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Breaking: US Officials Say that Air Tests Show Some Radioactive Material Above NoKo

Fox News' Shepard Smith is reporting breaking news that US officials have just told Fox News that some air samples do show some radioactive particles over NoKo indicating that the country did test a nuclear weapon.

I'm searching for more information.

Update: CNN now has the breaking news up on its website:

The United States now has preliminary evidence of radioactivity from North Korea's nuclear test ground, indicating it did indeed carry out a test, a U.S. official tells CNN.

Update II: Reuters is now reporting CNN's breaking news.

Update III: The AP reports that one test measured a type of gas present in air above the NoKo test site.

Update IV: MSNBC says that the results of one air test were consistent with an atomic blast:

The U.S. government has determined that one scientific test, among many conducted since North Korea's announced nuclear test, was consistent with a nuclear explosion, a senior administration official said Friday night.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cautioned that the administration has not made a definitive conclusion about the nature of the explosion.

"The betting is that this was an attempt at a nuclear test that failed," the official said. "We don't think they were trying to fake a nuclear test, but it may have been a nuclear fizzle -- an effort that failed." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.


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Comments (38)

and I just read <a href="ht... (Below threshold)

and I just read this:

"WASHINGTON - Results from an initial air sampling after North Korea's announced nuclear test showed no evidence of radioactive particles that would be expected from a successful nuclear detonation, a U.S. government intelligence official said Friday."

I think it's time for a change in Washington. This is ridiculous.

I think its time for achang... (Below threshold)

I think its time for achange in North Korea. This is ridiculous.

I guess President Clinton g... (Below threshold)

I guess President Clinton giving Korea a nuclear reactor wasn't such a hot idea after all.

Obviously electing George B... (Below threshold)

Obviously electing George Bush as president wasn't a hot idea either. He did nothing over the last 6 years to make this better.

Gee Lee, you're so smart, w... (Below threshold)

Gee Lee, you're so smart, what would you do to North Korea?

"I think its time for ac... (Below threshold)

"I think its time for achange in North Korea. This is ridiculous."

Did NoKo test a nuke or not? No one in Washington seems to know for sure. The intelligence community under Bush is in a very, very sorry state of disarray.

Loose-cannon Republicans, like 914, think we have enough to act against NoKo miltarily, but as is obvious the intelligence community in Washington is not providing good info on this issue, yet. Maybe they didn't see the memo from Rove...

...or maybe they did.

Steve, I'd invite them to t... (Below threshold)

Steve, I'd invite them to test a nuke under your house.

Wow, so hateful Lee. Typica... (Below threshold)

Wow, so hateful Lee. Typical left-wing troglodyte.

My comment about George doi... (Below threshold)

My comment about George doing nothing? Not true - he did nothing that was effective, but he did lie.

At a debate in 2004, President Bush explained that his policy against bilateral talks with North Korea would be effective in preventing them from becoming a nuclear power.

The president says, "We began a new dialogue with North Korea. One that includes, not only the United States, but now China, and China has a lot of influence over North Korea. Some ways more than we do. As well, we include South Korea, Japan and Russia. Now there are 5 voices speaking to Kim Jong Il, not just one. And so if Kim Jong Il decides again not to honor an agreement, he's not only doing injustice to America, he'll be doing injustice to China as well. And I think this will work. It's not going work if we open up a dialogue with Kim Jong Il."

In 2002, the United States released $95 million to North Korea as part of an agreement to replace its nuclear program.

"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," the BBC reported in 2002.

Bush's Presidential determination said that the decision was "vital to the national security interests of the United States."

The directive said that the United States was "continuing to make significant progress on eliminating the North Korean ballistic missile threat, including further missile tests and its ballistic missile exports."

The link has a video clip that is very much worth watching, including a clip of Bush at a 2004 Presidential debate (note the long pause... as his coaches tell him in his hidden earpiece what he should say next? lol! what a chimp!).

LeeWhere did I say... (Below threshold)


Where did I say anything about military action??

I am neither a loose cannon or a republican! I pick and choose who I vote for based on their positions and common sense. If any democrat ever showed any I would not hesitate to vote for them! As it presently is, It aint gonna happen.

