Skip to comments.N. Korea prepping for nuclear test: intelligence official
Posted on 04/08/2012 12:18:15 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
N. Korea prepping for nuclear test: intelligence official
SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is believed to be gearing up for a nuclear test, an intelligence official said Sunday, a move certain to fuel the already high tensions over its planned long-range rocket launch.
Satellite images show the communist nation digging a new tunnel underground in the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the country's northeast, where it conducted two previous nuclear tests, first in 2006 and then in 2009.
The construction is believed to be in its final stage, the official said.
"North Korea is making clandestine preparations for a third nuclear test at Punggye-ri in North Hamkyong Province, where it conducted two nuclear tests in the past," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Commercial satellite imagery showed piles of earth and sand at the entrance of a tunnel in the Punggye-ri site. The soil is believed to have been brought to the site to plug the tunnel, one of final steps before carrying out a nuclear test blast.
A nuclear test following a long-range missile test fits the pattern of North Korean behavior.
In 2006, the provocative regime carried out its first-ever nuclear test, three months after the test-firing of its long-range Taepodong-2 rocket. The second nuclear test in 2009 came just one month after a long-range rocket launch.
The North says it will fire off its Unha-3 long-range rocket between April 12-16 to put what it claims is a satellite into orbit. But regional powers believe the launch is a pretext to disguise a ballistic missile test banned under a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Sources said the North is believed to have put the rocket on a launch pad in the country's northwest on Friday.
The North's nuclear and missile programs have long been a regional security concern. The country is believed to have advanced ballistic missile technology, though it is still not clear whether it has mastered the technology to put a nuclear warhead on a missile.
Don’t you need a powergrid before a satellite is of any real use?
I really do not think that its going to fly. But maybe wrong. I hope that either the Taiwanese Air Force or the Japanese shoot it down if its likely the rocket it performing well.
Im sorry for my mistake I thought it was the upcoming launch. I still will not be suprised if Pakistan and Iranian officials attend the nuke test.
Shoot down the missile early & the NK nuke program is effectively neutered.
You can detect an underground nuclear explosion. There are seismic stations all around the world to find “abnormal” seismic activity. There are something around 300 seismic stations around the world looking for cheaters.There are detectable concentrations of the rare gases argon-37 and xenon-133 at 50 and 80 days, respectively, after the detonation.
Since they are apparantlyletting in Western journalists by the boatload to watch this fiasco (the southward ICBM launch I mean) it should be no difficult matter for a resourceful “reporter” operating under deep cover, to ascertain the presence of Pakistani or Irani technical personnel in the North. Most visiting or posted foreigners in the People’s Hell on Earth are usually housed in similiar areas, and by chance their paths could indeed cross. I particularly do not think the DPRK folks are THAT smart or THAT conscientious in covering their tracks.
It think the idea would be to intercept and destroy shortly after liftoff from the pad because of the elevation and speed factors, mabye two or three minutes into flight if possible, but still a) might be well out of range of such action, and b) a ROK or US Aegis in the Yellow Sea doing such a thing successfully would be subject to a torpedo attack by DPRK subs which are now out and about as we speak.
Michael Savage has been saying for years that they should just take the whole thing out right on the launch pad while all the dignitaries are there picking their noses.
It could be done. I would think that they could outsource it to the crack Israeli commandoes to go in and destroy it on on the pad at night with high explosives, as their own practice for future actions on Iran. In fact this might be more of an Iranian missile test launch outsourced to DPRK than anything else. Israel and Mossad should be very, very interested in these developments and results.
I am sure that the “guests” of the North Koreans would be carefully chosen and vetted before entering the base. They have a list of people who they have invited.
Our government carefully looks into the background of the people they let in to our most sensitive places.They also limit any movement within sensitive bases.
That is not the only place they could come across the Iranians (if there).
Yes, but that creates other problems, although it is the most effacacious, logistically speaking.
Certainly, the North Koreans will try something. Artillery attacks on SK islands, sub attacks along the coast, but nothing that would start an outright war with SK & the USA.
I believe that NK would lose such a war badly, & NK knows it. Their military is decrepit, starving & demoralized just like the general population. The leadership is spoiled, fat, lazy, corrupt, old, & militarily inept. The last thing they want is to see their palaces shattered & their lifestyles destroyed. In any protracted conflict, which I doubt, all of NK would simply starve to death.
Given this, CHINA will not allow NK to start a war that ends with a reunited, democratic Korea.
Frankly, I don't believe Obama will try to shoot the missile down. He hates the military & would avoid any opportunity for them to shine. He has a lot of purging left to do in the military before they become HIS military.
Too, he likes to keep the people's stress level high. Stress causes mistakes, like in the polling booth. A NK missile headed toward Hawaii is a great public distraction from his many failures. Shooting down the NK missile would be Politically Incorrect. Endless talk in the face of repeated provocation is the PC way.
So, you don’t think USN or ROK ASW is up to the task of neutralizing Nork subs?
Several North Korean submarines have disappeared after departing from bases on the eastern coast. According to reports, three or four North Korean submarines recently departed from bases on the east coast and have since remained outside South Korean surveillance.
The submarines are thought to be 370-ton shark-class vessels. The North Korean submarine used in the attack on the Cheonan in March 2010 was a 130-ton salmon-class vessel. North Korea has between 70 and 80 submarines ranging from 1,500-ton vessels to 130-ton vessels. Of the total, 80 percent are said to be based in the East Sea, where the waters are deeper than the West Sea, providing better conditions for submarine operations.