2006 North Korean nuclear test

The 2006 North Korean nuclear test was the detonation of a nuclear device conducted by North Korea on October 9, 2006.

On October 3, 2006, North Korea announced its intention to conduct a nuclear test.[7] The blast is generally estimated to have had an explosive force of less than one kiloton, and some radioactive output was detected.[8][9] United States officials suggested the device may have been a nuclear explosive that misfired.[8]

An anonymous official at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing told a South Korean newspaper that the explosive output was smaller than expected.[10] Because of the secretive nature of North Korea and small yield of the test, there remains some question as to whether it was a successful test of an unusually small device (which would have required sophisticated technology), or a partially failed "fizzle" or dud. A scientific paper later estimated the yield as 0.48 kilotons.[1]

It was reported that the government of the People's Republic of China was given a 20-minute advance warning that the test was about to occur.[11] China sent an emergency alert to Washington, D.C., through the U.S. embassy in Beijing at which time President George W. Bush was told by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley "shortly after" 10 p.m. (UTC-5) that a test was imminent.[12]

2006 North Korean Nuclear Test
2006 North Korean nuclear test
Graphic showing seismic activity at the time of the test
CountryNorth Korea
Test sitePunggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, Kilju County.
Period10:35:28 KST, October 9, 2006
Number of tests1
Test typeUnknown
Device typeFission
Max. yield
Test chronology
[Full screen]
Location of North Korea's Nuclear tests[5][6]
1: 2006; 22009; 32013; 42016-01; 52016-09; 62017;


North Korea had been suspected of maintaining a clandestine nuclear weapons development program since the early 1980s when it constructed a plutonium-producing Magnox nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, and various diplomatic means had been used by the international community to attempt to limit North Korea's nuclear work to peaceful and scientific means and encouraging North Korea to participate in international treaties. In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed the "Agreed Framework", whereby North Korea agreed to freeze its graphite moderated reactor program in exchange for fuel, moves toward normalization of political and economic relations, and the construction of two modern nuclear power plants powered by light-water reactors. Eventually, North Korea's existing nuclear facilities were to be dismantled, and the spent reactor fuel taken out of the country.

However, in 2002, rumors circulated that North Korea was pursuing both uranium enrichment technology and plutonium reprocessing technologies in defiance of the Agreed Framework. North Korea reportedly told American diplomats in private that they were in possession of nuclear weapons, citing American failures to uphold their own end of the "Agreed Framework" as a motivating force. North Korea later clarified that it did not possess weapons yet, but that it had a right to possess them. In late 2002 and early 2003, North Korea began to take steps to eject International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors while re-routing spent fuel rods for plutonium reprocessing for weapons purposes. Throughout the course of 2003, North Korean and American officials exchanged harsh words and staged military exercises which were interpreted by the other party to be aggressive. As late as the end of 2003, North Korea claimed that it would freeze its nuclear program in exchange for American concessions – in particular a non-aggression treaty – but a final agreement was not reached and talks continued to be cancelled or fall through. North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 after not receiving light-water reactors promised by the United States which were going to be delivered in exchange for North Korea not developing their own power plants, as understood in the "Agreed Framework".

In early 2004 former Los Alamos National Laboratory director Siegfried S. Hecker, as part of an unofficial U.S. delegation, was allowed to inspect North Korea's plutonium production facilities. Hecker later testified before the United States Congress that while North Korea seems to have successfully extracted plutonium from the spent fuel rods, he saw no evidence at the time that they had actually produced a workable weapon.[13] In 2007, the former senior scientist of Pakistan, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan claimed that North Korea's nuclear program was well advanced before his visit in 1993 with Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister.[14]

In September 2004, though, North Korean officials announced they had successfully processed Yongbyon plutonium into a workable nuclear deterrent. Through 2005 more diplomatic talks were attempted between the United States, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia (the six-party talks) but little concrete change occurred.

