2017 North Korean nuclear test

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2017 North Korean nuclear test
Country North Korea
Test site41°20′35″N 129°02′10″E / 41.343°N 129.036°E / 41.343; 129.036Coordinates: 41°20′35″N 129°02′10″E / 41.343°N 129.036°E / 41.343; 129.036

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, Kilju County
Period12:00:01, 3 September 2017 (2017-09-03T12:00:01) UTC+08:30 (03:30:01 UTC)[1]
Number of tests1
Max. yield
Previous testSeptember 2016 test

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on 3 September 2017, stating it was its first test of a thermonuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb).[5] The United States Geological Survey reported an earthquake of 6.3-magnitude not far from North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site.[6] South Korean authorities said the earthquake seemed to be artificial, consistent with a nuclear test.[7] The USGS, as well as China's earthquake administration, reported that the initial event was followed by a second, smaller, earthquake at the site, several minutes later, which was characterized as a collapse of the cavity.[8][9]

Nuclear device[edit | edit source]

Order to conduct the test, signed by Kim Jong-un on 3 September 2017

North Korea said that it detonated a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).[10] In the announcement it was claimed that the warhead had a variable yield "the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton ... which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack".[11] A later technical announcement called the device a "two-stage thermo-nuclear weapon" and stated experimental measurements were fully compatible with the design specification, and there had been no leakage of radioactive materials from the underground nuclear test.[12][5]

Photographs of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting a device resembling a thermonuclear weapon warhead were released a few hours before the test.[13]

Yield estimates[edit | edit source]

According to the chief of the South Korean parliament's defense committee, Kim Young-Woo, the nuclear yield was equivalent to about 100 kilotons of TNT (100 kt): "The North's latest test is estimated to have a yield of up to 100 kilotons, though it is a provisional report."[14]

On 3 September, South Korea’s weather agency, the Korea Meteorological Administration, estimated that the nuclear blast yield of the presumed test was between 50 to 60 kilotons.[15] In contrast, the independent seismic monitoring agency NORSAR estimated that the blast had a yield of about 120 kilotons, based on a seismic magnitude of 5.8.[2] The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Germany estimates a higher yield at "a few hundred kilotons" based on a detected tremor of 6.1 magnitude.[16]

On 4 September, the academics from the University of Science and Technology of China[3] released their findings based on seismic results and concluded that the nuclear test occurred at 41°17′53.52″N 129°4′27.12″E / 41.2982000°N 129.0742000°E / 41.2982000; 129.0742000

at 03:30 UTC, only a few hundred meters from the four previous tests (2009, 2013, January 2016 and September 2016) with the estimated yield at 108.1 ± 48.1 kt.

On 5 September, the Japanese government gave a yield estimate of about 160 kilotons, based on analysing Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization seismic data, replacing an early estimate of 70 kilotons.[17]

On 6 September, U.S. intelligence released an early assessment that the yield was 140 kilotons, with an undisclosed margin of error.[4]

Reactions[edit | edit source]

The United Nations Security Council met in an open emergency meeting on September 4, 2017, at the request of the US, South Korea, Japan, France and the UK.[18]

South Korea, China, Japan, Russia, the United States, Canada, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia voiced strong criticism of the nuclear test.[19][20][21][22][23]

