Measurements of radioxenon in ground level air in South Korea following the claimed nuclear test in North Korea on October 9, 2006
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- Ringbom, A., Elmgren, K., Lindh, K. et al. J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2009) 282: 773. doi:10.1007/s10967-009-0271-8
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Following the claimed nuclear test in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on October 9, 2006, and a reported seismic event, a mobile system for sampling of atmospheric xenon was transported to the Republic of South Korea (ROK) in an attempt to detect possible emissions of radioxenon in the region from a presumed test. Five samples were collected in the ROK during October 11–14, 2006 near the ROK–DPRK border, and thereafter transported to the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) in Stockholm, Sweden, for analysis. Following the initial measurements, an automatic radioxenon sampling and analysis system was installed at the same location in the ROK, and measurements on the ambient atmospheric radioxenon background in the region were performed during November 2006 to February 2007. The measured radioxenon concentrations strongly indicate that the explosion in October 9, 2006 was a nuclear test. The conclusion is further strengthened by atmospheric transport models. Radioactive xenon measurement was the only independent confirmation that the supposed test was in fact a nuclear explosion and not a conventional (chemical) explosive.