Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Japan The Military Science

Update — Sensors Do Not Pick Up North Korean Radioactivity 132

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-than-any-other-radiation-ever-created dept.
Update: 02/19 20:49 GMT by S : The story below has been retracted upon further examination of the research. There has been no detection of radioactivity.
gbrumfiel writes "A global network of sensors has picked up faint traces of radioactive gas that probably seeped from last week's underground nuclear test by North Korea. The detection of xenon-133 in Japan and Russia provides further evidence of the nuclear nature of the test, but offers no hint as to the type of weapon used. Atmospheric modelling by the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna shows that the gas likely seeped from North Korea's test site on 15 February, three days after the original test. That indicates that the test was well sealed deep underground."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Update — Sensors Do Not Pick Up North Korean Radioactivity

Comments Filter:
  • I don't know, guys, after watching this video from KCNA news [youtube.com] I'm kind of concerned. I mean the United States' air force is being overrun with cost and we've only built 63 F-35 aircraft [wikipedia.org]. How can that stand up to the DPRK's 40 Chengdu F-7s?! And defending Pyongyang they have 40 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29s! 40 + 40 = 70 and 70 > 63!!!

    In the video, you can see the pilot explain that they will reduce me to ash! TO ASH! And they only need six minutes! Look at how hard he must have studied to learn how to fly a jet fighter, clearly he knows what he's talking about. Apparently I'm guilty of state sponsored terrorism against the North Koreans and I didn't even know it! Welp, I'm withdrawing all my savings and spending it on hookers and blow, for in six minutes we all might be ash. Catchy tune at the end too, that's a real earworm, I'll be whistling that one all the way to the firestorm they are going to unleash on me.

    Oh great and powerful Korean People's Army Air Force, please have mercy on my electricity having soul! I knew not what I was terrorizing!
    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @03:52PM (#42947539)

      How can that stand up to the DPRK's 40 Chengdu F-7s?

      Indeed, a Chinese copy of a Soviet airplane that was good in the 1970's would scare a Hornet or Eagle pilot shitless.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It didn't scare anyone. In fact the MiG-21 is the F-15's only gun kill.
        The Hornet too, is the only aircraft o have demonstrated self-escort capability, with two hornets shooting down a pair of MiG-21's that were intercepting them. The Hornets kept their bombs onboard and proceded to complete their mission.

        Scared shitless your ass :D

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        The problem is that the hornet and eagle pilots are going to run out of ammo at some point, the planes are going to break down, the pilots will have to sleep, long before the Chinese run out of cheap aircraft... The Soviet T-34 was vastly inferior to the German panzers as well. But to some extent it is very much a numbers game. If you feel that technology assures victory where is the Roman empire today?
        • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:18PM (#42948601)

          The Soviet T-34 was vastly inferior to the German panzers as well.

          Umm, no.

          The T34/76 was considerably superior to any panzer then extant in 1941, when they were first encountered.

          It wasn't until 1944 that the Germans reached the point that the overwhelming majority of Panzers were better than the T34/76.

          And at that point, the Russians were building the T34/85, which was rather better than the latest version of Pzkw-4 (which was about half the German panzer inventory), though somewhat inferior to Pzkw-5 (the other half).

          The only real weakness the T34 series of tanks had was lack of proper communications equipment (only the company commander's tank had a radio, for instance, until late in the war).

          Plus that gawdawful commander's hatch on the earliest T34s....

          If you feel that technology assures victory where is the Roman empire today?

          If you think that the Roman Empire dominated the Classical World due to superior technology, you know even less of history than your comments about T34 suggest.

          Hint: the Legions' doctrine was far more important than the Legions' technology (which was basically the same as everyone else's (iron swords, spear, torso armor and helmet) and considerably inferior to that used by the Persian cavalry at the time (yes, I've always been rather fond of the Persian composite bows as weapons of war - it's really too bad the Romans worked out a counter to it).

          • The Roman expansion seemed to have stopped whenever they ran into cavalry-heavy enemies. They got to Asia Minor, but not into the steppe beyond. Enemies not fighting ordered battles might have been somewhat detrimental to Legion tactics. Hit and run, deny an orderly battle - asymmetric warfare of the ancient world if you like. Not that they ventured often into those territories, but if I recall correctly, whenever they did, it was without significant success.
            • The Roman expansion seemed to have stopped whenever they ran into cavalry-heavy enemies.

              The Romans conquered the Persians at one point. Couldn't make it stick for more than a generation, but they managed.

