Stickynotes says that it's been suggested that the NK test wasn't really nuclear. Exactly what I've been thinking. Could they have just packed a tunnel with ANFO and struck a match?
Thing is, the yield was extremely low, and no radiation has been detected. And lots of reports are still calling it an alleged nuclear test. The only question is, why would anyone want to take the heat for developing a weapon that they never really developed? (a question I'd like to hear Saddam answer as well) The only thing I can think of is that NK expects that the world will be afraid, and unwilling to confront an "nuclear" North Korea.
Which is getting it exactly backwards. Witness Saddam again. The only reason for Saddam to posture and lead the world to think he had WMDs was because he thought it would make him safer. (and he did actively nurture the notion that any US invasion would be met with WMD - not for nothing did we outfit an army with mylar long-johns) Still, can these guys be that stupid? If you want trouble from the US, and most everyone else, just trumpet yourself as being a dangerous player. You'll get attention, but it might not be what you expect.
***Update: Michael Yon at the corner:
A very well-placed government source told me Tuesday afternoon that the North Korean explosion was non-nuclear. The explosion may have been an actual nuclear test — this is unknown — but the source reports the outcome was non-nuclear. The source stressed the importance of bearing in mind that though the explosion occured in North Korea — if it was actually a test and not merely a dictator clamoring for attention and influence — the test may have been by or for the Iranians. The source reported that American physicists with access to the information see no sign of nuclear activity, however. My source also mentioned that Japanese sensors picked up no radiation signatures.