10/11/2006

North Korean test 'went wrong,' U.S. official says - CNN.com

10/10 - The United States cannot say for sure the underground detonation was a nuclear blast; the working assumption is that it was, but not very successful...

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States believes North Korea attempted to detonate a nuclear device but that "something went wrong," and the blast was relatively small, a U.S. government official said Tuesday.

The official confirmed North Korea informed the Chinese government before the test that it would involve a four-kiloton nuclear device, a small explosion compared with the 15-kiloton nuclear tests that India and Pakistan conducted in 1998.

Also, an unnamed North Korean diplomat admitted the test was smaller than expected, the South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh reported Tuesday.

The United States cannot say for sure the underground detonation was a nuclear blast; the working assumption is that it was, but not very successful, said the official who spoke to CNN. (Dud or deception? Read the full story)

Another U.S. official said it is possible North Korea may attempt a second test but cautioned there's no evidence of any preparations at another site.

"I would not say we expect it, but it would not be a total surprise," the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly.

Russia's defense minister said Tuesday that his agency has estimated the power of the explosion at between five and 15 kilotons.

North Korean test 'went wrong,' U.S. official says - CNN.com

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