Lee, unlike Clinton, Bush e... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Lee, unlike Clinton, Bush engaged nations in the neighborhood to North Korea that enable them to resist sanctions placed by the United States upon them. Clinton foolishly took a liar at his word, that they would cease development of nuclear weapons. In a carrot and stick situation, Clinton's deal was all carrot. You hypocrites on the left alway accuse Bush of going it alone. When he seeks diplomatic assistance in dealing with an intransigent government such as that in North Korea, you idiots scream he should be using the failed Clinton method. Quick Lee, what do you call it when the Sun is in the sky that you can see, and it is, what we call, light outside?

Do you think they made it u... (Below threshold)

Do you think they made it up, Lee?

Are you suggesting the air test would be different under a different president if someone else was magically transported to be the POTUS?


They take multiple sampling events. A hit is a random event. In fact, they could end up never getting a hit, even though a blast occurred.

You got the BDS bad, Lee. Your logic to fantasy ratio is approaching 0 with the limit.

Lee-So now-that th... (Below threshold)


So now-that this has happened what is the Democratic answer?

Do you even know what it is?

Do you think Joe Biden-the ranking member for the minority n the Foreign Relations committee might be the go to guy for the Democrats?

Well here is why he thinks we should have bilateral talks with North Korea-

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Biden, the number of nuclear weapons or potential nuclear weapons the North Koreans has has doubled since George Bush has been president. Should we dismantle a missile that they're about to test?

SEN. BIDEN: The first thing we should do is put this in perspective. We don't even have the intelligence community saying they're certain they have a nuclear weapon. They have nuclear capability in that they have fissile material, number one. Number two, the North Korean government's like an eighth-grader with a small bomb looking for attention.
Number two, real simple message sent to the Koreans. This is--I worry about this eighth-grade mentality they have up there.

"You do something like that, we will annihilate you." We have the complete capacity to annihilate them, number two.

Number three, we should be talking about how we're going to proceed here. John Kennedy--quoting a muscular Democrat--John Kennedy said we should never negotiate out of fear, we should never fear negotiation. We're so big and so strong, the idea that we're not sitting down having a come to the--an altar call with the leader of North Korea in a private meeting and saying, "Jack, let's tell you what the deal is here."

Meet the Press transcript

Wake up Lee.

Also you may want to spend some of your free time writing Senator Biden and tell him the leader of North Korea's first name isn't "Jack"....

That's YOUR Democratic Foreign Relations "expert" speaking....

The air test is a very good... (Below threshold)

The air test is a very good thing. It will tell us where the uranium originated, and how enriched it was. It will also verify if the blast was a "fizzle" or a low-yield device.

Rory: Excellent comment. </... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Rory: Excellent comment.

Lee -The initial t... (Below threshold)

Lee -

The initial test was negative, a subsequent test was positive - since the tests were air samples taken downwind of North Korea, it's kind of hit or miss whether they get anything where they're looking. (Figure the air sampler's about a foot wide, the plane's at probably 25,000 feet, doing probably about 450 mph, working a grid pattern search. And the stuff they're looking for is scattered pretty thin, probably about two or three liters per cubic mile of air. If it weren't radioactive, it'd be near impossible to find.)

There's also a delay while the gasses percolate through the rock the test was conducted in. 5 days to detect something? That's not bad at all, man. Not bad at all. Come on, give the military some credit. They know what they're looking for, they've got the gear to do it, and they know about where and when it'll be found.

Ok, here we go again...... (Below threshold)

Ok, here we go again...

Iraq? We build a coalition of nations to fight, but that's not enough. Bad, bad, USA! You should have used the UN to do it.

North Korea? We build a coalition of neighboring countries - ones who have to deal with the effeminate Kimmy Illmatic in their collective backyards - but that's not enough. Bad, Bad USA! You should have [ignored the neighborhood and] just handled it yourself. Engage DPRK directly!

Iran? We stepped back and let the UN, then the Euroweenie Three (UK, France, Germany) "negoshate" an acceptable "solution" that would "prevent" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from wanting his own version of Oppie's deadly toy. The UN sent several sternly worded letters, and the EU-3 pinstripe crowd kept negotiating. We largely tried to stay out of it for now. But that's not enough. Bad, Bad USA! You should have "respected" Mahmoud and played nicer.

Meanwhile, I took up Lee's challenge the other day and waded through the quagmire that is the new DNC "strategery" statement for the Democratic Party. They are going to "eliminate Osama Bin Laden", don't you know!

I'm guessing they'll send over Kerry, Pelosi, and Boxer to the caves of Afghanistan, who can all eliminate Osama by boring him to a slow, painful, agonizingly verbose death.

