Ed Driscoll

Did North Korea Just Conduct Another Nuke Test?

At Forbes, Christopher Helman writes:

North Korea is believed to have conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday morning. Seismic activity was detected in North Korea this evening that the United States Geological Survey registered as a 5.1 magnitude earthquake.

Here’s the USGS report on the incident. Here is the Google Map pinpoint of the purported location of the test.

The site of the detected earthquake is near the site of North Korea’s previous tests. As the Korean peninsula is not prone to seismic activity, this is highly likely to indicate a nuclear test, says the Korean Yonhap news agency.

A test was expected earlier on Monday night by Korea’s Yonhap news agency, which noted that North Korea had moved people and equipment away from its test site on Monday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had been expected to carry out its third nuclear test this week, which corresponds with the celebration of the Lunar New Year as well as the February 16th birthday of North Korea’s late dictator Kim Jong-il.

The North Korean test comes just a day before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.

If the initial reports pan out, I wonder if the president’s speechwriters will add a line or two to address them? And as Michael Goldfarb of the Washington Free Beacon tweets, “Good timing for Obama’s State of the Union announcement of unilateral nuke cuts.”

Update: ABC News adds, “The suspicious tremor comes just hours before President Obama is to give the State of the Union address, and it marks the first diplomatic test in the region for new Secretary of State John Kerry.”

As Kerry’s predecessor is wont to say, what difference does it make? Besides, I’m sure Kerry will do as well with his “global test” as Hillary did with her own 3:00 AM phone call from Benghazi…

More: From Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon, “Going Rogue.”