Of Faint Trembles and Distant Blasts …

“The North Korean test appears to have been a nuclear detonation but was fairly small by traditional standards, and possibly a failure or a partial success, federal and private analysts said yesterday.
Throughout history, the first detonations of aspiring nuclear powers have tended to pack the destructive power of 10,000 to 60,000 tons — 10 to 60 kilotons — of conventional high explosives. But the strength of the North Korean test appears to have been a small fraction of that: around a kiloton or less, according to scientists monitoring the global arrays of seismometers that detect faint trembles in the earth from distant blasts.”

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