Tag Archives: Nuclear

Obama cyber chief: Iran may ramp up cyberattacks after Trump ditched nuclear deal

Obama cyber chief: Iran may ramp up cyberattacks after Trump ditched nuclear deal“I think we should expect to see an increase in Iranian cyberactivity against us,” said Michael Daniel, the former White House cyber coordinator, in an interview on the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery."



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North Korea to join efforts for total nuclear weapons test ban

North Korea to join efforts for  total nuclear weapons test banNorth Korea plans to join international efforts to implement a total ban on nuclear weapons tests, it told the United Nations disarmament body Tuesday. “DPRK will join international desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests,” North Korea’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea’s official acronym.



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The Reason the Navy Is Exploding Bombs Near Its New Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

The Reason the Navy Is Exploding Bombs Near Its New Nuclear Aircraft CarrierWill the new USS Ford carrier be able to withstand major underwater explosions? The US Navy is planning to finalize weapons integration on its new USS Ford carrier and explode bombs in various sea conditions near the ship to prepare for major combat on the open seas, service officials said. Service weapons testers will detonate a wide range of bombs, to include a variety of underwater sea mines to assess the carrier’s ability to withstand enemy attacks “Shock Trials,” as they are called, are typically one of the final stages in the Navy process designed to bring warships from development to operational deployment.



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North Korea details plans to dismantle nuclear bomb test site

North Korea details plans to dismantle nuclear bomb test siteBy Christine Kim and David Brunnstrom SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear bomb test site for sometime between May 23 and 25 in order to uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, the country’s state media reported on Saturday a month ahead of a historic summit. The official Korean Central New Agency said dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts. “The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground … in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test,” KCNA said.



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Iran FM in Moscow as Russia moves to save nuclear deal

Iran FM in Moscow as Russia moves to save nuclear dealIran’s foreign minister was in Moscow on Monday as Russia tries to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in the wake of Washington’s pull-out, pushing it into rare cooperation with Europe. Iranian state television Irib broadcasted images of Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow, saying he had arrived in Russia at 4am (01:00 GMT) on Monday and was due to meet Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.



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North Korea to dismantle nuclear site ahead of Trump-Kim summit

North Korea to dismantle nuclear site ahead of Trump-Kim summitNorth Korea has announced it will hold a ceremony in late May for the dismantling of its nuclear test site.  The country’s central news agency said tunnels will be collapsed with explosions, blocking entrances, while observation facilities, research buildings and security posts will be closed.  The event, which journalists across the world including from America and South Korea will be invited to cover, will take place between May 23 and May 25, depending on weather.  The news came as Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said America was prepared to help the regime boom economically if it denuclearises.  The developments precede Donald Trump’s historic meeting with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.  David Beasley, executive director of the UN’s World Food Programme, said on Saturday that he believed North Korean leaders wanted change after a four-day visit to the country.  He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We must capture this moment and work diligently to move the ball forward down the road toward progress and peace. “And I am hopeful. I do believe there’s a genuine desire to move forward, but time will tell.” Mr Pompeo, who has visited North Korea twice in recent weeks, said the country could have a bright economic future if it quickly agrees to give up its nuclear weapons.  If North Korea took “bold action” to quickly denuclearise, then the US was prepared to reward Pyongyang by propelling it towards the same levels of prosperity as the neighbouring South, he said at a press conference in Washington. "If Chairman Kim chooses the right path, there is a future brimming with peace and prosperity for the North Korean people," Mr Pompeo added.   His comments set a positive tone for the talks in the Asian city-state of Singapore on June 12, and follow a goodwill gesture from Pyongyang after Kim agreed last week to release three Americans who had been held prisoner for over a year. Lee Hsien Loong, the Singaporean prime minister, has hailed the decision to hold the “historic and momentous event” in his tiny nation, and the news has been largely welcomed by the public, despite concerns over tight security, roadblocks and traffic chaos on the 85-mile long island. The local media has already touted several possible venues for the high stakes meeting, including the glitzy Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino resort, which is owned by Sheldon Adelson, an American business magnate and one of the largest donors to the Republican party. However, the luxury five-star Shangri-la hotel, a short distance from Singapore’s main shopping boulevard, is “on top of the list” of likely locations for the meeting, said Toby Koh, group managing director of Ademco Security. The hotel has hosted annual meetings of defence ministers and military chiefs since 2002 and its security procedures were “down pat,” said Mr Koh. “They don’t really need to do a lot more to improve it.” But the luxurious settings that Singapore has to offer will do little to detract from the difficulty of the negotiations that the two leaders face.   In spite of easing tensions in recent months, Pyongyang has given few indications of being willing to go beyond sweeping statements in support of the concept of denuclearisation. Washington, meanwhile, remains committed to the “complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear programme. Nevertheless, Mr Pompeo described his meeting with Kim last week in Pyongyang as “warm” as they communicated “mutual objectives.” “We talked about the fact that America has often in history had adversaries who we are now close partners with and our hope that we can achieve the same with respect to North Korea,” he said.



