South Korea Detects Radioactive Xenon Gas From North Korea Nuclear Test

Over a week after North Korea said it conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, prompting the U.N. Security Council to step up sanctions with a ban on the reclusive regime’s textile exports and a cap on fuel supplies, South Korea said on Wednesday traces of radioactive xenon gas were confirmed to be from a North Korean nuclear test earlier this month, although it noted that it was unable to conclude whether the test had been a hydrogen bomb as Pyongyang claimed.

According to Reuters, South Korea's Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) said its land-based xenon detector in the northeastern part of the country found traces of xenon-133 isotope on nine occasions, while its mobile equipment off the country’s east coast detected traces of the isotope four times.

“It was difficult to find out how powerful the nuclear test was with the amount of xenon detected, but we can say the xenon was from North Korea,” Choi Jongbae, executive commissioner, told a news conference in Seoul. 


The commission could not confirm what kind of nuclear test the North conducted, he added.

A US monitoring group also said on Wednesday that North Korea’s latest nuclear test had had a yield of 250 kilotons, which is much higher than earlier, official estimates. The authoritative US website 38 North, which is linked to the Johns Hopkins University, said that it was lifting its estimate for the yield of the blast to “roughly 250 kilotons.” The figure is more than 16 times the size of the 15-kiloton US bomb that destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. Other official estimates of the yield vary from South Korea’s 50 kilotons to Japan’s 160.

The NSSC also said the xenon traces detected had no impact on South Korea’s environment and population.  Xenon is a naturally occurring, colorless gas that is used in manufacturing of some sorts of lights. But the detected xenon-133 is a radioactive isotope that does not occur naturally and which has been linked to North Korea’s nuclear tests in the past.

Meanwhile, Seoul announced on Wednesday that it had conducted its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile in a bid to strengthen the country’s pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea.

The Taurus missile launched from an F-15 jetfighter traveled through obstacles at low altitudes before striking a target off the South's western coast, the Defense Ministry said. The missile, manufactured by Germany's Taurus Systems, is reported to have a maximum range of 500 kilometers and its stealth characteristics allow it to avoid radar detection.

Meanwhile, North Korea, has remained defiant. As we will detail in a subsequent article, Kim's regime reacted to the “evil” sanctions by vowing on Wednesday to further step up its weapons programs.

“The adoption of another illegal and evil ‘resolution on sanctions’ piloted by the US served as an occasion for the DPRK (North Korea) to verify that the road it chose to go down was absolutely right,” said the North’s Foreign Ministry in a statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency.

“The DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence,” it added.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the new sanctions on the North were a small step. “I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote, but those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen,” Trump said in vague but threatening remarks.

Which suggests that more Xenon will be detected soon, and the market's current state of cautious optimism on the recent N.Korean easing in tensions will be violated.


Manthong BaBaBouy Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:29 Permalink

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..could be worse… They could have Zika, malaria, tsi-tsi flies, yellow fever, Ebola  or hurricane issues to deal with.

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Ghost of PartysOver south40_dreams Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:56 Permalink

Exactly.  Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama were to timid (pussies) to force a solution and now things have gone from bad to worse.  Trump at least has the balls to force the issue as he incrementally ramps up the pressure not only on the "Best Korea" but also the International Community.  This is all leading to China get the full force of Trumps action.  Personally I hope he closes all ports to Chinese products.  Yes I am willing to pay more for products manufactured elsewhere including Murica.

In reply to by south40_dreams

Rapunzal c2nnib2l Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:49 Permalink

Who is believing the BS in North Korea. The parasitic elite needs more conflicts, this system is nearing its end, wake up people. North Korea to china is the same like Puerto Rico to the US. Chinese oligarchs are best friends with US oligarchs. China throws NK under the bus and the oligarchs stay on both side in power. Who do you think the oligarchs are afraid of the most ? Obviously their own people.

In reply to by c2nnib2l

lew1024 Rapunzal Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:38 Permalink

Yes, it is an agricultural econonomy that still has periodic shortages of food.  Its major exports are poppy and crystal meth.We are expected to believe that small economy has 3 ICBM projects, at least 3 atomic bomb projects (fission, fusion and small warhead for missiles) as well as 2M people under arms and another 8M in various reserve forces, all with massive artillery pointed S.That economy, that small population, can be no threat to the world.  It is entirely BS because the world needs enemies to distract citizens.

In reply to by Rapunzal

NoWayJose MD Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:16 Permalink

I don't understand the down votes - any pre-emptive US strike will mean 15,000 pieces of artillery will open fire on Seoul, thousands of rockets and missiles will be launched into South Korea, and thousands of NK special forces will sneak south and hit power lines and communications and fans. NK would then launch a nuke against someone - though it might not reach the US yet. And just as important - China has said it will side with NK if the US hits first. Think that through - thousands of Chinese jets and anti-aircraft missiles deploy to NK - offsetting US air power and threatening US warships.

Brinksmanship has never worked - until one side backs down.