              They also conquered Spain and France. Against those barbarians that you think beat them.

              The Romans did NOT successfully defeat the Germans, of course. Teutoberger Wald wasn't actually a case of "asymmetric warfare", since it involved a large Roman Army and a larger German Army (and a stupid Roman Gene

              • I am not talking about Spain, France or Germany. Those weren't exactly horsemen, no? I was talking about their encounters with nomadic horsemen around the lower Danube.
              • by DrVomact (726065)

                The Romans did NOT successfully defeat the Germans, of course. Teutoberger Wald wasn't actually a case of "asymmetric warfare", since it involved a large Roman Army and a larger German Army (and a stupid Roman General, which was the real cause of the Roman defeat).

                But the Germans were not trained to face three Roman legions in a head-on battle. Their winning strategy—formulated by Hermann/Arminius, who was a German hostage raised as a Roman, and conversant with Roman tactics—was to engage the legions while they were strung out in marching order in wooded, marshy country. I would think that in terms of fighting power, this was an "asymmetric" battle, with the Germans being the weaker, and using tactics that negated the Roman's superior training and customa

                • beg your pardon. How was the region occupied by the Germans any less desirable than that of the Gauls? Or was it that the Roman did not appreciate women who can bring large numbers of beer steins at once? (Give me a ten stein girl any day!). I think I catch a whiff of sour grapes (or is it malt?) here.

                  Germany was less desirable than Gaul largely because the rivers ran in the wrong directions - large-scale trade pretty much required water routes (leading to Rome, if you were Roman), and the Germanies didn

                  • by DrVomact (726065)

                    Germany was less desirable than Gaul largely because the rivers ran in the wrong directions - large-scale trade pretty much required water routes (leading to Rome, if you were Roman), and the Germanies didn't have too much of that sort of thing.

                    Unlike, say, France and Spain, which had direct access to the Med and rivers flowing into same.

                    Thanks, that certainly makes sense (much more so than "hellhole"). I'd never considered this explanation. I believe the Romans held on to the Rhine and used it for military communications and, I must suppose, for trade; but it's the last North to South river for quite a while as you go eastward. So I can see that the German lands weren't worth the price the Romans would have to pay to take and hold them. Despite the uniquely talented beer-bearing women.

          • I have to ask, what was the Roman's counter to composite bowfire? They seem to have struggled with mounted archers like the parthians, persians and hun.
        • by VAXcat (674775)
          Commenting on the reported much higher quality of the Nazi's armaments, Stalin is reported to have said "Quantity has a quality all its own".
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          The problem is that the hornet and eagle pilots are going to run out of ammo at some point, the planes are going to break down, the pilots will have to sleep, long before the Chinese run out of cheap aircraft...

          \

          Well no. No they won't. Have you seen our military budget? Have you seen our military technology? Are you not aware that the USA is the world's largest arms dealer? If we need extra aircraft all we have to do is stop selling them to everyone else.

          to some extent it is very much a numbers game.

          Yes, that's true. They can afford more losses, but we can deal out more losses.

          If you feel that technology assures victory where is the Roman empire today?

          Wishing they used less lead in their cosmetics.

      • how high up in the chain of command you have to be to realize how hopelessly outclassed you are in North Korea?

        As in, do the fighter pilots know? How about their immediate superiors? How far up does one have to be before you really know the truth?

    • by eksith (2776419)

      F-35s won't be nearly in enough quantity or with enough distribution to make an effect and even if they were, I think we've pretty clearly established throughout the history of the U.S. technology alone don't win wars. And I do mean "win" I.E. conclude with no further conflict and the unconditional surrender of the enemy.

      Only the North Koreans will win against North Korea.

      • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:29PM (#42948747)

        I think we've pretty clearly established throughout the history of the U.S. technology alone don't win wars.

        Actually, we've established that US technology alone NEVER wins wars.

        What we've established that wins wars is US production - we didn't win WW2 with superior technology, we won it because we could do things like build a military up from "small" to "fricking huge" while still having enough production surplus to provide weapons/supplies/whatever to everyone else in the world.

        Note that one of the most interesting bits of trivia about WW2 is that the USA, during the war, built more aircraft carriers than existed in the entire world before the war.

        And, more importantly, we built more transports (Liberty ships, anyone) than existed in the entire world before the war.

        In the mid '30s, a German general, doing an analysis of mechanized warfare concepts noted that the USA had ~75% of the world's production capability in internal combustion engines. And quite properly concluded that that meant that going to war with America would be suicidal for Germany.