But in the here and now, we (a) build a coalition in Iraq; (b) work with neighboring countries to deal with North Korea; and (c) step back and let the UN deal with Iran. But each approach, to the political left, is "wrong". So I am left scratching my head, since they never say directly what is "right", other than to say we should have (a) let the UN handle Iraq and ignore the spread of islamofascism; (b) ignore the neighbors and negotiate directly with DPRK, to give Kim his aid and promise we'll let him play with nukes all he wants; and (c) ignore the EU-3 and UN efforts with Iran, promise Mahmoud we'll be let him play with nukes all he wants, and ignore his waging war in the middle east through his paid proxy clients Hezbollah, Hamas, and Muslim Brotherhood.

I say, Give the Dems a chance to govern! Let them Lead! They can "do better!"

Now if only their message was a bit more substantive and reassuring in regards to present and emerging strategic threats to the US than the political rhetoric that graces the DNC's strategy statement...but no, it's not (sigh).

When Clinton played president, he let al-Queda get away with acts of war against the US on its soil, territory (embassies), or military forces (Cole bombing comes to mind). Instead of treating these attacks as acts of war, he pretended they were law enforcement problems, then made sure that they would not be treated as acts of war by allowing the so-called "Gorelick Wall" to prevent law enforcement coordination with intelligence agencies, who knew much better the who, what, and where of bin Laden and al-Queda at the time.

And I'm still confused. We aren't supposed to build coalitions, aren't supposed to participate in multi-nation talks, and aren't supposed to rely on the UN, to deal with threats.

But we are supposed to rely on the UN. We are supposed to negotiate.

Damn, I'm sooooooooo confused.

For the record, I am not pleased with Bush's failure to address immigration, border security, and the erstwhile war between the Administration, Foggy Bottom, and Langley. If a Democrat could address those issues cogently, clearly, and without ignoring the continuing threats of islamofascism and nuclear blackmail by rogue states - much less the emerging threat of China in the longer term - I'd vote Democratic. But I haven't been able to find anyone in the Democratic Party who espouses those views.

Now, Lee dearest, I haven't attacked you one bit, so why not step out of your usual character and actually talk about all these things? I'll be impressed with you for a change if you do.

One more thing. If your responses lean towards using the US military as a "humanitarian police force", a la Clinton, I'll preempt you by stating my opinion on that topic: I believe it's so much fiddling while Rome burns. Except the Greek fire of antiquity holds nothing on the fire of a fission explosion.

And one is coming. It's not a question of "if", but of 'when. And it's just a matter of time before a nuclear device is used by an enemy of the US, and of the West.

Call me an extremist, a Chicken Little, etc., etc. if you want; it won't offend me.

I say that one of the myriad factions of Islamists will eventually gain access to, and detonate, a fission device against the West - ignoring the painful, embarrassing fact that the foundation of nuclear weapons technology is based almost exclusively on the work of Jewish scientists from Einstein to Oppenheimer - for that very reason. The islamofascists, from Ahmadinejad to the Wahhabists, freely use Western technology to enrich themselves and wage war like so many scavengers digging up buried treasure. They didn't invent it themselves, and they can live just the same without it. So they are free to use it against the West, without really caring that their use of it is parasitical and destructive. They have nothing invested in the building of technology and infrastructure, so they simply have nothing to lose.

And they have a religion that provides a motivation to destroy the West, its freedoms, way of life, and the technology that enables it to be what it is today, like none other.

So what will the Democrats do, Lee? Will they finally honor the threat? Or will they ignore it, to the eventual destruction of the West?

I take it that Lee's first ... (Below threshold)

I take it that Lee's first comment means to imply that the government either says there was no test or is not sure there was a test. It seems obvious from actually reading the articles (versus what some wish they might say), that they found no evidence of a successful test. It seems a pretty good bet that the test was a fizzle.

To give our present and former presidents a little slack, I don't see how any sitting president can keep something like this from happening if the country is foolish enough to do it and can hide in the shadow of a big brother like China (or Russia). I am afraid that Iran won't be far behind. The US will, once again, be a failure for the world if we allow that to happen, but a rogue state if we do something about it.

Lee, like most Lee's, is a ... (Below threshold)

Lee, like most Lee's, is a blowhard little punk who has nothing to offer anyone but his own little brand of bluster and left-wing browbeating.

Ask him a simple question on what he would do in regards to NK and he responds with petty little personal jabs. Wouldn't expect anything different from someone of his ilk and that's all the left can do nowadays. They offer nothing and are going to pull out all the stops to get their power back. That's all they want. They don't wish to help a single person...just want to get their power back.

