Two U.S. government officials with access to classified information tell CNN that the initial air sampling over North Korea shows no indication of radioactive debris from the event Monday that North Korea says was an underground nuclear test.
The U.S. Air Force flew a WC-135 Constant Phoenix on Tuesday to collect air samples from the region.
A third official reiterated that at this point “there isn’t information to allow confirmation it was a nuclear test.”
The intelligence community and the military will continue to fly satellites and collect air samples in the region to try to collect radiological data that would provide confirmation of a nuclear test, officials said. But as time goes on, it will be increasingly difficult to achieve confirmation.
Officials emphasize this is preliminary data, and it provides no conclusive evidence about the North Korean event.
It is possible there was no radiological data. That could be the case if: the North Koreans successfully sealed the site; it was such a small detonation and so deep underground there was no escape of nuclear debris; or the test was actually conventional explosives.
Aside from getting a big laugh, this is still a serious development. Either they tried a nuke yield explosion and it failed — and they will try again. Or the faked out the international community and once again made the UN look like the foolish group that it is.
Hey, Saddam convinced the world he had WMD….. Kim is probably using the same playbook. Maybe he wants kickbacks from the UN to support killing his people, too?