From the AP:
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test. The country’s official Korean Central News Agency said the test was performed and there was no radioactive leakage from the site.
South Korea’s news agency is reporting the same thing:
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean government officials said North Korea performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test Monday, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korean officials could not immediately confirm the report.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun convened an urgent meeting of security advisers over the issue, Yonhap reported.
The North said last week it would conduct a nuclear test as part of its deterrent against a possible U.S. invasion.
The director of South Korea’s monitoring center that is watching for a test with sound and seismic detectors declined to immediately comment on the report. The U.S. Geological Survey said it had detected no seismic activity in North Korea, although it was not clear whether a blast would be strong enough for its sensors.
Update: Earlier today, North Korea said it was considering delaying the test:
North Korea might defer its first nuclear test by three months, giving time to the United States to lift financial sanctions and return to the negotiation table, a media report said on Sunday.
“If Americans don’t start bilateral dialogue with Pyongyang and lift sanctions, them Kim Jong-il is expected to give orders to carry on with the test, most likely in the second half of December or early January,” the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ quoted anonymous Russian military officials as saying.
Kim Jong-il can be trusted as far as he can be thrown.
Update II: Reuters has more:
South Korea’s presidential Blue House said a tremor had been detected in North Korea on Monday.
It said South Korea’s Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources had detected a tremor of a magnitude 3.58 to 3.7 at 0135 GMT.
Officials in neighboring Japan and China had no immediate comment on the reports.
Update III: Fox News is reporting that the United States Geological Society says that some activity is coming in right now but there isn’t any magintude or location yet. More information in about 30 minutes from the USGS.
Update IV: Fox News is also reporting that NoKo gave China a twenty minute warning. China then immediately informed the US, Japan, and South Korea.
Update V: Fox News is now reporting that US defense officials can’t confirm the reports of the test, yet South Korea has raised its alert level in response to the test.
Also, Bret Baier from Fox News says that the US government confirms that China did pass on the warning it received from NoKo
Update VI: According to Fox’s James Rosen, the White House has confirmed that something did happen in NoKo and that they believe that it did test a nuclear weapon. However, iit may not have been the result that NoKo would have wanted. The goal was a 400 kiloton explosion but it came in much smaller than that.
Hugh Hewitt remarks:
The Clinton-Kim 1994 Agreement, midwifed by Jummy Carter, bears its fruit.
Blue Crab Boulevard is spot on:
As the West fiddles, the world begins to burn. As the American political scene descends into a cartoonish hell where the stupid phone sex antics of a disgraced Congressman take center stage, a real, nuclear hell is born. Tomorrow, all the papers will have wall to wall coverage of the Foley matter while Kim plots his next move and Ahmadinejad goes about midwifing his bomb. Very good, folks.
Update VIII: Just in from Fox News: USGS is now saying that it detected a 4.2 magnitude tremor in NoKo.
Update IX: Rafael Abreu from USGS is on Fox News and reports that the 3.58 to 4.2 descrepency is due to lack of data from the first reading. Once additional data came through, it was recalculated, which resulted in the 4.2 on the Richter scale. There’s a possibility that the result could be bumped up if additional data becomes available.
Update X: A statement from President Bush will be released tonight. Obviously we’ll hear a lot more on this tomorrow
Prediction: The Democrats will come out tomorrow morning and place the blame for NoKo’s test squarely at the feet of President Bush in an attempt to capitalize politically on this turn of events. Of course, the Dems will conveniently forget that it was Bill Clinton and Co. who bought Crazy Kim’s no nuclear weapons promise. And the nutroots will insist that President Bush forced Crazy Kim into testing the nuke because he refused to sit down with him in bilateral talks.
We’ve figured that North Korea has had these things for a few years now, largely in part thanks to -trying my best to be apolitical here- the Clinton Administration’s pseudo Sunshine Policy during the 90s….
Hopefully the test goes as well as North Korea’s 7 dud barrage that was launched on the 4th of July this year. But if their nuke test is successful, try to remember that building a nuke is one thing, building one small enough to be mated to a delivery system that ACTUALLY WORKS is another matter altogether.
Here’s my question. Does a successful test scare Japan into building an arsenal of their own?
I’m shutting down now. I’ll have all the latest after a few hours of sleep.
Update XII (Lorie adds): Be sure to read Josh Manchester’s very timely, and extremely well thought out, article at Tech Central Station about what the reaction of the U.S. should be to this very scenario.