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The Nuclear Shuffle?: North Korean Nuclear Test

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posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 03:31 PM
After I was discussing in another thread about the North Korea issue; it came to my attention that something isnt right. Today, I saw a story on reuters at about ten A.M (eastern) stating that the IAEA could not confirm whether or not North Korea, had in fact, detonated a nuclear device last monday. Heinonen(the deputy director of safegaurds at the IAEA) stated:

"I don't think that anyone on the earth - except the North Koreans - know at this point in time how much material was used for this explosion," said Olli Heinonen, Deputy Director of Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Also, I noticed a couple things in the article:

Putting IAEA inspectors back into North Korea would be the only way to establish the facts, he said.

A U.S. official said on Friday preliminary U.S. intelligence analysis showed radioactivity in air samples collected near a suspected North Korean nuclear test site.


Now, right after this article appeared another article hit the pages saying just the opposite:

U.S. says N.Korea's test was nuclear
Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:53am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Monday that the test conducted by North Korea on October 9 was a nuclear explosion of less than one kiloton.

"Analysis of air samples collected on October 11, 2006, detected radioactive debris which confirms that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion," the director of national intelligence said in a statement.

The statement said the explosion yield was less than a kiloton. By comparison, the nuclear bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945 was about 12.5 kilotons.

The announcement last week by the reclusive communist state that it had tested a nuclear bomb sharply escalated world concerns over North Korea's nuclear program.


So how can the US know what the IAEA cannot officially confirm; that the test was in fact nuclear?

In order to know what sample the US govt. is referring to we have to understand exactly what procedure(s) are used in obtaining the criticle information used to determine if it was a genuine nuclear test.

The International Monitoring SystemThe International Monitoring System has a global reach with a total of 321 monitoring stations in 92 countries. It uses four different technologies to monitor all possible test-ing environments underground, in the oceans and in the atmosphere. ➊ The seismic network, consisting of 50 “primary” sta-tions that report all data on line and 120 “auxiliary” stations from which data can be requested, is the main tool to moni-tor underground explosions. ➋ Only 11 hydro-acoustic stations are needed to monitor the oceans as signals in the water are transmitted with very little attenuation over global distances. ➌ A network of 60 infra-sound stations is designed to monitor explosions in the atmosphere. They detect acoustic signals with frequencies far below what the human ear can detect. ➍ The fourth component of the international monitoring system is the radionuclide network consisting of 80 sta-tions to detect radioactive particles, 40 of which are also equipped to detect xenon, a radioactive noble gas. The purpose of the radionuclide stations is to monitor the unique radioactive fallout that might emerge from a nuclear explo-sion in any environment. To analyze data from the radionu-clide stations, 16 globally distributed laboratories consti-tute part of the system.Data from the monitoring stations around the world are transmitted on-line to the international data center at the PTS in Vienna. Modern communications and computer technology make it possible to bring together and analyze the large amount of data created by monitoring stations. At the data center, information from individual stations is analyzed together to detect and locate the source of the sig-nal. This is a most complex process involving automatic sig-nal processing and analysis by well-trained experts. States are provided with the results of this analysis as well as the raw data for their assessment


As far as I know; this is the only method used to obtain these results.

So that being the case; why is the US government saying it has confirmed the test while the IAEA has hesitated in doing so, claiming "Putting IAEA inspectors back into North Korea would be the only way to establish the facts." and given that they obtained their results from the same source; the PTS(Provisional Technical Secretariat) the data center where the IMS stations feed their information.

If this is not where the US govt has gotten its information; then where?

what do you guys think?

Special thanks to TONE23 who helped me prepare and arrange this thread...

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 05:13 PM
I believe the monitoring stations are all passive detectors, but the US had one or more sniffer planes flying in the region that collected air samples as close as possible to the test site. Also, the first article you posted seems to refer to opinions on Friday, versus current opinions after the weekend.

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 05:33 PM
The first one posted was Monday October 16 at 9:48am, They were reffering to friday the 13 as far as the US test goes, But the Iaea said this on

VIENNA (Reuters) - The United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Monday it did not know whether a North Korean underground explosion had tested a nuclear device.

posted on Oct, 17 2006 @ 11:33 AM
I was sniffing around the web trying to get some more information and I came across
a homepage by a Col. Guy Turner. He is the Airforces Technical Applications Center commander for the Air Intelligence Agency out of lackland AFB in Texas.

AFTAC is the US government's executive agency for detecting nuclear detonations.
they also operate the US atomic Energy Detection System (USAEDS)

The airborne mission is the first component of the USAEDS which monitors international airspace for the presence of nuclear test debris.

The second componet is a network of seismic stations used to monitor undreground detonations.

Then you have the material collection network which collects gas and nuclear debri.

the last component is the atmosphere sensor system which can determine if the event was man made or natural.

all these componets working in concert help to meet the USAEDS goal: monitoring nuclear test treaties.

he goes on to say:

Of course, no system is ever 100 percent reliable


Many of our sites are also a part of the International Monitoring System. This system comprises a network of 321 monitoring stations and 16 radionuclide laboratories in 91 nations that monitor the earth for evidence of nuclear explosions in all environments. AFTAC's USNDC is our government's contribution to the International Data Centre operated by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, Austria. This organization is the verification regime for the treaty of the same name that seeks to eventually ban all nuclear tests.

Guy Turner

So If the USAEDS sites are also part of the IMS: Why is The US the only nation declaring this was a nuclear test?

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