Because North Korea had not conducted a successful test of a nuclear device, the extent of its nuclear weapons program remained ambiguous through 2005 and much of 2006. Though North Korea conducted numerous missile tests (some of which were branded failures by international experts), the question of whether they had actually mastered all aspects of nuclear weapons technology – ranging from material production to complex nuclear weapon design needed to produce the final detonation – remained unanswered. As of 2013 there was agreement in the U.S. intelligence community that North Korea could build a "modest" bomb with a yield of between 6 and 10 kilotons, but disagreement between Defense Intelligence Agency, CIA and the United States State Department over whether it could deploy a miniaturized warhead on a missile.[15]

North Korean statements

Rumours of an impending nuclear test circulated during 2005 and early 2006, though none came to immediate fruition. On October 3, 2006, however, North Korea claimed that it would soon conduct a nuclear test, and on October 9, 2006, the state claimed to have successfully conducted a test. The Korean Central News Agency, the state's news agency, issued the following statement:[16]

The field of scientific research in the DPRK successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, Juche 95 (2006), at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great, prosperous, powerful socialist nation.

It has been confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under scientific consideration and careful calculation.

The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent. It marks an historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defence capability.

It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it.

Later, the North Korean envoy to the U.N. said it would be better for the Security Council to offer its congratulations rather than pass "useless" resolutions.[17]

Threats of war

On October 10, 2006, an unnamed North Korean official was quoted as saying that North Korea could launch a nuclear missile unless the United States would sit down for face-to-face talks.[18] However, few, if any, military and defense experts believed that the North Koreans possessed the technology to mount a nuclear warhead to a ballistic missile.[19]

On October 11, the Associated Press reported that North Korea had threatened war if attempts would be made to penalize them through further sanctions.[20] This statement occurred even as Japan moved to tighten sanctions on the country.[20] South Korea said they were ensuring their troops were prepared for nuclear war.[20] A U.S. Army major, stationed along the border between North and South Korea, said that the overall situation was "calm" but that "Communist troops were more boldly trying to provoke their southern counterparts: spitting across the demarcation line, making throat-slashing hand gestures, flashing their middle fingers and trying to talk to the troops."[20]

On the day of the test, the North Korean Foreign Ministry stated that "if the U.S. keeps pestering us and increases pressure, we will regard it as a declaration of war and will take a series of physical corresponding measures".[21]

On October 17 North Korea denounced UN sanctions over its nuclear test as a declaration of war and the United States and other nations suspected that North Korea was seeking to conduct a second nuclear test despite international pressure.[22]

Kim Jong-il's alleged apology

On October 20, 2006, Kim Jong-il allegedly said that he was "sorry" over his country's nuclear test, and wished to return to talk with the United Nations. According to a Chinese envoy, Kim Jong-il said,

If the U.S. makes a concession to some degree, we will also make a concession to some degree, whether it be bilateral talks or six-party talks

Kim Jong-Il also stated that he had no future plans to test another nuclear device; the U.S. State Department discounted this report.[23]

Return to six-party talks

On October 31, 2006, North Korea agreed to rejoin six-nation disarmament talks. The agreement was struck in a day of unpublicized discussions between the senior envoys from the United States, China and North Korea at a government guesthouse in Beijing.[24] The talks resumed on December 18, 2006.

Yield estimates and authenticity

North Korea Nuclear Test
The site vs. 50-year predictions, according to USGS, indicating the probability of the detected blast being due to natural causes.

The low yield of the test initially raised questions as to whether it was a nuclear explosion but detection of airborne radioactive isotopes by a United States military aircraft confirmed that it was a nuclear explosion.[9][25] Radioactive isotopes of the element xenon are produced by the atom splitting that takes place in nuclear explosions and readily seeps out even from underground tests.[26] The advance warning of the test sent to the Chinese government reportedly said that the planned test yield was to be equivalent to approximately four kilotons in strength, but most outside estimates, based largely on seismic readings, put the yield at much less.[27]

At a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov stated that "the power of the tests carried out was 5 to 15 kilotons",[3] though this early estimate is much higher than any other international estimate. An early report by the Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources of South Korea said the blast was equivalent to an earthquake registering 3.58 on the Richter scale,[28] which corresponds to the explosion of 100 tons of TNT. This was later revised to at least 800 tons,[29] corresponding to a blast wave of 4.2. The U.S. Geological Survey also estimates the blast wave at 4.2.[30] (Note that 4.2 is considerably more powerful than 3.58 because the Richter scale is a logarithmic scale.)