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Iran deal: State Department nuclear expert quits after Trump withdraws US from agreement

Iran deal: State Department nuclear expert quits after Trump withdraws US from agreementA top nuclear expert has resigned from the US State Department after Donald Trump announced the US would pull out from the Iran nuclear deal. Richard Johnson, the assistant coordinator for Iran nuclear issues at the Office of Nuclear Implementation, reportedly handed in his resignation this week. A civil servant, Mr Johnson had been involved in failed negotiations including the UK, France and Germany to save the deals after Mr Trump threatened to pull out.



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North Korea's nuclear test site to be destroyed within weeks

North Korea's nuclear test site to be destroyed within weeksNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s promise to dismantle his country’s only known nuclear test site later this month has shone the spotlight on the secretive facility near the Chinese border. The Punggye-ri test site, located beneath a mountain in the country’s northeast, has hosted all six nuclear tests Pyongyang has conducted — most recently last September. The announcement comes as the diplomatic push for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons gathers pace ahead of Kim’s eagerly-awaited — and unprecedented — summit with US President Donald Trump on June 12.



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North Korea Plans To Dismantle Nuclear Test Sites By End Of May

North Korea Plans To Dismantle Nuclear Test Sites By End Of MaySEOUL ― North Korea has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear test site



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After North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb inside a mountain, scientists watched it move

After North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb inside a mountain, scientists watched it moveWhen North Korea detonates nuclear bombs, it brings the devices into tunnels dug deep inside Mount Mantap, a granite peak over 7,000 feet tall. Mantap has now sustained six such detonations, with the last of which — set off on September 3, 2017 — moving the mountain more than 11 feet (3.5 meters), according to researchers who used space imaging technology, called synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, to map how much Mantap's surface shifted and then settled back down during the blast. They published their results in the journal
Science on Thursday. Although this technique isn't yet used to rapidly detect attempts at secretive nuclear testing today, it could help do so in the future.  SEE ALSO: Extreme Arctic heat wave in 2016 wouldn't have happened without climate change "World peace benefits from the adherence to internationally-negotiated nuclear-test-ban treaties that strive to promote the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons," Teng Wang, lead author of the study and a tectonics senior research fellow at Earth Observatory of Singapore, said in an email.  "Surveillance of clandestine nuclear tests relies on a global seismic network, but the potential of spaceborne monitoring has been underexploited," Wang added. "This study demonstrates the capability of spaceborne remote sensing to help characterize large underground nuclear tests, if any, in the future." Wang and his team used data captured by the German imaging satellite TerraSAR-X to view the mountain before and after the explosion. The images aren't actual digital pictures of the mountain; instead, the satellite acts as a radar, bouncing pulses off the land below, which travels back up to the satellite in space, giving scientists detailed measurements — and how they changed after a powerful blast.  The TerraSAR-X satellite.Image: dlr/esaThe same satellite technology can be used to measure how the land deforms after earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, moving glaciers and other natural events, said Wang. A great advantage to this space imaging technique is that, unlike digital imaging, SAR can penetrate clouds and weather, to see what's transpired below. The fact that Wang could measure a massive chunk of Earth-bound rock moving horizontally over 11 feet is understandable, when considering how big the September 2017 blast was. Detonated around 1,500 feet below ground, according to researchers, it triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, a strong class of temblor that causes violent shaking near the epicenter.  "This one was big enough that we saw it all over," Dale Anderson, a seismologist and specialist in nuclear nonproliferation monitoring at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said in an interview. "It was picked up on the other side of the world."
(Above: A simulation of rock damage from a nuclear blast. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory)  Although the international community can't see what North Korea is doing under Mantap, modern detection technology — while not capable of observing the mountain move — can easily spot a large nuclear blast, and pinpoint its location.  "It’s very, very, very hard to hide one of these," Anderson said.  As part of the international ban on testing nukes (which North Korea does not adhere to), an organization called the International Monitoring System (IMS) is measuring seismic waves "24-7," said Anderson. This includes picking up movement in the rock at seismic stations around the world, as well as acoustic pulses the blast sends up into the air.  Combining the two detection techniques can give scientists an accurate idea of where the shaking event came from, especially if the blast is big enough. "Every Korean test we’ve ever heard has been big enough," said Anderson.  And confirming that the blast is definitely nuclear, and not say, an earthquake, is also possible. Nuclear blasts release a gas called xenon, which can be picked up by detectors all over the world. Even under a mountain, the gases can seep out, said Anderson. 
(Above: A simulation of gas moving to the surface. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory) Future nuclear blasts underneath Mantap will almost certainly be picked by the IMS, and Wang said space imaging technology can then be used to learn more detail about the event — like how deep it is, and how it affected the mountain. After enduring six nuclear blasts, one wonders how much more a mountain can take.  President Donald Trump is meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, in discussions that might persuade the military commander to denuclearize the secretive, communist nation. Still, Mantap may continue to be used as a test site — if North Korea decides to continue its nuclear testing program. It takes a lot to topple a mountain. After analyzing seismic shockwaves from the blast, the team suggests that some portions inside the mountain may have collapsed, but there's no way to actually confirm this without entering the mountain.  "You're talking about a chunk of solid, confident rock that is 800 meters thick," said Anderson.  "You can’t just break that up with one shock." "You’ll eventually find a flaw and it’ll crack," he added. "And if you smack it with a sledgehammer — a nuclear explosion — it might break a little quicker." WATCH: It takes absolute precision to construct Earth's largest telescope, which will peak into far-off alien worlds



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