Mushroom cloud over North Korea 

US says forest fire, the South Korean press says it was a nuke.

Somebody's full of crap here. Given that South Korea (the press and government) usually tries a lot harder to ignore hostile activity on the part of their northern "brethren" than the US does, I'm inclined to believe that it really was a nuke. There's gotta be a way to tell definitively whether or not a nuke went off (a Tacitus reader suggests looking at seismic activity).

Apparently this all happened three days ago, on the anniversary of the founding of the country. Nice to hear about it now.

UPDATE: The Yonhap news agency of South Korea cites unidentified sources who claim that there was seismic activity related to the suspected blasts and that there's a fresh crater two miles wide in North Korea. This more recent AP article quotes some expert:

"It's difficult to say, but it won't be easy for North Korea to conduct a nuclear test without resulting in massive losses of its own people," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert in Seoul. "I think there is a (greater) possibility that it is a simple accident, rather than a deliberate nuclear test."

Right, because we know North Korea would never endanger the lives of its citizens. Meanwhile, South Korea's unification minister now claims that it's unlikely to have been a nuke.

I don't think South Korea should be that worried, given that North Korea probably already has enough conventional weaponry to destroy the entire peninsula several times over. Here are some other concerns, though:

(1) Can any of these weapons hit the US?
(2) Would North Korea sell these weapons to others?


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