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: "North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States".[24][25] Trump was asked whether the U.S. would attack North Korea and replied: "We'll see."[26] Defense Secretary James Mattis warned North Korea that it would be met with a "massive military response" if it threatened the United States or its allies.[27]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "M 6.3 Explosion – 22 km ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea". USGS. 3 September 2017. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Large nuclear test in North Korea on 3 September 2017". NORSAR. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "North Korea's 3 September 2017 Nuclear Test Location and Yield: Seismic Results from USTC". Lianxing Wen's Geography. University of Science and Technology of China. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Panda, Ankit (6 September 2017). "US Intelligence: North Korea's Sixth Test Was a 140 Kiloton 'Advanced Nuclear' Device". The Diplomat. http://thediplomat.com/2017/09/us-intelligence-north-koreas-sixth-test-was-a-140-kiloton-advanced-nuclear-device/. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kemp, Ted (3 September 2017). "North Korea hydrogen bomb: Read the full announcement from Pyongyang". CNBC News. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/03/north-korea-hydrogen-bomb-read-the-full-announcement-from-pyongyang.html. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  6. "North Korea confirms sixth nuclear test". CNN. 3 September 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/03/asia/north-korea-nuclear-test/index.html. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  7. "North Korea conducts another nuclear test, neighbors say". The Washington Post. 3 September 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/north-korea-apparently-conducts-another-nuclear-test-south-korea-says/2017/09/03/7bce3ff6-905b-11e7-8df5-c2e5cf46c1e2_story.html?utm_term=.a7850bfcc1ec. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  8. "North Korea claims successful hydrogen bomb test". Deutsche Welle. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  9. "North Korea nuclear test: 'Tunnel collapse' may provide clues". BBC News. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  10. "North Korea says it successfully tested hydrogen bomb, marking sixth nuclear test since 2006". ABC News. 3 September 2017. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-03/north-korea-says-it-successfully-tested-hydrogen-bomb/8867568. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  11. "Sixth Nuclear Test Detected at Punggye-ri, Declared to be a Hydrogen Bomb". 38 North (U.S.-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies). 3 September 2017. http://www.38north.org/2017/09/nuke090317/. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  12. Ankit Panda, Vipin Narang (5 September 2017). "Welcome to the H-Bomb Club, North Korea". The Diplomat. https://thediplomat.com/2017/09/welcome-to-the-h-bomb-club-north-korea/. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  13. "Kim inspects 'nuclear warhead': A picture decoded". BBC News. 3 September 2017. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41139741. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  14. "N. Korea's apparent sixth nuke test estimated to have yield of 100 kilotons: lawmaker". Yonhap. 3 September 2017. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/09/03/0200000000AEN20170903002700315.html. 
  15. "North Korea nuclear test: what we know so far". Guardian. 3 September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/03/north-korea-nuclear-test-what-we-know-so-far. 
  16. "BGR registers a presumed nuclear test in North Korea". Germany BGR. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  17. "North Korean nuke test put at 160 kilotons as Ishiba urges debate on deploying U.S. atomic bombs". The Japan Times. 5 September 2017. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/06/national/north-korean-nuke-test-put-160-kilotons-ishiba-urges-debate-deploying-u-s-atomic-bombs/. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  18. Pamela Falk (3 September 2017). "U.N. Security Council calls emergency meeting after latest North Korea test". CBS News. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  19. Eric Talmadge; Foster Klug; Youkyung Lee; Kim Tong-hyung; Gillian Wong; Mari Yamaguchi (3 September 2017). "World Nations Condemn North Korea for Sixth Nuclear Test". Associated Press. Chiangrai Times. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  20. "Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada in response to North Korea's latest testing of a nuclear weapon". Office of the Prime Minister (Press release). September 3, 2017. 
  21. "Philippines, Indonesia condemn North Korea missile". SunStar Manila. 29 August 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  22. "Singapore 'strongly condemns' North Korea nuclear test: MFA". Channel NewsAsia. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  23. "Malaysia strongly condemns North Korea's missile test". The Star. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  24. Donald J. Trump [realDonaldTrump] (3 September 2017). "North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States....." (Tweet). 
  25. "North Korea nuclear test: Trump condemns 'hostile' move". BBC News. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  26. Graham Russell; Tom McCarthy; Nicola Slawson; Melissa Davey (4 September 2017). "North Korea nuclear test: South Korea says it expects more missile launches – live". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  27. "Mattis warns North Korea of 'massive military response' if it threatens US". The Hill. 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.