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Wake-Up Call on N. Korea’ Secrete Nuclear Experiment

Posted September. 26, 2003 23:21,   


Despite the 6-way talks in Beijing, China, Japan is hurriedly planning to develop a nuclear screening system, presuming that North Korea may push its nuclear test. The Dakasaki Research Center, Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute, is planned to be approved as a radioactive material monitoring center within this year and the Precision Seismological Observatory of the Japan Meteorological Administration in Nagano is also planning to transform itself as a nuclear test observatory by 2004 Spring.

In preparation for the effectuation of the peace treaty, the preparatory committee of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (BTBT) had designated 321 locations all over the world for observatories that satisfy the standards for the International Monitoring System (IMS) standards. Now the committee is inspecting and approving each of the observatories after confirming if it satisfy the IMS standards. and has been approving

Observatories will be able capable of detecting seismic waves, ultrasonic waves, radioactivity, and infrasound. Among those 50 main and 120 minor seismic observatories will be soon operated all over the world.

Data such as seismic waves, which are produced when experimenting nuclear weapons, will be sent in real time to the International Data Center in Wien, Australia to analyze. Some of the observatories are now being test operating.

In case of South Korea, U.S. forces in Korea will hand over its possessive rights of the Korea Seismic Research Station to South Korea. South Korea is planning to get approval for the research institute as a main observatory. South Korea is negotiating the final details of the hand over with U.S. forces in Korea such as operating expenses.

“The minimum unit for a nuclear test requires 1kt of nuclear explosion. And as it produces around seismic intensity of 4, once CTBT starts to operate in earnest, most of secrete nuclear testing will be detected,” said one official of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources.

2 main observatories and 10 minor observatories of China and 6 major observatories and 26 minor observatories of Russia have been approved by the preparatory committee. Thus there are now over 54 nuclear observatories around the Koran Peninsular.

If CTBT is ratified by all the 44 countries that have nuclear research facilities or atomic reactors, if any suspicious signals are detected, CTBT may push a plan that would make suspicious countries to be immediately nuclear inspected. At the moment, the effectuation of CTBT has been dragged due to the U.S.’s opposition.

leej@donga.com parkwj@donga.com