In reply to by MD

BrownCoat NoWayJose Wed, 09/13/2017 - 11:40 Permalink

@ NoWayJose,"I don't understand the down votes - any pre-emptive US strike will mean 15,000 pieces of artillery will open fire"The misunderstanding is thinking there has to be war. The US and USSR were in a Cold War for decades. No one was an idiot. Nuclear war did not happen.Granted, China and NK are a little different from the USSR. China has used force and will use force to get its way. China must understand that the use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable. It is very hard to convince them since they are accustomed to committing attrocities. America will not back down over nuclear weapons. That is also a hard sell, since Clinton, Bush and Obama were more focused on self-interest than the interest of the nation they were supposed to be leading. 

In reply to by NoWayJose

silverer Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:39 Permalink

"...strengthen the country’s pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea"

That's not provocative at all, right? Hey, I have a great idea. Let's just jack up the pissing contest little by little until somebody gets wet.

thatthingcanfly Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:39 Permalink

False flag. Conspiracy. HAARP. Jew World Order. WTC7, Chemtrails. Apollo lunar landings faked, Elvis and Hitler seen running from the Pentagon on 911, Xenon gas in debris at the the WTC site, blah blah blah.

dark fiber Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:42 Permalink

NK is run by crazies and should not have the bomb.  As opposed to the US, which is run by the MIC who are not crazy or sociopath and is entitled by god to have several thousands.  Never mind Russia.   According to the US Russia shouldn't have the bomb either because it is also run by crazies.  Only the US is run by sane people like McCain for instance.

gregga777 Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:48 Permalink

The appropriate response to China's client state of North Korea developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems is for the US client States of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Australia doing the same. It's those States responsibility to deter North Korea from using their nuclear weapons. If China doesn't like it they can go pound sand.

Anteater ft65 Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:52 Permalink

DoD-DHA-NSA/CIA budget $754 billionTotal with all other Fed Departments' 'security' budgets $1,230 billionReagan Cold War budget $254 billionPentagon was hacked ... twice ... in 2012 and 2013 of allcivilian and military employee identity data, then of alldefense contractor identity, contract and banking data.Pentagon has NO IDEA where $100Bs are disappearing to,that's why they RAN SHORT on their 2017 budget by $54B,and have cumulatively left $8,000B MIA, and unaccounted for.

In reply to by ft65

historian40 Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:06 Permalink

Uh huh, I trust them...  How do they know where their supposed gas came from?  It's not like the US/zionist empire hasn't lied and planted false evidence in the past.

tuetenueggel Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:39 Permalink

“It was difficult to find out how powerful the nuclear test was with the amount of xenon detected, but we can say the xenon was from North Korea,” Choi Jongbae, executive commissioner, told a news conference in Seoul.  The commission could not confirm what kind of nuclear test the North conducted, he added.Radioactice xenon only appears when Uran or Thorium in an spontaneous disintegration arise.Evidence:  None as usual with us-stupid vasall speech.

MaxThrust Wed, 09/13/2017 - 09:17 Permalink

Xenon gas, wow man.You sure someone did not accidentally break a strobe light which leaked the xenon gas and caused all this nashing of teeth.

gcjohns1971 Wed, 09/13/2017 - 09:36 Permalink

Pyongyang has reintroduced the formal Cold War.  But no Mutually-Assured-Destruction yet exists.You can accept this return, leading to the sharp reduction of ROK global production short term, and global thermo-nuclear war long term.Or you could nuke Pyongyang, betting that Russia-China will not launch in return.Or you could cancel all anti-nuclear treaties, restart the nuclear arms race (Russia-China already have), and hope they don't nuke you before MAD is restored.I know what my vote is.

The Alarmist gcjohns1971 Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:43 Permalink

What, sacrifice ten or twenty million South Koreans? We've put Russia and China into a Launch on Warning posture, so MAD is precarious at best with them. Oddly enough, MAD probably is the best approach with a nuclear-armed North Korea.

If you're worried about stopping an insane regime from starting a nuclear war, you need to start cleaning out DC.

In reply to by gcjohns1971

zimboe Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:04 Permalink

Well damn, and I was holding out hope these clowntowns were just faking it with vast buttloads of ANFO.We (or the rice-gobblers) gotta put this dog-assed lunatic to sleep before he makes a cobalt bomb, and he might. It would fit well with his (insanely power-mad) reasoning. Operative term 'mad'.MAD don't work if one of the parties doesn't care if he lives or dies, and it ain't Trump.

King of Ruperts Land Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:10 Permalink

Those Koreans are pretty smart. Our deep state are just power hungry psychopaths. I think it would be most cost effective and be much safer for America if we just gathered all our deep state to the Nevada desert and vaporized them with a nuke.

Anteater King of Ruperts Land Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:45 Permalink

Thermonuclear fusion produces He4, not xenon135. Radioactive xenon-135 is produced by beta decay from iodine-135 (a product of nuclear fission).So this only proves that Kim Jung Un MAY HAVE a uranium bmob, butsince xenon135 is routinely 'burped' from US BWRs during nightimeand AEC doesn't seem to have any problem with 'air-farming' xenon,it's really not a big deal. INITIAL claims were a low yield and M5, butas soon as Deep State got ahold of it, they claimed M6 and megaton.You can't trust anyone. Who is 'South Korea' in this news report? CIA?

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land