Enough of letting punks lik... (Below threshold)

Enough of letting punks like Lee hi-jack a thread when He/She never has anything coherent to say..Its getting very old.

They may not have had time ... (Below threshold)

They may not have had time to do mass spectrometry on the samples yet. NKorea could fake a nuke with a big conventional blast and releasing some radioactive "debris" with the intent for us to pick it up and think they've set off a real bomb.

Are you suggesting the a... (Below threshold)

Are you suggesting the air test would be different under a different president if someone else was magically transported to be the POTUS?

I'm not suggesting anything. I'm pointing out the fact that the intelligence out of Washington is very, very bad. It's been a week and we still don't have a definitive answer.


This afternoon it was definitive. No nuke.


An hour later it WAS a nuclear test.

Tomorrow they'll be saying it wasn't.

Who's running this ship of fools? Republicans.

No suggestions - just facts.

Lee - I'm sorry, but in thi... (Below threshold)

Lee - I'm sorry, but in this case it's not flip-flopping, it's the nature of sample gathering. Some will have the traces they're looking for, some won't. If the first set doesn't, but the second set does - then there was some sort of nuclear event.

Yes, I know and understand you hate Bush, Republicans and everything associated with them with a godlike burning passion that's beyond the understanding of merely rational mortals - but respectfully this shit doesn't care if you're a Dem or Repub - it'll still emit radioactivity. Until they found the traces, there wasn't any evidence that ...

Oh, hell. I'm fooling myself trying to be rational and reasonable with you. You're not interested in the science, you don't give a shit about the samples as anything other than a reason to slam Bush. Man, I wish this board had an 'ignore' function, because you don't add one damn thing to any entry you bother to comment in other than incrementing the comment count.

"No suggestions - just facts". You want a fact, Lee? You want to find a fool - look in the damn mirror.

A president who is a Democr... (Below threshold)

A president who is a Democrat isn't going to be any physically closer to North Korea, nor will be able to bend science to his will and figure out something that the same intelligence agency under Bush couldn't figure out.

Old Coot-Thank you... (Below threshold)

Old Coot-

Thank you. You have an excellent handle. I like people with a sense of humor. ;-).

The education of Lee continues.....

You'll have to excuse Lee.... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

You'll have to excuse Lee... He doesn't have the processor power upstairs to comprehend things like science... It makes his head hurt.

Slick Willie didn't give No... (Below threshold)

Slick Willie didn't give North Korea a nuclear reactor, he gave them two (disguised as power plants) at a cost of approx 2 billion dollars each and then sent Madam NotAllTooBright over to toast the 7 to 9 billion dollars in cash he gave them to use, as it turned out to develop a neuclear bomb or 5 or 6 that he had before President Bush came to washington. The only way to stop him after 2000 would have been to launch a nuclear attack on NK. I'll bet the cowardly lefties would have supported that, would you Lee? He just hadn't tested them until now. He was spending some more american tax dollars in the development of the missiles to deliver the nuc's. Doesn't anyone remember the lefties crying and whining in 2001 that we had to feed the poor people of NK or they would starve to death, so more money already appropriated was released. No one other than the army was fed and the rest was used for guess what? More improvements of the nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

When a few million on the west coast die from a nuclear weapon bought and paid for by Slick Willie using your money, who will be first in line to hang him. Lee you'd better stay under your rock, they will be looking for all of his supporter's and that surely includes you.

I suggest the CIA draft Lee, Send him undercover to NK and let him see how far advanced they are. Think your luck will be any better than a lot of Koreans that have died trying to spy in NK?

By the way, Korea is anothe... (Below threshold)

By the way, Korea is another place I served and the South Koreans are really nice people on the whole. Actually better and more loyal to the United States than 99.99% of the democ'rats.

When it comes to intelligen... (Below threshold)

When it comes to intelligence gathering, processing and analysing, there is no "easy" button. It takes time, skill and patience, even when the intelligence agencies are just looking for the truth and not something that justifies a pre-decided conclusion. The non-test event or succsessful test event debate indicates that the intelligence community is trying to find the facts instead of bending them to fit an already decided conclusion.

