North Korea nuclear test felt in Donegal

Published Tuesday, 12 February 2013
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A third underground nuclear test carried out by North Korea - despite warnings from the international community - has been recorded on seismometers in Dublin and Donegal, it has been revealed.

North Korea nuclear test felt in Donegal
A poster of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). (© Getty)

According to the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN), seismometers picked up the "explosion-like" event approximately 11 minutes after the test.

Tom Blake, the network's director, said that the explosion from the nuclear test propagated through the ground measuring 4.9 magnitude on the Richter Scale.

State media in North Korea said the country had successfully detonated a "miniaturised" nuclear device in a "safe manner" at a test site in the north east of the country.

It said the test was aimed at coping with what they called "outrageous" US hostility that "violently" undermined their rights to launch satellites.

This is the state's first nuclear test since leader Kim Jong Un took power in December 2011 following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.

A country long estranged from the West, experts say regular tests are needed to perfect North Korea's goal of building nuclear warheads small enough to be placed on long-range missiles.

The atomic test - North Korea's third since 2006 - is expected to take the capital Pyongyang closer to possessing nuclear-tipped missiles designed to strike the United States.

Tom Blake is also Head of the National Data Centre, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).

Our data suggests the test was a more powerful blast than North Korea's two previous tests.

Tom Blake

"The energy wave generated by North Korea's nuclear test was clearly picked up by seismometers in north Donegal and the Dublin Mountains approximately 11 minutes after it occurred at 2:58 AM (GMT) on Tuesday," he said.

"It was located roughly in the region of the previous North Korean nuclear tests of 2006 and 2009. The South Korean defence ministry has provided preliminary yield estimates for the test of between 6 to 7 kilotons."

Mr Blake said seismometers are so sensitive that they can easily pick up strong seismic activity on the other side of the world.

This latest test has been met with widespread condemnation from the international community.

Foreign Secretary William Hague called the action a "violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions".

"North Korea's development of its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities poses a threat to international and regional security. Its repeated provocations only serve to increase regional tension, and hinder the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula."

Mr Hague said UN resolutions committed the security council to taking "significant action" in the event of a further launch or nuclear test by North Korea.

"The UK will begin urgent consultations with security council partners calling for a robust response to this latest development," he said.

"North Korea has a choice to make - it can either engage constructively with the international community, cease developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and return to negotiations, or face increasing isolation and further action by the security council and the international community."

Eamon Gilmore, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, described the action as "reckless and provocative".

"I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the test by North Korea of a nuclear explosive device.

"This action threatens peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. It is also a major challenge to our efforts to advance global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, a longstanding priority of Irish foreign policy," the Tánaiste added.

"Nuclear weapons are never a means to guarantee peace and security; far from it, they pose the greatest threat of all.

"The regime in Pyongyang must realise that today's act is reckless and provocative and will only isolate it further from the international community."

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in New York on North Korea's nuclear test on Tuesday afternoon.

US President Barack Obama called the move a "highly provocative act" that threatens US security and international peace.

In a statement President Obama promised to "continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies."

He also urged "swift and credible action by the international community."

The president said North Korea has "increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Aaron in Antrim wrote (712 days ago):
Realist, are you serious?! Quote "Iran (which seems to everyone else to be one of the most peace-loving nations on earth)". Are you serious? Maybe sarcastic? If not, did you not explore and read into what they did to their own people when the students opposed Ahmadinejad? Iran is a brutually oppressive nation who vows to 'wipe Israel off the map', doesn't sound very peaceful to me. Never mind the severe persecution you face if you're not a Muslim there. North Korean people are fantastic. They are humerous and make the best of what they have (very little) but their leader is an evil power thirsty being. The only power the DPRK have is the threat of a nuclear weapon, this is the only way they can get the worlds attention, otherwise they'd be a forgotten, poor, communist state in which the vast majority of citizens are malnourished and starving. It is interesting to read China's disapproval of their noisy neighbours, I wonder what strain this will put on the relations.
Horatio in Lower Falls Area wrote (713 days ago):
Its a disgrace that those Koreans can fire Nukes with no punishment but I get 32 hours community service for letting off fireworks in the park?!?! If you see justice tell him I'm looking for him lmao
marty in omagh wrote (713 days ago):
i smell another war, only this time with nukes, these guys in Korea have no common sense about what would happen if they started firing nukes and they dont care either, Kim Jong Ll is a kid who just lost his father and is probably full of resentment towards the usa, if he has a kiddy fit then it could lead to another world war..
Realist in England wrote (713 days ago):
Whatever this says of North Korea, I think it says more of Obama and Cameron. I wonder what leaders like Bush and Blair thought when they invaded places. How many lives were acceptable for the oil deals, or not looking weak, or getting rid of someone they didn't like, etc.? Iraq (oil), Afghanistan (saving face), Libya (personal score), threatening Iran (which seems to everyone else to be one of the most peace-loving nations on earth), etc.. If ever there was a clear case for removing a modern-day regime that causes untold misery to its people and seems psychotic enough to detonate nuclear bombs in anger - this has got to be it. Yet America (with tens of thousands of troops in Korea) and Britain won't touch the place. For the sake of the local people, I sincerely hope they find some massive oil fields.
norman.d in bangor wrote (714 days ago):
the world is more dangerous today than ever it was countries being armed to the teeth its become big business in britain and america they are arming the middle east countries the most unstable region and now north korea joing the arms race all preparing for another world war
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