Tuesday, 12 February 2013

North Korea : Nuclear Test ?


N. Korea confirms 'successful' 3rd nuclear test - state media

Published: 12 February, 2013, 07:26
Edited: 12 February, 2013, 10:35
This GeoEye Satellite Image captured January 23, 2013 shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in North Korea.   South Korea has detected an "artificial earthquake" in North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on February 12, 2013, suggesting Pyongyang may have gone ahead with an expected nuclear test. (AFP Photo)
This GeoEye Satellite Image captured January 23, 2013 shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in North Korea. South Korea has detected an "artificial earthquake" in North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on February 12, 2013, suggesting Pyongyang may have gone ahead with an expected nuclear test. (AFP Photo)
The seismic event detected in North Korea was the result of a third nuclear test, Pyongyang has confirmed. Seoul estimated the yield of the suspected nuclear device at 6 to 7 kilotons.
Pyongyang claimed the nuclear test was carried out in a “safe and perfect manner,” using a “miniaturized nuclear device with greater explosive force.”
South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye strongly condemned the move. She said her incoming administration would not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea “under any circumstances,” and pledged to enact strong deterrence measures against Pyongyang's nuclear program.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has condemned the nuclear test, calling it “deplorable” and a “grave violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.” The statement released by Ban’s spokesperson voiced concern over the “negative impact of this deeply destabilizing act on regional stability as well as the global efforts for nuclear non-proliferation.”
South Korea called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the developments. It is expected to be held at 9:00 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) on Tuesday.
The United States Geological Survey confirmed an earthquake in North Korea's northeast of between 4.9- and 5.1-magnitude, at a depth of about one kilometer.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency reported that the tremor's epicenter was located in Kilju county, at exactly the same place and depth as the quake caused by North Korea's last known underground nuclear test on May 25, 2009. North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 was also carried out at the Punggye-ri test site.
Japan Meteorological Agency′s earthquake and tsunami observations division director points at a graph of ground motion waveform data observed in the morning in Japan during a news conference in Tokyo on implications that an earthquake sourced around North Korea was triggered by an unnatural reason May 25, 2009. (Reuters / Yuriko Nakao)
Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and tsunami observations division director points at a graph of ground motion waveform data observed in the morning in Japan during a news conference in Tokyo on implications that an earthquake sourced around North Korea was triggered by an unnatural reason May 25, 2009. (Reuters / Yuriko Nakao)
Pyongyang informed the US and China of its plans for a nuclear test on Monday, Yonhap reported. North Korea said it would continue with the test despite pressure from the UN Security Council and its non-UNSC neighbors.
The South Korean military estimated that the yield of the nuclear explosion was between six and seven kilotons.
The evidence gathered – including seismic data, satellite images and data from spy planes detecting radioactive fallout – could allow researchers to deduct the status of North Korea’s secretive nuclear program. So far, the isolated country was believed to be unable to build a nuclear device small enough to fit onto one of its long-range ballistic missiles, making its nuclear capabilities virtually useless for offensive warfare.
Concerns over the claimed miniaturization effort were fueled by North Korea's rocket launch last December. Pyongyang said it put a satellite into orbit for civilian purposes, and for national prestige, but many countries claimed it was a clandestine rocket weapons test. The UN Security Council condemned the launch, which it said was carried out in violation of a UNSC resolution banning the development of ballistic technology by North Korea.
Japan′s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) speaks to media after attending a meeting of Security Council of Japan at his official residence in Tokyo February 12, 2013 after reports of North Korea′s possible nuclear test. (Reuters/Issei Kato)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) speaks to media after attending a meeting of Security Council of Japan at his official residence in Tokyo February 12, 2013 after reports of North Korea's possible nuclear test. (Reuters/Issei Kato)
An hour after the test, Japan said that it is considering leveling further sanctions against North Korea.
"I have ordered that we consider every possible way to address this issue, including our own sanctions, while cooperating with other countries," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after a meeting of Japan's security council.
The news of the suspicious seismic activity in North Korea came days after South Korea and the US threatened that they may carry out a pre-emptive strike at North Korean facilities to halt its nuclear program.
China, North Korea’s main economic partner and only ally, said Pyongyang would pay a “heavy price” and threatened to scale down aid should it carry out a nuclear test.
A screenshot from facebook.com
A screenshot from facebook.com



(URGENT) Magnitude 5.1 artificial earthquake detected in N. Korea at 11:58 a.m.




SEOUL (Reuters) - Seismic activity has been detected in North Korea with an earthquake measuring 4.9 registered by the U.S. Geological Survey.
North Korea is not prone to seismic activity and the seismic activity could possibly indicating that the country has carried out a promised nuclear test. The USGS said the epicentre was close to the North's known nuclear test site.

UPDATE : S. Korea sees 'high possibility' of nuke test by N. Korea: official
SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is trying to verify whether North Korea has conducted a nuclear test after detecting an "artificial earthquake" of magnitude 5.1 in the North, a senior Seoul official said Tuesday.

A senior official at Seoul's foreign ministry said the government saw a "high possibility" that North Korea appears to have conducted an atomic test. 

UPDATE : S. Korea sees 'high possibility' of nuke test by N. Korea: official
Breaking News: South Korean news agency Yonhap is reporting a magnitude 4.9 quake detected in N ; no word on if it's from test.


Seismic activity in North Korea amid nuclear test concerns

Breaking news
Seismic activity has been detected in North Korea, the US and South Korea say, in what could be a sign of a widely anticipated nuclear test.
The US Geological Survey said it had detected a tremor with a 4.9 magnitude.
South Korean media also reported a "man-made earthquake" in its northern neighbour.
North Korea said last month it was planning to carry out its third nuclear test - despite a promise from the UN Security Council of "consequences".
The USGS said the quake occurred at a depth of 1km. It put the epicentre close to North Korea's nuclear test site.
Yonhap news agency says South Korea has raised its military alert in response to the quake.
North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.