2013 North Korean nuclear test

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2013 North Korean nuclear test
Information
Country North Korea
Test site 41°18′N 129°05′E / 41.30°N 129.08°E / 41.30; 129.08Coordinates: 41°18′N 129°05′E / 41.30°N 129.08°E / 41.30; 129.08,[1] Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, Kilju County
Period 02:57:51, 12 February 2013 (2013-02-12T02:57:51) UTC[1]
Number of tests 1
Test type Underground
Device type Fission
Max. yield Between 6 kilotons of TNT (25 TJ)—9 kilotons of TNT (38 TJ)[2] (South Korean Estimate) and 8.4 kilotons of TNT (35 TJ)—16 kilotons of TNT (67 TJ) (Chinese Estimate)
Navigation
Previous test 2009 test

On 12 February 2013, North Korean state media announced it had conducted an underground nuclear test, its third in seven years. A tremor that exhibited a nuclear bomb signature with an initial magnitude 4.9 (later revised to 5.1) was detected by the China Earthquake Networks Center,[3] Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission[4] and the United States Geological Survey.[1] In response, Japan summoned an emergency United Nations meeting for 12 February and South Korea raised its military alert status. It is not known if the explosion was nuclear, or a conventional explosion designed to mimic a nuclear blast;[5] as of two days after the blast, Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean investigators had failed to detect any radiation.[6]

Test[edit]

USGS infographic on the event

On 12 February 2013, a spokesman for North Korea's army command said it had successfully conducted a third underground nuclear weapons test, according to the Yonhap.[7][8] North Korea also said the test had used a miniaturized nuclear device with greater explosive power.[9]

Before North Korea announced they had conducted the test, seismic activity had already been detected in North Korea by the USGS, near the site of previous nuclear tests at Mantapsan in Kilju County. A large tremor, first estimated at magnitude of 4.9, was detected in North Korea and governments in the region were trying to determine whether it was a third nuclear test. The USGS upgraded the magnitude of the possibly nuclear tremor from 4.9 to 5.1, located 24 kilometres (15 mi) east-northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea.[10] The tremor occurred at 11:57am KST (2:57am UTC) and the USGS said the hypocenter of the event was only one kilometer deep. Later, the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences did not register any seismic events and underground tremors at 16:00 local time on 12 February 2013, in the Russian Far East.[11][clarification needed] The China Earthquake Networks Center (Abbreviation: CENC; Chinese: 中国地震台网中心) also reported this event, putting the magnitude at Ms 4.9.[3] The tremor caused by the test could be felt by residents of the neighboring city of Hunchun and Antu, in Yanbian, Jilin Province, China.[12] A citizen of Hyesan, Ryanggang Province of North Korea, 80 km (50 mi) west from the nuclear test site, reported that many 5- and 7-floor buildings shook very severely, and this caused cracking.[13]

Yield estimates[edit]

South Korea's defense ministry said the event reading indicated a blast of 6–7 kilotons,[10][14][15][16] later revised to 6–9 kilotons using the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s calculation method.[17] The Korea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources estimated the yield as 7.7–7.8 kilotons.[2]

Some experts estimate the yield to be up to 15 kilotons, since the test site's geology is not well understood.[18] The Russian Defence Ministry said the power of North Korea's nuclear test blast surpassed 7 kilotons, while the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences put the yield at 5.4 kilotons.[19][11][20] NORSAR compared the seismic data from all three North Korean nuclear tests and estimated the yield of the 2013 test as approximately 10 kilotons.[21] However, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, a state-run geology research institute in Germany, estimated the yield at 40 kilotons.[17][22]

On 2013 June 19, the University of Science and Technology of China had released a report that claimed that they had found the precise location of the test at Latitude 41 degrees 17 minutes 26.88 seconds, longitude 129 degrees 4 minutes 34.68 seconds with an error margin of mere 94 meters and the yield at around 12.2 kt, with a margin of error of 3.8 kt.[23]

In comparison, the atomic (fission) bombs dropped by the Enola Gay on Hiroshima (Little Boy, a "gun-type" atomic bomb) and on Nagasaki by Bockscar (Fat Man, an "implosion-type" atomic bomb) had blast yield equivalence of 16 and 21 kilotons respectively.[17]

Further tests[edit]

On 4 February 2013, a South Korean military official had stated that there was a "chance that the southern tunnel is a decoy, but we are not ruling out that the regime will conduct nuclear tests simultaneously at both tunnels."[24] On 15 February 2013, North Korea had told China that they were preparing for one or two more nuclear tests this year.[25] On 8 April 2013, South Korea had observed activity at Punggye-ri, suggesting that a fourth underground test was being prepared.[26] It was later believed that the tunneling activity that started in April was for a long term project, and that a nuclear test wouldn't occur soon.[27]

According to a U.S. expert, North Korea has everything in place for a fourth explosion but is hesitating due to the fear that it would anger China.[28] A professor from Georgetown University predicted that test would occur in spring 2014 at latest.[29]

