The device – which ultimately exploded in North Korea far away from its intended target – was estimated by experts as having a destructive yield of around 7 KT, meaning it could have caused up to seven times the damage of the Korea Times if it had been dropped on the South. Instead, the destruction appears to have been centered on the North's secret nuclear research facility, which is located just off Nuclear Test Road in North Hamgyong province. Sources in Pyongyang were quick to blame faulty Chinese parts for the failed attack.
But while South Koreans calmly went about their companies' business in the capital, there was some evidence of concern online. According to Korean search engine Navel, the most popular search term on Tuesday in the wake of the failed attack was for a cosmetics sale by local brand Innisfree, even though experts have repeatedly warned that - despite some claims to the contrary from those on the left - a make-up strategy can not protect South Koreans from nuclear blasts and cosmetic solutions to dealing with the North do not work.
President-elect Park Geun-hye, whose reaction was closely watched as an indicator of future policy in Seoul, warned North Korea of regime collapse if it continued its pursuit of nuclear weapons, apparently drawing on the experience of watching the regime her father founded collapse 13 years after he initiated South Korea's failed nuclear weapons program. While Seoul's nuclear program was never restarted due to a succession of liberal appeasement governments who were elected in dubious circumstances following the collapse of the highly popular military-backed government, surveys still show that the majority of South Koreans want an atomic bomb.
While South Korean reactions were generally muted, there was more open panic in the US, where technology website 'TechCrunch' revealed that the North Korean bomb would have devastated a significant area of downtown San Francisco – if San Francisco was located in North Korea, which it isn't, and it has no current plans to move there according to its mayor, despite the city's leftist leanings. However, according to the notoriously pro-Apple website the projection appeared to demonstrate that if the nuclear blast was centered on the TechCrunch offices its relatively small size would likely indicate it was caused by an Android device – and probably one made in Korea – as Apple devices have, according to the website, a much larger critical mass.
New US Secretary of State John Kerry was quick to link North Korea to Iran. A spokesman for the State Department is believed to have told reporters in an off-the-record briefing that "Korea and Iran are parts of the same problem, and we must take a decisive stand against the Koranian axis." The 'Ask a Koran' website condemned the statement, although it later it appeared to indicate it wasn't actually specifically aware of the content. The Iranian government - which had earlier tried to shock the world with a fake stealth plane - remained silent.
The Chinese leadership in Beijing were initially said to have been privately angered by the North Korean action – mostly because it infringes on China's globally acknowledged patent for 'territorial aggression backed by nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states in Asia'. However, publicly Beijing stated that the world has failed to prevent North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons, and it may be time to recognize the country as a nuclear customer.
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