Will North Korea detonate a nuclear weapon by June 9, 2023? (tests included)
resolved Jun 11

Resolves YES if North Korea detonates a nuclear weapon (whether test or non-test) by June 9, 2023 at 11:59pm local time in Korea. NO otherwise.

Resolution will be based on reliable media reporting.


In 2022, North Korea conducted a large number of ballistic missile tests and announced their intent to expand their nuclear arsenal. North Korea has done 6 nuclear tests (see Wikipedia's list here), the first in 2006 and the most recent in 2017. South Korean and US intelligence indicated that North Korea had completed preparations for a nuclear test. Satellite imagery showed the reopening of their underground nuclear test site (previously closed in 2018).


See https://manifold.markets/post/nuclear-risk-forecasting for a dashboard of other nuclear risk questions along with commentary and analysis.



This is a follow-up question to



See also https://www.gjopen.com/questions/2659-between-9-december-2022-and-9-june-2023-will-north-korea-detonate-a-nuclear-device

Fine print

  • A test detonation would result in the question resolving as YES.

  • A detonation would resolve YES regardless of whether it is deliberate, inadvertent, or accidental/unauthorised

  • Detonation is defined here as nuclear explosion. If a nuclear weapon were launched or dropped but the nuclear weapon did not detonate (due to malfunction, interception, etc), that would not count as detonation. If a conventional explosion occurs but no nuclear explosion (for example, a dirty bomb that distributes radioactive material with a conventional explosion), that does not count.

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predicted NO

@jack Seems like this can be resolved, it's not the kind of thing where the news would be delayed if it has happened.

predicted YES

@NamesAreHard There have been earthquakes around the test site in recent days.

@BTE Any links because I can't find anything?

@BTE Thanks! It doesn't seem relevant at all, though. It's too small to be from a test (just 2.1 magintude) and such earthquakes have been happening many times in recent years. From the article:

"It was the sixth earthquake near the nuclear test site since early this year and the 44th that hit the area since the North's last nuclear test in September 2017. "Ground subsidence in Punggye-ri is clearly serious," a geologist said. "A fresh nuclear test could cause a nuclear disaster." Until the sixth nuclear test, no natural earthquakes occurred in the area. The test itself caused an artificial quake of magnitude 5.7"

predicted YES

GJO is now predicting 33% - a slight uptick in recent weeks after the recent NK ICBM tests

It seems like they are having very bad food shortages: https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-suffers-one-of-its-worst-food-crises-in-decades-ee25aa86?st=qc7tehbodox0rvs&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink
It could be less likely that they want to keep showing the population that they are spending a lot in military before fixing the food crisis. Rationing has impacted the military too.

predicted YES

Sorry, it's at 42%

predicted YES


North Korea is already prepared to conduct another nuclear test, but is biding its time to gain leverage in negotiations with China and other powers, according to Rep. Tae Yong-ho, a former North Korean diplomat who was elected into the South Korean parliament after defecting in 2016.

predicted YES

@jack This is along the lines of what I was thinking. It’s definitely happening, I imagine it’s a simple as countdown now because US intel said they finished prep at the site months ago. I am concerned that if he demonstrates a tactical nuke he can deliver anywhere on the peninsula in minutes that is a major game changer because I think it would result immediate build up of an invasion force unlike anything anyone is considering right now. We will all be quickly reminded that the regional superpower in Asia isn’t China, it’s the Japanese. China doesn’t have a single soldier who has faced enemy fire (though a few got thrown off a cliff by the Indian army a few years ago), same for the N Koreans, while the Japanese, because they have been our closest ally since we conquered them and they host our largest overseas bases, entire officer corps was embedded with US forces in every major campaign we have undertaken in the post-war era. What I am saying is Kim should think twice before waking Godzilla because that will be the end of the Kim dynasty. Tactical nukes are much greater threat to Japan than strategic nukes and as the only country to be victim of such a weapon I can’t imagine them being even a little bit restrained. Japanese nationalists were the scariest and most cold-blooded political movement in modern history. Kim is the first Korean leader who doesn’t have firsthand experience of that brutality and his naïveté is going to be his fatal character flaw.