        Too bad (for Hitler) that Hitler didn't read that sort of report.

        • I think you could make the case that the Allies won the war in large part due to superior cryptography. If the British (and later the US) had not been breaking the German and Japanese naval codes for most of the war, things might have turned out very differently.

        • by Smauler (915644)

          What we've established that wins wars is US production - we didn't win WW2 with superior technology, we won it because we could do things like build a military up from "small" to "fricking huge" while still having enough production surplus to provide weapons/supplies/whatever to everyone else in the world.

          Not to worry you with actual history, but if any one nation won WW2 it was the USSR.

          Note that one of the most interesting bits of trivia about WW2 is that the USA, during the war, built more aircraft c

          • Hitler did not initiate war with the US.

            Hitler declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor.

            Granted, it's not like the US was completely neutral up to that point, but changing it into open warfare was completely on him.

        • "We have these things called Aircraft Carriers. Planes land on them."

          One of the more ascerbic utterances of last year, I still laugh when I hear it.

          Quantity does indeed have a quality all of its own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_United_States_military_aircraft [wikipedia.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh great and powerful Korean People's Army Air Force, please have mercy on my electricity having soul! I knew not what I was terrorizing!

      Indeed. Even this slashdot story is obviously a cover-up by the Western Powers. It is not radioactivity from their recent peaceful bomb test... it's simply the latent power emitted from the mind of the Great Leader.

    • by sheehaje (240093)

      Don't worry, we are working on some advanced ballistics [dailymotion.com] capabilities of our own!

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:08PM (#42947739)
      Maybe if our military leaders had hats that were as big as that guy's hat, we wouldn't be lagging so far behind North Korea in air superiority. And democracy. I mean, we don't even have "Democratic" in our country name!
      • by steelfood (895457)

        And even though this is a country "of the people, for the people, and by the people" nowhere does "people" appear in "the United States of America."

        I propose we change the name of this country to "the Democratic People's United States of America." Or better yet, to "the United Democratic People's States of America."

    • by RDW (41497)

      Catchy tune at the end too, that's a real earworm, I'll be whistling that one all the way to the firestorm they are going to unleash on me.

      It's OK, but really not in the same league as Excellent Horse-Like Lady:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5tkXgw2OMY [youtube.com]

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      Well, to be fair if they fly anywhere near a lightning storm the F-35s are screwed. [dailytech.com]
    • They'd love you over at http://reddit.com/r/Pyongyang [reddit.com]

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Man, that's a big hat.

    • How can that stand up to the DPRK's 40 Chengdu F-7s?! And defending Pyongyang they have 40 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29s! 40 + 40 = 70 and 70 > 63!!!

      Traditionally, we've always thought that 40+40 = 80.

      Or were you using NK math?

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      That's why they need long range nukes. The US has the most powerful conventional military in the world and they know they couldn't win if an invasion came, so the only solution is mutually assured nuclear annihilation. Well, the US would survive, but probably won't risk millions of deaths and contamination. Probably.

      This is what happens when you label a country part of an "axis of evil", play war games off its shores and go around invading other countries you don't like.

      • by gtall (79522)

        Never read much history about N. Korea have you.

      • Did you really just try to pull the "US evil, North Korea sane" card? I applaud your skills.
        Please, for your next trick, tell me why Hitler wasn't such a bad guy. THAT would be brilliant bit of work.

    • by PPH (736903)

      They'll scramble any time now. Just as soon as those spare parts for their MiGs arrive. Currently back-ordered with the Soviet Union.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      You are being funny but the sad fact is the F-35 is yet another techno turkey like the F-22, and it'll spend more time on the ground than it will in the air. It also is so damned expensive we'll never be able to afford to replace our aging fleets with these super expensive techno turkeys so we really are gonna be at a disadvantage when you can flyaway a SU27 for less than 40 mil and a MiG29 for less than 60 mil.

      We need to kill the techno turkeys, kill the Ford carrier or at the very least make it the last o

      • As nice as the warthog is, they are obsolete. Modern SPAAGs are designed to blow planes like the A-10 out of the sky and their cannons out-range the GAU-8. It is only useful against opponents that have no modern AA weapons.

