Russia estimates larger yield for N. Korea nuclear test

Monday, October 9, 2006

Russia's defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, said Monday in televised comments that North Korea's nuclear test has been confirmed and yielded as much as 15 kilotons of TNT; which was the size of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. That would be far greater than the force estimated by South Korea's geological institute of just 550 tons of TNT. Other international estimates have ranged from the sub-kiloton range — less than equivalent to a thousand tons of TNT — to upwards of 12 kilotons.

Other Asian neighbors said they registered a seismic event, but Russia is the only country which said its monitoring services had detected a nuclear explosion.

"We know the exact site of the test. The ecological situation is normal, including on Russian territory in Primorye." Ivanov said, referring to the Russian province that borders North Korea.