North Korea has apparently detonated a nuclear weapon. The US Geological Survey has not confirmed, but South Korean seismic monitors have indicated that a blast of some kind occurred. The Associated Press is reporting that there is no confirmation at all.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test. U.S. and South Korean officials could not immediately confirm the report.
The South Korean seismic monitoring center confirmed that tremors felt at the time of the alleged test were not natural occurrence.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said information still needed to be analyzed to determine whether North Korea truly conducted the test.
The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the underground test was performed successfully and there was no radioactive leakage from the site.
South Korean intelligence officials said a seismic wave of magnitude-3.58 had been detected in North Hamkyung province, according to Yonhap. It said the test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (9:36 p.m. EDT Sunday) in Hwaderi near Kilju city on the northeast coast, citing defense officials.
North Korean scientists "successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions," the KCNA report said, adding this was "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."
The director of South Korea's monitoring center that is watching for a test with sound and seismic detectors declined to immediately comment on the reported test.
"We don't know whether it is a nuclear test or not," an official at the earthquake center at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources said on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitive nature of the issue.
As the West fiddles, the world begins to burn. As the American political scene descends into a cartoonish hell where the stupid phone sex antics of a disgraced Congressman take center stage, a real, nuclear hell is born. Tomorrow, all the papers will have wall to wall coverage of the Foley matter while Kim plots his next move and Ahmadinejad goes about midwifing his bomb. Very good, folks.