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, "initial and unconfirmed South Korean reports indicate that the test was a fission device with a yield of 0.55 kT ... The figure of 0.55 kT, however, seems too low given the 4.2 register on the Richter scale. This could suggest – depending upon the geological make-up of the test site – a yield of 2–12 kT".[2]

An official in France's Atomic Energy Commission reported that they estimated the blast was "about or less than a kiloton" and expressed uncertainty about whether or not the blast was actually nuclear.[31][32] There have been various large planned and unplanned non-nuclear explosions comparable in yield to small nuclear detonations, such as the U.S. "Minor Scale" explosion from 1985, which used conventional explosives to simulate a 4 kiloton detonation. According to the Washington Times anonymous U.S. intelligence sources speculated there "was a seismic event that registered about 4 on the Richter scale, but it still isn't clear if it was a nuclear test. You can get that kind of seismic reading from high explosives".[33] The Wall Street Journal explains that this blast was equivalent to the explosive force of about US$100,000 worth of ammonium nitrate.[34] International experts have said that it will take some time to confirm whether it was a successful nuclear test, as North Korea claimed, or an unsuccessful one ("fizzle"), or perhaps not even a nuclear test at all.[35]

However 7 years later, after the 2013 nuclear test, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, a state-run geology research institute in Germany, estimated the yield ranging at minimum of 700 tons to the max of 2 kilotons and the 2009 test ranges from minimum of 5 kilotons to the max of 12 kilotons instead with relevant statistics.[4][36]

By comparison, the first plutonium core nuclear device tested by the United States (Trinity test) had a yield of 20 kilotons of TNT, and the first nuclear device detonated by India in 1974, though of primitive design, had a yield in the region of 8 kilotons of TNT. If the North Korean nuclear test is less than even a kiloton in yield, it would be a historically small inaugural nuclear test. Even if it were as many as the reported intentional yield of 4 kt it would be the smallest nuclear test ever conducted by a state as a first test. Some advanced nuclear powers have produced very small tactical nuclear weapons in the low-kiloton range, but their development is far more technologically challenging than that of weapons in the 15–20 kiloton range, requiring advanced weapons materials and core geometries.[37]

If the North Korean device was significantly short of its predicted yield, it could be classified as a "fizzle" indicating that some aspect of the nuclear weapon design or material production did not function correctly. In a fizzle the warhead blows itself apart too fast for the nuclear reactions to generate a large amount of energy, or fails to form a supercritical mass for some other reason. A fizzle can result from predetonation, insufficient precision in the explosive lenses used to compress the plutonium core, or impurities in the plutonium itself, among other factors.[37] A fizzle can also result from the use of reactor grade plutonium rather than weapons-grade material.[38]

On October 13, 2006, CNN reported that two U.S. government officials with access to classified information stated that the initial air sampling over North Korea shows no indication of radioactive debris from the event that North Korea says was an underground nuclear test. Some hours later, the report was reversed and stated there was evidence of radiation, though not enough data has been collected yet to be conclusive. The newspaper Hankyoreh reported an unnamed North Korean diplomat had acknowledged that the actual yield was smaller than expected.[27]

On October 16, 2006, the United States government reported that a test had found radioactive gas compatible with a nuclear explosion.[8]

The office of John Negroponte, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence confirmed that the size of the explosion was less than 1 kiloton.[39]

The explosion was also recorded worldwide by the global monitoring system operated by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Two weeks after the detonation, a CTBTO radionuclide monitoring station in northern Canada detected traces of the radioactive noble gas xenon in the air. Backtracking calculations by analysts at the CTBTO indicated that the xenon particles originated from North Korea and that the explosion had been nuclear in nature.[40]

Test site location

2006 North Korean nuclear test
A map of the Korean peninsula. The estimated location of the test (41.311°N, 129.114°E) is marked in red.
NASA Blue Marble Image of estimated location of the test (41.2943° N 129.1342° E)

According to initial reports from South Korean government sources, the test was carried out at a mountain in Musadan-ri in Hwadae-kun, near the city of Kilchu, in North Hamgyŏng province on the northeast coast.[41] However, later reports from the state National Intelligence Service identified the site as being a place in Sangpyong-ri, about 15 km from the coastal city of Kimchaek and about 50 km west of Musadan-ri.[42]

The Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources reported seismic waves measuring 3.58 on the Richter scale.[28] The United States Geological Survey reported that a seismic event occurred at 01:35:28 UTC (10:35:28 am local time, UTC+9) on October 9, 2006, and measured 4.3 on the Richter scale. It occurred at the geographic coordinates 41°17′38.4″N 129°08′2.4″E / 41.294000°N 129.134000°E with a horizontal location uncertainty of ±9.6 km (6.0 miles). This is near Mantapsan, 73 km (45 mi) north of Kimchaek, 90 km (56 mi) southwest of Chongjin, 180 km (110 mi) south of Yanji, and 385 km (239 mi) northeast of Pyongyang.[43]

International reaction

International condemnation of the tests by governments has been nearly unanimous, including from North Korea's close ally and benefactor, the People's Republic of China.[44] All five veto-wielding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council condemned the nuclear test. On October 10, however, South Korean Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook told Parliament that South Korea will not support any United Nations resolution containing military measures against North Korea in retaliation for its nuclear test.[45]

Economic impact

Negative economic effects were seen throughout the region after the test. South Korea's KOSPI index fell 2.4% to 1319.4,[46] forcing the Korea Exchange to suspend trading for five minutes upon receiving the news.[47] The Japanese and Taiwanese stock exchanges were closed for a market holiday on the day of the test.[48] The Japanese yen also fell to a seven-month low against the United States dollar while oil on the world market rose above US$60 a barrel.[49] Gold prices rose 1% as a safe haven investment.[50] Several stock markets in Asia from the Singapore Exchange to the Philippine Stock Exchange have traded lower, possibly due to the tests.[51] American stock markets were mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down at its open the next day; however, at 10:30 am EDT, the Dow rebounded and concluded the day with an increase of 7.60 points (+0.06%).[52] NSE and BSE of India, however, showed some strength.

United Nations' response

On October 14, 2006, the UN Security Council unanimously approved limited military and economic sanctions against North Korea. All five permanent members stated that the sanctions, set out in UNSC Resolution 1718, were intended to penalize the country's regime, not inhabitants. They also stated that if North Korea were willing to cooperate and complied with all the measures contained in the resolution, the sanctions would be lifted. The United States compromised on its initial desire to block all imports of military equipment, and to have an unlimited reference to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter so providing a legal justification for future military action, in order to gain full support for the resolution.[53]