        The solution is far cheaper aircraft in greater numbers. A turboprop gives far better efficiency below Mach .6. There was supposedly a 3 barrel version of the GAU-8 for such an aircraft, but it was canceled. The slower speed allows the aircraft to operate from very small airfields and
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Frankly what we need is another super tweet, cheap, small, and able to carry plenty of firepower and with long loiter. And if you have ever seen the pics the Warhogs can take just insane amounts of punishment and keep on flying but you are right that it would probably be cheaper to build something around the Texan and then supplement it with the AC130 for when you need the heavy ground pound.

          But frankly we are still acting like its the cold war, we are building all these stealth based techno turkeys and we

          • Heck, you can mount rocket pods on just about anything that can physically carry them. Some ultralight aircraft could manage to carry a few if you really wanted to. Slap some rocket pods on a light aircraft and you'll have a functional light duty attack aircraft at fraction of the cost. Fabric covering makes repairs easy and minimizes the radar signature.

            Even on ground stuff we have troops using TOW rockets at $20,000 each instead of $250 106mm HE shell from a M40 recoiless rifle. Yea Yea, the sustained
            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              That is why I think we need to build a modern version of the M50 Ontos [wikipedia.org] as it was cheap, reliable, and could pack a serious punch. Today we could probably make a 4 barrel autocannon instead of having it single shot, build them on the Bradley or M113 and you'd have a cheap reliable unit that could punch holes in just about anything you wanted.

              But sadly just as our planes get "replaced" with vaporware so too will we keep right on building techno turkeys and betting on the missile to save us, but as you rightly

              • Ontos was such a wonderful concept. For a first try it was remarkably capable, further development could have improved it.. Sad that it was trashed after Vietnam because the military was only interested in stuff that would bust tanks at 2 miles.

                I believe a 3 round autoloader for the M40 was developed, but never adopted.

                Another option is to simply mount 70mm Hydra rockets in place of the TOW on the Brady and on the M113 (Though ditching the Bradly would be a great thing too.) Or perhaps built an Ontos
                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  Sorry I don't know the name of it, you probably do, the new APC with the triangle bottom that diverts blasts from IEDs away from the crew while looking kinda like a big truck? I always thought THAT would be a better platform to build on than the Bradly as its pretty obvious that future wars will end up more in urban areas than in the middle of the desert and that thing had plenty of armor. It also probably wouldn't be a bad idea to come up with a new M113, just give it a beefier powertrain and thicker armor

                  • Not exactly sure which one you're talking about either as there are several that fit that description. Wheeled vehicles have their place, but tracks are the way to go in urban environments because you can climb over obstacles that stop wheeled vehicles..

                    As for an improved M113, you'd want to take a look at the MTLV sometimes known as the M113A4. A longer chassis gives greater troop and cargo capacity. I'm not quite sold on the diesel electric drive, but at least they're trying something that has a reason
                    • by hairyfeet (841228)

                      Sorry I can't remember the name, i think it was an animal name, cougar or panther or something. The only reason i mention it was because I saw a video where the enemy set off a hell of an IED under one and while it trashed the tires and caused serious (but fixable) damage every single soldier walked away with nothing worse than a bruise or two from bouncing around inside.

                      But if they can do the same thing with an M113? great, all for it, the M113 is like a Ford truck, nothing fancy but reliable as hell and g

  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @03:47PM (#42947481)

    This means we can finally get new Mac Pros!

  • When they had their accident above ground.
  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @03:56PM (#42947585) Journal

    Isn't it obvious? The NKoreans are all over THIS WEBSITE buying as much Uranium as they can! [amazon.com]

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:21PM (#42947875)

    A story about North Korea and you guys put a Japanese flag up?

    • by tgd (2822)

      A story about North Korea and you guys put a Japanese flag up?

      The summary did mention Japan, and if a Slashdot editor actually read a summary, we should be positive and encourage him or her, not fault the missing of the whole point of it. We need to reward improved behavior.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PRMan (959735)
      <American>
      Aren't they all the same? I mean, I can't tell them apart...
      </American>
    • Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

      Hell no, and it's not over now!

    • Japan is rightfully part of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's World. Dear Leader allows them to think they're independent, that's all.
    • by steelfood (895457)

      It's possible the slashdot editors believe the Korean peninsula to still be a part of the Japanese Empire.

  • If a 'well sealed' nuclear test releases 'faint traces', let's be thankful that it wasn't a 'badly sealed' one. I mean, wouldn't a 'well sealed' one mean no traces at all?
    • If a 'well sealed' nuclear test releases 'faint traces', let's be thankful that it wasn't a 'badly sealed' one. I mean, wouldn't a 'well sealed' one mean no traces at all?

