nuclear weapons

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N. Korea: We'll Make Nuclear Strike First If We Have to

Warns it will take preemptive action if US, South Korea don't back off

(Newser) - A top North Korean official says that the US has nukes positioned off its coast aimed at "our country, our capital, and our Dear Leader," notes the country won't back down from this threat, and warns it might even take the first step if it feels provoked.... More »

North Korea Will Soon Have the Makings for 20 Nukes

It's producing 330 pounds of enriched uranium per year: report

(Newser) - If it doesn't already , North Korea will have the makings for 20 nuclear bombs by the end of the year, experts predict in a new report. The country is believed to be producing 330 pounds of highly enriched uranium per year at one or two sites—enough for six... More »

N. Korea Closer to Becoming International Nuclear Threat

Officials believe it's only a matter of time until it has long-range nuclear missile

(Newser) - North Korea may not be able to launch a nuclear attack on the US, but the Washington Post reports it's getting closer and closer to having that ability, as evidenced by Friday's nuclear test . “It’s a clear indication of progress towards developing a miniaturized nuclear warhead... More »

Quake Was North Korea's Biggest Nuclear Test Yet

Pyongyang says it has reached 'higher level'

(Newser) - In what Seoul called an act of "fanatic recklessness," North Korea carried out its biggest nuclear test yet early Friday, angering allies and enemies alike. The test registered as a 5.3-magnitude quake; Middlebury Institute expert Jeffrey Lewis tells Reuters that signals a blast of up to 30... More »

This Russian City Is Called the 'Graveyard of the Earth'

Welcome to City 40

(Newser) - On the face of it, the living is good in Ozersk, Russia. The 100,000 people living in the city tucked in the Ural Mountains have always had plenty of food, private apartments, well-regarded schools, and good healthcare—even when the rest of the country lived in poverty. But there... More »

Report: US Can't Protect Itself From North Korean Nuclear Attacks

American missile defense system is a 'disaster'

(Newser) - Uh-oh. A 60-page report released Thursday by the Union of Concerned Scientists says America's current defense system is "simply unable to protect the US public" from nuclear attacks by the likes of Iran and North Korea. The report calls the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD) a "system... More »

John Kerry Won't Say Sorry for Hiroshima

Secretary of State visits Japan for G7 meeting

(Newser) - One thing John Kerry won't do while visiting Hiroshima: say he's sorry. On Monday, the Secretary of State plans to visit a memorial and museum commemorating victims of the atomic bombing that left more than 100,000 dead in 1945—but a senior US official says there will... More »

Obama: ISIS Getting a Nuke 'Would Change Our World'

Obama asked world leaders to tighten security on nuclear materials

(Newser) - At a nuclear summit attended by more than 50 world leaders Friday in Washington DC, President Obama called the possibility of ISIS getting its hands on a nuclear weapon "one of the greatest threats to global security," the BBC reports. “There is no doubt that if these... More »

N. Korea Keeps Tensions High, Launches 5 More Projectiles

Even China is telling Pyongyang to cut it out

(Newser) - Just three days ago, North Korea defied a UN ban and fired a medium-range ballistic missile into the sea. Now South Korea officials say Pyongyang launched five short-range projectiles Monday into the waters off the latter's east coast, reportedly as a reaction to US-South Korea military drills each spring,... More »

Kim Jong Un: We Have Miniature Nuclear Warheads

Leader calls on military to be ready to strike against US, South Korea

(Newser) - Kim Jong Un says North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles and wants the military ready to mount preemptive attacks against the US and South Korea in response to joint military drills started this week. "The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for... More »

Kim Jong-un Wants Nukes Ready to Fire 'Any Moment'

He's also threatening preemptive attacks

(Newser) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his country's nuclear weapons made ready for use at a moment's notice, the AP reports. Kim also said his country will ready its military so it's prepared to carry out pre-emptive attacks, calling the current situation very precarious, according to... More »

North Korea Moves Up Dates for Rocket Launch

Many believe the rocket is a ballistic missile test

(Newser) - North Korea has moved up the window of its planned long-range rocket launch to Feb. 7-14, South Korea's Defense Ministry said Saturday. The AP reports he launch, which the North says is an effort to send a satellite into orbit, would be in defiance of repeated warnings by outside... More »

Airmen Damage Nuclear Missile During 'Mishap'

The Air Force is refusing to release the report from the 2014 incident

(Newser) - Errors by three airmen troubleshooting a nuclear missile in its launch silo in 2014 triggered a "mishap" that damaged the missile, prompting the Air Force to strip the airmen of their nuclear certification and quietly launch an accident investigation, officials revealed Friday. In a statement released to the AP,... More »

White House: We Don't Think That Was an H-Bomb

Early analysis suggests North Korea is exaggerating, says US

(Newser) - A sentence sure to please anyone worried about the idea of Kim Jong Un having an H-bomb in his arsenal: White House spokesman Josh Earnest says initial analysis results are "not consistent with North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test,” reports the Washington Post . It could... More »

China Fuming Over N. Korea 'H-Bomb Test'

Beijing plans to lodge strong protest with ally

(Newser) - North Korea's main ally says it "firmly opposes" Pyongyang's purported hydrogen bomb test and is monitoring the environment along its border with the North near the test site. China plans to summon North Korea's ambassador in Beijing to the Foreign Ministry to lodge a strong protest,... More »

The Science Behind North Korea's H-Bomb Claim

At the very least, it could have been a 'boosted' atomic blast

(Newser) - Did North Korea really join the H-bomb club ? It will take weeks for the rest of the world to confirm the exact nature of Pyongyang's latest test. In the meantime, here's a look at the science involved in the process:
  • Fission vs. fusion: The Atlantic explains the
... More »

US Releases 'Grim' List of Nuclear Targets

US would have targeted population centers in war with Soviet Union

(Newser) - "Grim and frankly appalling." That's how one expert describes a recently declassified list of potential US targets in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the New York Times reports. The list titled “Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959" was written by the Air Force in... More »

Russian TV 'Accidentally' Leaks Nuclear Torpedo Plan

The new weapon would make sure "everything living will be killed'

(Newser) - Plans for a new Russian nuclear torpedo system that could hypothetically wipe out every living thing along a wide swath of US coastline were accidentally leaked on state-controlled television, the BBC reports. Or at least, the Kremlin claims it was an accident. According to the Independent , a document titled "... More »

This Dome Holds Tons of Nuclear Waste —or Tries To

Experts fear the Runit Dome is a ticking time bomb

(Newser) - The US hasn’t conducted nuclear testing in more than 20 years , but the Runit Dome persists as a reminder of our controversial past. The dome, built in the late 1970s on Runit Island in the Pacific, holds more than 110,000 cubic yards of radioactive topsoil and debris left... More »

After US Move, Putin Vows to Ramp Up Nukes

NATO slams him for 'nuclear sabre-rattling'

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin is being accused of "sabre-rattling," which isn't all that unusual, except in this case it involves nuclear weapons. The Russian leader said today that Moscow would add at least 40 ICBMs to its nuclear arsenal this year, reports Reuters . The announcement comes after the US... More »

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