On 17 December, a member of South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee said that a nuclear and missile test would occur soon to draw attention away from the execution of Jang Sung-taek. This was said after North Korea floated propaganda leaflets to South Korea that threatened the annihilation of Baengnyeongdo.[30]

On 22 April 2014, South Korea reported that North Korea had stepped up its activity at its main nuclear test site, meaning they may be preparing for their fourth underground nuclear test.[31] The United States urged North Korea to refrain from testing.[32]

Reaction[edit]

In response, Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, called an urgent security meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The emergency session was to be held 9 AM EST on 12 February 2013.[33] Tibor Toth, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission (CTBTO), confirmed the event's location was "roughly congruent with" nuclear tests carried out by North Korea in 2006 and 2009.[34] Japan's Kyodo News service reported the Japanese defense ministry had scrambled aircraft to hunt for radiation effects.[35] Japan's government held a national security council meeting in Tokyo according to NHK.[36] The South Korean military also raised its readiness level.[37] In general, international reactions to the 2013 North Korean nuclear test have been almost uniformly negative.[38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "M5.1 Nuclear Explosion - 24km ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea". Earthquake Hazards Program. United States Geological Survey. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "How Powerful Was N.Korea's Nuke Test?". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "朝鲜(疑爆)Ms4.9地震" (in Chinese). 
  4. ^ "Press Release: On the CTBTO's detection in North Korea". CTBTO. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Broad, William, "A Secretive Country Gives Experts Few Clues to Judge Its Nuclear Program", New York Times, 12 February 2013. "As is usual with tests by the secretive North, it was not even clear if the underground test was nuclear, rather than conventional bomb blasts meant to mimic an underground nuclear test."
  6. ^ "BBC News - North Korea nuclear test: No radiation detected". bbc.co.uk. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  7. ^ "(URGENT) N. Korea confirms it conducted third nuclear test". YonHapNews. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "North Korea Nuclear Threat". 5 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "N.Korea says test used miniaturised nuclear device with greater explosive force". Voice of Russia. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "M5.1 – 24km ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea". USGS. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Russia says no danger to Far East residents over North Korea's nuclear test"
  12. ^ "吉林珲春市民感到晃动 老太错以为心脏病犯了_资讯频道_凤凰网". IFENG. 12 February. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Hyesan Suffers Test Quake Damage". Daily NK. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  14. ^ Riviera, Gloria; Akiko, Fujita (12 February 2013). "North Korea Tremor Arouses Suspicion of Nuclear Test". ABC News. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Chance, David; Kim, Jack (12 February 2013). "China joins U.S., Japan in condemning North Korea nuclear test". Reuters. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  16. ^ MacLeod, Calum (12 February 2013). "Obama calls North Korea nuclear test a threat to U.S.". USA Today. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c Choi He-suk (14 February 2013). "Estimates differ on size of N.K. blast". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "North Korea nuclear test raises uranium concerns". BBC News. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Пхеньян устроил "безупречный" взрыв". Interfax. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Russia condemns North Korea's new nuclear test
  21. ^ "Nuclear explosion in North Korea, February 12, 2013". NORSAR. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Nuke test air samples are a bust". 15 February 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Chinese underground nuclear test North Korea reached an unprecedented precision measurement". 19 June 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  24. ^ Ryall, Julian (2013-02-04). "North Korea 'preparing for two nuclear tests'". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  25. ^ Kang, Benjamin (2013-02-15). "Exclusive: North Korea tells China of preparations for fresh nuclear test - source". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  26. ^ "Activity at North’s nuke test site-INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily". Koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com. 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  27. ^ 38 North (25 June 2013). "New Tunneling Activity at the North Korean Nuclear Test Site". 38 North. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  28. ^ Dahl, Fredrik (17 July 2013). Pfeiffer, Tom, ed. "North Korea has everything in place for new atom test: U.S. expert". NBC News. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  29. ^ Yonhap News Agency (13 November 2013). "N. Korea could conduct 4th nuclear test late this year: US expert". GlobalPost. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  30. ^ David Stout (17 December 2013). "South Korean Official: The North is Preparing for Another Nuclear Test". TIME. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  31. ^ Jethro Mullen; Stella Kim (22 April 2014). "North Korea steps up activity at its nuclear site, South says". CNN. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  32. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/22/us-nuclear-korea-usa-idUSBREA3L1FO20140422
  33. ^ "Quake triggers doubts about North Korean nuclear test". Rediff News. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  34. ^ "N.Korea seismic event shows 'explosion-like characteristics' -CTBTO". Trust.org. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  35. ^ "'Artificial Earthquake' Suggests North Korea Just Tested a Nuclear Bomb". Atlantic Wire. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  36. ^ Seig, Linda (11 February 2013). "Japan holding security meeting after N.Korea nuclear test report: NHK". Reuters. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  37. ^ Song Sang-ho (12 February 2013). "N.K. has conducted 3rd nuke test". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  38. ^ Chance, David (2012-02-13). "North Korean nuclear test draws anger, including from China". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-02-13.