It is very, very important for the diplomats to know whether or not this was a succesful nuclear test, a failed nuclear test, or a simulated event. Winter is coming and Kim has to have enought support from the west to get what is left of his population through until spring. He needs money for food and fuel and hopes to get it through blackmail as he has done in the past. Be that as it may, from a diplomatic stand point it might be better off to slide him some money than have him get it by selling nuclear technology to other undersirables.

Other than diplomatic means and economic enticement, not succesful so far, the only other options open are regime change and/or military intervention. Regime changes doesn't neccesarily man U.S. action. After a certain point the PRC could become tired enough of his shenanagins to decide that someone else in NK needs to be in charge. Military action doesn't have to be a major invasion of NK by U.S forces either. Launch sites for missiles can be destroyed relatively easily as can suport facilities, infrastructure, rail lines supporting movement of nuclear materials etc.

Don't forget that there are more players in this drama than the U.S., China and NK. ROK is a player as is Japan and some other Asian countries. ROK has a decided interest in NK not going nuclear, to include not disrupting recent improvements in trade that they've made with them. Japan has a huge incentive for NK not having a succesful nuclear weapons program, and at some point might lose patience with everyone involved.

Finally, it is not a simple problem, and not a time to lay blame on past or current administrations. Blaming and nit picking won't solve the problems we are faced with.

Don't forget, even a small nuclear weapon can ruin you whole day.

Steve of Norway: Y... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Steve of Norway:

You can give up the hope of a coherent response from Lee and most of the other Lefty sorts here on what they would do.

I asked that question quite specifically in a thread right after the NK test was announced.

The responses, besides "It's all Bush's fault!" pretty much were along the lines: Hey, BUSH is the Prez, HE should have an answer.

As though the issue is going to magically resolve itself under a President Feingold or a President Rodham-Clinton. In the absence of a time-machine to undo a Bush Presidency (and even then, the question remains, what they would have done), Lee (and Hugh and the rest) have no answers as to what they think should be done.

Oh, and Lee? About that $95M released to NK. That was part of the '94 Agreed Framework, the same agreement that Bush gets pilloried for scrapping. Bush okayed it along the SAME LINES that Clinton had okayed the release of fuel oil, and for the same reasons---b/c the GOP Congress would likely have refused to accept any certification.

So, Bush abiding by a treaty signed by his predecessor, doing the same thing that his predecessor had done, is the wrong thing by you.

Does that mean that you'd okay going to war over North Korea in 2002? Then come out and say it, little big man. Come out and say that you'd be willing for South Korea to suffer perhaps a quarter of a million casualties within a day from artillery landing on Seoul, and that's what Bush should have done.

Otherwise, STFU, and go back to shilling for Islamic fascists, as you've been doing for years.

So what does the Republican... (Below threshold)

So what does the Republican administration in Washington say today about NoKo's nuke test. Did it happen, or didn't it?

I guess Rove just can't make up his mind.

There was a nuke test.


There wasn't a nuke test.


I wish they'd get their heads out of their *sses and figure it out. It would seem to be an important fact to know, you know?

What does Rove have to do w... (Below threshold)

What does Rove have to do wiyh KIM JUNG ILLS mental illness?

Lee, In response t... (Below threshold)


In response to your latest post, I'll just say exactly the same thing as I said before:

"A president who is a Democrat isn't going to be any physically closer to North Korea, nor will be able to bend science to his will and figure out something that the same intelligence agency under Bush couldn't figure out."

Try as you might, it just doesn't fly to blame inconclusive tests on the Republicans, sorry.

Hillzoy has an excellent, q... (Below threshold)

Hillzoy has an excellent, quite thorough comparison of Bush's approach to North Korea to Clinton's approach.


"Try as you might, it ju... (Below threshold)

"Try as you might, it just doesn't fly to blame inconclusive tests on the Republicans, sorry."

Don't apologize for being naive, Heralder. You probably don't believe that the filtering of intelligence on Al Qaeda, WMDs, and Iraq wasn't driven by politics either -- that a Democratic administration would have come to the very same conclusion and intelligence results that Bush's administration came to?

That makes me think you're also naive enough to re-elect a Republican to the White House?

Don't worry, Heralder -- stick with me and I'll help you through all of this.

Lee, just answer a simple d... (Below threshold)

Lee, just answer a simple damn question...What would you do to North Korea? Or what would you want a democratic President to do to North Korea?

Tic...tic...tic....tic.. We... (Below threshold)

Tic...tic...tic....tic.. Well its been an hour and a half Lee..Whats the solution?

He ain't gonna answer....</... (Below threshold)

He ain't gonna answer....






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