Sunday, September 12

Did North Korea just Join the Nuclear Party?

They blew up something big in North Korea. Administration officials are inclined to believe that it was not a nuclear weapons test. I would like to believe them, I really would.

Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said the United States did not believe North Korea had conducted a nuclear test.

"They haven't conducted tests to the best of our knowledge and belief, and the activity reported today is not conclusive that they are getting ready to do one or not," he told NBC TV.

As I said I would really like to believe this take, and consider that this is maybe just a test of a component of a weapon not yet built, but given the state of our "intellegence agencies" I am not gonna hold my breath. The South Korean News service says something about a mushroom cloud.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the blast in Kimhyungjik county in Ryanggang province in the remote northeast near the border with China appeared much stronger than a train explosion that killed at least 170 people in April.

A mushroom cloud up to 2.5 miles in diameter was seen after the blast in an area near missile bases, Yonhap said.

I hope that they were looking at a "faux mushroom cloud" and that miles was mistranslated from meters, but I imagine that is unlikely. If North Korea did test its first nuke, you can expect the administration to stall like madmen and try to confuse the issue because this would be horrible news for them. The last thing these guys want to talk about is Kim il Jung's nuclear capabilities, because it will bring, sharply into focus, the bush adminstration failures in dealing with this very real threat. And Scotty will not be able to shrug this one off with smug quips. I'm gonna see if I can track down any pictures.
Nothing found yet, just more reports of Mushroom clouds and a large crater visible from sattelite. A google news search shows that most stories are leading with the "Powell says it ain't a nuke" lede.