? His head is too far up his *ss to even know what the topic is -- it's just another opportunity to discredit Americans who dare not agree with him.

They offer no solutions - nothing changes in the Republican world, no promises of anything exept more of the same failures.

"yeah, the gop stinks. but what the dems have to offer is a lot worse, i think"

No, ed, you don't "think" -- that's the problem with right-wing nutakes like you without a clue. Feel free to join in the discussion - if you have the guts -- these trolling attacks are childish.

I think every country has t... (Below threshold)

I think every country has the right to defend itself!

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