See also


  1. ^ a b Lian-Feng Zhao, Xiao-Bi Xie, Wei-Min Wang, and Zhen-Xing Yao, "Regional Seismic Characteristics of the 9 October 2006 North Korean Nuclear Test, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, December 2008 98:2571–2589; doi:10.1785/0120080128
  2. ^ a b "North Korea claims nuclear test". Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  3. ^ a b "North Korea's Power Checked". Archived from the original on October 31, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
  4. ^ a b "BGR registered putative third North Korean nuclear test". 15 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Search Results". USGS.
  6. ^ "North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Analysis Reveals Its Potential for Additional Testing with Significantly Higher Yields". 38North. March 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Medalia, Jonathan. "Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments." Congressional Research Service. November 23, 2009. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4379-2746-7.
  8. ^ a b c "U.S.: Test Points to N. Korea Nuke Blast". The Washington Post. October 13, 2006.
  9. ^ a b "North Korea Nuclear Test Confirmed by U.S. Intelligence Agency". Bloomberg. October 16, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2006.
  10. ^ "Dud or deception? Experts examine N. Korea claims". CNN. October 10, 2006. Archived from the original on October 28, 2006.
  11. ^ "North Korea says conducted nuclear test". Reuters. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  12. ^ "Test follows warning from U.N." International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  13. ^ Visit to the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center in North Korea, Siegfried S. Hecker, January 21, 2004
  14. ^ News, A. B. C. (May 30, 2008). "ABC Exclusive: Pakistani Bomb Scientist Breaks Silence".
  15. ^ Sanger, David (April 12, 2013). "Contrasting Views on North Korea Underscore Sensitivities and Lack of Evidence". New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  16. ^ "DPRK Successfully Conducts Underground Nuclear Test". KCNA. October 10, 2006. Archived from the original on October 26, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  17. ^ US Asks for Tough UN Sanctions On North Korea Archived October 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Voice of America October 9, 2006
  18. ^ "North Korean test 'went wrong,' U.S. official says". CNN. Archived from the original on October 10, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
  19. ^ "Nuclear Weapons Program – North Korea". Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
  20. ^ a b c d Greimel, Hans (October 11, 2006). "North Korea threatens war over sanctions". Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 11, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
  21. ^ North Korea: Increased U.S. Pressure Would Be 'Act of War' Fox News October 11, 2006
  22. ^ North Korea Declares UN Scanctions As An Declaration Of warYahoo News October 17, 2006
  23. ^ "Report: Kim 'sorry' about N. Korea nuclear test". NBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters. October 20, 2006. Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved October 30, 2006.
  24. ^ "North Korea to rejoin 6-nation nuclear talks". November 1, 2006.
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  26. ^ Collins, Graham P. (January 2007). "Kim's Big Fizzle". Scientific American. 296 (1): 18–18B. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0107-18. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  27. ^ a b cnn.com, U.S. official: 'Something went wrong' on blast Archived October 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ a b "지진파가 나옵니다. 폭발입니다 Seismic waves. An Explosion.". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). October 9, 2006. Archived from the original on October 27, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  29. ^ "북핵 실험의 규모와 의미 The Scale and Implication of North Korea's Nuclear Test". SBS (in Korean). October 9, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  30. ^ "Defense Tech: NORK Nuclear Test: It's A Dud (Updated)". Archived from the original on October 17, 2006.
  31. ^ "France says North Korean blast 'about half a kiloton'". Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  32. ^ Scientists Probe North Korea Nuke Test October 9, 2006
  33. ^ Gertiz, Bill, U.S. doubts Korean test was nuclear, Washington Times, October 10, 2006
  34. ^ Seitz, Russel (October 13, 2006). "Commentary – Parody Physics Package?". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on January 11, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  35. ^ "Success, failure or bluff? Scientists pore over data". Archived from the original on October 31, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  36. ^ "BGR registriert vermutlichen dritten nordkoreanischen Kernwaffentest". 15 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  37. ^ a b For general reference on the history of nuclear weapons and on general parameters of nuclear weapons design, see, for example, Carey Sublette's Nuclear Weapon Archive (esp. the Nuclear Weapons Frequently Asked Questions section). For detailed information, see Chuck Hansen, The Swords of Armageddon: US nuclear weapons development since 1945 (Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications, 1995).
  38. ^ "Reactor-Grade and Weapons-Grade Plutonium in Nuclear Explosives".
  39. ^ "US confirms N Korea nuclear test". Archived from the original on October 27, 2006. Retrieved October 17, 2006.
  40. ^ "The CTBTO verification regime put to the test, CTBTO Press Centre 2007". Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  41. ^ "N Korea's nuclear test backlash". The Sydney Morning Herald. October 9, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  42. ^ "North Korean nuclear test site". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  43. ^ "Magnitude 4.3–North Korea (2006 October 09 01:35:28 UTC)". United States Geological Survey (USGS). October 9, 2010. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  44. ^ "North Korea's neighbors caution it not to conduct nuclear test". USA Today. October 4, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  45. ^ "South Korea opposes any UN military measures against North". Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  46. ^ "Seoul stocks tumble after North Korea confirms nuke test". Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  47. ^ "N Korea says conducted nuclear test". Archived from the original on October 14, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  48. ^ "Market impact". Bloomberg. October 9, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  49. ^ "Nth Korea says nuclear test conducted". Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  50. ^ "Gold prices rise 1%". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  51. ^ "Asian stocks tumble on North Korean nuclear test announcement". Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  52. ^ "Current Dow Jones Industrial Average trading". Archived from the original on October 6, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  53. ^ "North Korean Test Provokes Widespread Condemnation". Arms Control Today. November 2006. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved November 5, 2006.

External links

Wikinews story chronology



2006 in North Korea

Events from the year 2006 in North Korea.

2009 North Korean missile tests

Two rounds of North Korean missile tests were conducted in July 2009. On July 4, 2009, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (the DPRK, or North Korea) launched seven short range missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea), after previously launching four missiles two days earlier on July 2. The missiles were launched in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874.

Anti-Korean sentiment

Anti-Korean sentiment involves hatred or dislike that is directed towards Korean people, culture or either of the two states (North Korea or South Korea) on the Korean Peninsula.

Fizzle (nuclear explosion)

A fizzle occurs when the detonation of a device for creating a nuclear explosion (such as a nuclear weapon) grossly fails to meet its expected yield. The cause(s) for the failure can be linked to improper design, poor construction, or lack of expertise. All countries that have had a nuclear weapons testing program have experienced some fizzles. A fizzle can spread radioactive material throughout the surrounding area, involve a partial fission reaction of the fissile material, or both. For practical purposes, a fizzle can still have considerable explosive yield when compared to conventional weapons.

