North Korea has hailed its sixth “perfect success” of a nuclear test. The seismic readings indicate it is bigger than any other it has conducted, but the apparent collapse of a tunnel at the nuclear test site could provide valuable information, nuclear defence analyst Catherine Dill writes.
Seismic readings from the US and China place the explosion at a magnitude of 6.3, so we already know that this is likely to be the most powerful of North Korea’s nuclear tests.
This magnitude roughly corresponds to the lower end of predicted yields of a thermonuclear weapon – basically the second generation of nuclear weapon, which works in two stages by having one bomb set off another bomb to generate a larger explosion
It is not yet clear exactly what nuclear weapon design was tested, but based on the seismic signature, the yield of this test definitely is an order of magnitude higher than the yields of the previous tests. -BBC
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