      This is not the case, and the reason likely is that we're dealing with nuclear instead of chemical measurements.

      IANA chemist or physicist, but from what I understand it's like this: while we can do pretty damn accurate measurements of chemicals, it's nothing compared to how well we can measure radioactive isotopes. They emit radiation by definition and therefore broadcast their presence. What's more, some specific radiation signatures only appear after nuclear tests.

      Basically, there is an absurd amount of a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For those interested, the reason security forces are trying to determine the content of the gas is that everyone is very interested in whether U or Pu was used to construct the bomb. If U was used, it is possible that they are receiving the materials and/or know-how from Iran, and that Iran may be using NK as a proxy for testing in exchange for food/tech items which Iran can purchase using gold through Turkey to get around sanctions.

    • by rasmusbr (2186518)

      This may be a stupid question, but how do we know that North Korea didn't simply drill a hole, say 1000 meters deep, fill it with 7,000 thousand tonnes of chemical explosives and a liberal amount of electric detonators and blow that up to make it look like they have nukes?

      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        That should be 7,000 tonnes, not 7,000,000.

        I believe the latest test was estimated at close to 7 kilotons, which should be totally possible to do with chemical explosives.

        • That's rather the point of trying to detect radioactive byproducts. It could very well be they used purely chemical explosives. Now that the first claim to detection of radioactive byproducts has been retracted, the probability that they faked it using chemical explosives goes up.

          And the world's intelligence agencies and nuclear watchdogs will keep poking around. It's rather important to find out if they really did or if this is more of the usual fakery.

  • Kim Jong Un is growing!
  • From TFS:

    ...the gas likely seeped from North Korea's test site on 15 February, three days after the original test. That indicates that the test was well sealed deep underground."

    My quibble is with the word I highligted: "well sealed". The Nature article (TFA #1) puts it like this:

    The delay between the test and detection of the radioisotopes is likely to indicate that the nuclear weapon was well-buried deep underground....

    The original German announcement (TFA 3) is... well, it's in German. But the equivalent

  • It's hard telling what NK will do but when you are that small, have little left to loose and a couple axes to grind, extreme becomes an inviting option. Especially if you've evolved in a bubble of your own manufactured reality. It might be funny to see them puff-up about their "military might" but we underestimated them once before and it didn't go well. In fact it REALLY didn't go well - for 15 years.

    • but we underestimated them once before and it didn't go well. In fact it REALLY didn't go well - for 15 years.

      Which 15 years are you talking about?

      1950-1953, perhaps? During the Korean War (note that we annihilated the NK Army in the first year of that war, then spent the rest of the war fighting the PLA)?

      In any case, that's only four years. Where are the other eleven?

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

        In any case, that's only four years. Where are the other eleven?

        Sorry, typo on my part. You're correct. I was thinking about Vietnam but typing about Korean. I'll show myself the door...

    • Given your reference to "15 years", it appears that you don't know the difference between Korea and Vietnam.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:52PM (#42949001) Journal

    I'm not sure I'm convinced that DPRK even HAS nukes.
    0) the Ryongchon disaster - a truly enormous conventional explosion of mysterious origin, variously assigned 'colliding trains with LNG', 'train of ammonium nitrate', and other really explosive stuff suggests that DPRK could have been shipping colossal amounts of explosives for years.

    1) the 2006 nuke test was rated at 1 kt, and 'some' radioactivity was detected. Pretty much sounds like a great pile of explosives interleaved with old Fiestaware dishes would give about the same result.

    2) the 2009 test was likewise not much more than a fizzle, nuclearly-speaking, rated at 2-4 kt. Still well within the range of "giant frikkin' minecraft-style pile of explosives".

    3) the 2013 test has now been estimated at 5kt. Huge, yes, but still doable. (One 50-car train of explosives = 5kt explosives. The DPRK could easily assemble 50 boxcars of explosives over 4 years.)

    (tinfoil hat/)
    4) it fits the narrative; with AlQaeda a pathetic rump of an organization reduced to bombing girls schools in remote Afghani provinces, we need an "enemy" to justify ongoing defense spending and 'alertness'.

    (/tinfoil hat)

    • Minecraft is now being used in an explicative simile. I love it.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It doesn't have to be 5 kilotons of explosives. It just has to be equal to 5 kilotons of TNT. I dare say modern explosives get you more bang per unit mass.

  • Can someone explain the retraction here? The Nature link just gives a 404, while the other link just goes to a logon page and there doesn't seem to be any other content on the site.

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.

Working...