In multistage fission-fusion weapons, full yield of the fission primary that fails to initiate fusion ignition in the fusion secondary is also considered a "fizzle", as the weapon failed to reach its design yield despite the fission primary working correctly. Such fizzles can have very high yields, as in the case of Castle Koon, where the secondary stage of a device with a 1 megaton design fizzled, but its primary still generated a yield of 110 kilotons.

Kilju County

Kilju, sometimes romanized as Kilchu, is a county in North Hamgyong province, North Korea. The county seat is Kilju Town.

Korean People's Army

The Korean People's Army (KPA; Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선인민군; MR: Chosŏn inmin'gun, lit. "Korean People's Military") is an institution of the Workers' Party of Korea, and constitutes the de facto military forces of North Korea. Under the Songun policy, it is the central institution of North Korean community. Kim Jong-un is its Supreme Commander and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. The KPA consists of five branches: Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Special Operation Force.

The KPA faces its primary adversaries, the South Korean military and United States Forces Korea, across the Korean Demilitarized Zone, as it has since the Armistice Agreement of July 1953. As of 2016, with 5,889,000 paramilitary personnel, it is the largest paramilitary organization on Earth. This number serves as 25% of the North Korean population.

Koreans in the Czech Republic

There are small number of Koreans in the Czech Republic, comprising both North and South Koreans.

List of states with nuclear weapons

There are eight sovereign states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be nuclear-weapon states (NWS) under the terms of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States, Russia (the successor state to the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France, and China.

Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states that were not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests, namely India, Pakistan, and North Korea. North Korea had been a party to the NPT but withdrew in 2003.

Israel is also generally understood to have nuclear weapons, but does not acknowledge it, maintaining a policy of deliberate ambiguity, and is not known definitively to have conducted a nuclear test. Israel is estimated to possess somewhere between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads. One possible motivation for nuclear ambiguity is deterrence with minimum political cost.States that formerly possessed nuclear weapons are South Africa (developed nuclear weapons but then disassembled its arsenal before joining the NPT) and the former Soviet republics Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

According to SIPRI, the worldwide total inventory of nuclear weapons as of 2018 stood at 14,465, of which 3,750 were deployed with operational forces.


Mantapsan (or Mount Mant'ap, Chosŏn'gŭl: 만탑산) is a mountain in the south of North Hamgyong Province in North Korea. The granite peak, which reaches an elevation of 2,205 m (7,234 ft), is part of the Hamgyong Mountains. It is located on the border between Kilju County, Myŏnggan County and Orang County.

Political prisoners were reportedly forced to dig tunnels into the southern side of the mountain, at the nuclear test site near P'unggye-ri. The horizontal tunnels are believed to be two to three meters wide and high and hundreds of meters long. This is where the detonations of the North Korean nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016 occurred.International analysts believe that the sixth and largest explosion, to this date the last, "made the mountain bulge sideways by about 12 feet and collapse vertically by about a foot and a half", with one seismologist describing the subsequent reaction as the mountain "pancaking".Hwasong concentration camp, at 549 km2 (212 sq mi) the largest North Korean concentration camp, is located between Mantapsan and Myŏnggan (Hwasŏng).

New Zealand–North Korea relations

New Zealand–North Korea relations (Korean:뉴질랜드-조선민주주의인민공화국 관계) refers to international relations between New Zealand and North Korea. Relations between the two countries have been almost non-existent since the division of Korea. During the Korean War in the 1950s, New Zealand troops fought as part of the United Nations force that repelled the North Korean invasion of South Korea. Since then, New Zealand and North Korea have had little contact, until July 2000 when North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Phil Goff met in Bangkok, leading to the establishment of diplomatic relations in March 2001. The New Zealand ambassador to South Korea based in Seoul is also cross-accredited to North Korea. In 2006, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon, drawing criticism and suspension of relations by the New Zealand government, which holds a staunch anti-nuclear policy. New Zealand began re-establishing formal relations in 2007, when the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters visited Pyongyang on November 20 to discuss possible political and economic deals with North Korea, on the basis that it start dismantling its nuclear weapons facilities.

