The Spectacle Blog

Nuclear Dud?

By on 10.10.06 | 10:32AM

In today's Washington Times, Bill Gertz reports that North Korea's weapons test was not nuclear. The Washington Post cites other U.S. sources claiming the explosion was a half a kiloton (which is less than 1/40th the power of the blast caused by the A-bomb the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki). Meanwhile,

Russia says it was definitely nuclear, actually five-to-15 kilotons. It's hard to know what to read in the large discrepancy between the estimates, so, like everything else involving North Korea, this may remain shrouded in mystery.

Either way, this was clearly an intentionally provocative act by North Korea, and how we respond has huge ramifications for the Iranian nuclear crisis. If, after all the tough talk following the test, all we can muster up is a toothless UN Security Council resolution watered-down by China and Russia, it sends the signal to Iran that there are no consequences for a country thumbing its nose at the rest of the world in pursuit of nuclear weapons.   

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