North Hamgyong Province

North Hamgyong Province (Hamgyŏngbukdo Korean pronunciation: [ham.ɡjʌŋ.buk̚.t͈o]) is the northernmost province of North Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the northern half of the former Hamgyong Province.

Nuclear weapon yield

The explosive yield of a nuclear weapon is the amount of energy released when that particular nuclear weapon is detonated, usually expressed as a TNT equivalent (the standardized equivalent mass of trinitrotoluene which, if detonated, would produce the same energy discharge), either in kilotons (kt—thousands of tons of TNT), in megatons (Mt—millions of tons of TNT), or sometimes in terajoules (TJ). An explosive yield of one terajoule is equal to 0.239 kilotonnes of TNT. Because the accuracy of any measurement of the energy released by TNT has always been problematic, the conventional definition is that one kiloton of TNT is held simply to be equivalent to 1012 calories.

The yield-to-weight ratio is the amount of weapon yield compared to the mass of the weapon. The practical maximum yield-to-weight ratio for fusion weapons (thermonuclear weapons) has been estimated to six megatons of TNT per metric ton of bomb mass (25 TJ/kg). Yields of 5.2 megatons/ton and higher have been reported for large weapons constructed for single-warhead use in the early 1960s. Since then, the smaller warheads needed to achieve the increased net damage efficiency (bomb damage/bomb mass) of multiple warhead systems have resulted in decreases in the yield/mass ratio for single modern warheads.

Pak Kil-yon

Pak Kil-yon (Korean pronunciation: [pak̚.k͈i.ɾjʌn] or [pak̚] [ki.ɾjʌn]; born 1943, Chagang) is a North Korean diplomat. He served as Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2008.

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) is North Korea's first privately funded university. It is founded, operated, and partly funded by associations and people outside the country. PUST was jointly planned and constructed by forces from both North and South Korea, along with contributions from groups and individuals from other nations, in particular China and the United States. The initiative is largely funded by Evangelical Christian movements. Originally scheduled for launch in 2003, the project was delayed for several years and began operations in October 2010.

Reactor-grade plutonium

Reactor-grade plutonium/RGPu is the isotopic grade of plutonium that is found in spent nuclear fuel after the primary fuel, that of Uranium-235 that a nuclear power reactor uses, has burnt up. The Uranium-238 from which most of the plutonium isotopes derive, by neutron capture, is frequently found alongside the U-235 fuel in civilian reactors, in the form of Low enriched uranium.

In contrast to the low burnup of weeks or months that is commonly required to produce weapons-grade plutonium(WGPu/239Pu), the long time in the reactor that produces reactor-grade plutonium leads to transmutation of much of the fissile, relatively long half-life isotope 239Pu into a number of other isotopes of plutonium that are less fissile or more radioactive.

Thermal-neutron reactors (today's most numerous nuclear power stations) can reuse reactor-grade plutonium only to a limited degree as MOX fuel, and only for a second cycle; fast-neutron reactors, of which there are fewer than a handful operating today, can use reactor-grade plutonium fuel as a means to reduce the transuranium content of spent nuclear fuel/nuclear waste.

South Korea–Vietnam relations

South Korea and Vietnam established formal diplomatic relations on 22 December 1992, though the two countries had already had various historical contacts long before that. According to Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải, "The Republic of Korea is a very important partner of Vietnam and a good model for Vietnam to expand cooperation and exchange experiences during its development process."

The Marmot's Hole

The Marmot's Hole was a weblog by American writer Robert J Koehler dealing with Korean politics and society. It was believed to be the most widely read English-language blog dealing with Korea-related topics. Because of this status, it was frequently used as a source for news stories about the expat community. In addition, many international sources turned to it for reaction after the 2006 North Korean nuclear test. The Marmot's Hole also received attention from Korean media, notably on the occasion of its recommendation for Americans to thank South Korea for aid following Hurricane Katrina. The blog first gained media attention in 2004, with a Korea Times piece on expat blogs. Citing a lack of motivation to continue the blog, it was closed by the owner, Robert, in December 2015.

Timeline of Japan–North Korea relations

A timeline of Japan–North Korea relations.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on October 14, 2006. The resolution, passed under Chapter VII, Article 41, of the UN Charter, imposes a series of economic and commercial sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (the DPRK, or North Korea) in the aftermath of that nation's claimed nuclear test of October 9, 2006.

Main topics
Missile tests
Nuclear tests
UN resolutions

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