back to article Norks 'have answer to humanity's greatest problem'

The North Korean regime says that its scientists have solved most of humanity's problems by developing controlled nuclear fusion. Unfortunately this is almost certainly a lie. Nork state media reports that North Korean researchers have developed a "unique thermo-nuclear reaction device" with potential to end the human race's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Intriguing title...

    Content sadly a let-down...

    Come on, was I the only one?

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      No you weren't

      I continue to believe that Norks are the answers to almost any problem.

      1. Basic

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        ^^ Ditto

    2. Scott 19


      I would have to judge the size of the problem against the size of the Norks before making such a statement. Miss Hilton's Norks may not fix a problem although her appreciation of IR film making might.

    3. Thomas 4

      *raises hand*

      *wonders about the power generating potential of norks and how one would harness it*

      1. Dr Jeep

        it can't be harnessed

        it just causes out of control natural ....ponders natural norks for a not so brief moment..... disasters;

        Shame really.

      2. Steve X

        How one would harness it?

        See this (NSFW) report.

        harness it indeed

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Already been done

        IIRC either a piezoelectric or Nitinol based system in a bra.

        Pretty sure El Reg has covered said device in its usual professional professional manner.

      4. Rattus Rattus

        I wonder too,

        and I think that much experimentation is required. I will volunteer to 'handle' the research, purely in the interests of helping my fellow man.

    4. A J Stiles


      It's Lewis Page. Not Lester Haines or Sarah Bee (who I still think are the same person).

      Page likes writing about weapons. Haines writes double entendres with the word "weapon" in them. Bee uses a bullwhip as a weapon.

      Clear now?

    5. dontstopnow


      Got me hook line and sinker too. Like a padded bra initial promise disappointed on closer inspection.

  2. Steven Raith


    The title of this article suggested more than it could deliver.

    And this has nothing to do with me not realising that Nork could be NorK, North Korean.

    Oh lord no. Ahem,

    Steven R

    PS: How awesome would it be if they showed a working prototype, and sent the blueprints to the G20 countries? "You called us mad..." etc. Ah well, fat chance of that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they've cracked fusion...

    ...then why do they have no power?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Therein lies the problem...

      Fusion, Sir, is something that by definition one does not crack.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    I thought this story was going to concern the nipple and it being the only intuitive interface.

  5. rpjs

    I wonder if

    Someone smuggled a copy of Ken MacLeod's /The Execution Channel/ into the DPRK and someone there read it and thought "hmm". In this novel a consortium of the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans make a huge technological breakthrough and literally leapfrog the rest of the world (to say any more would be a spoiler).

    However in the novel, they actually *have* the breakthrough technology...

  6. Neil Hoskins

    Interesting though...

    ... because it raises the question of what would happen if a totally abhorrent regime did make a breakthrough like that. What would happen? Would we have to start being nice to them or would we just go in and take it, like we did with Iraqi oil?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let me get this straight

      Which is the abhorrent regime?

    2. Nigel 11

      Go in and take it?

      Yes and no.

      With a physical resource, such as an oilfileld, to go in and take it means war, conquering the territory. With pure know-how, at most all you need is one successful spy, or one defector. Often simply knowing that something really *can* be done is a large percentage of what you need to duplicate it.

      One should ponder for how long the USA was able to keep the USSR from acquiring A- and H-bombs and the associated technologies. Not very long at all, even back in the stone age of surveillance technology.

      I really do hope that the Norks *have* somehow got fusion power working. Realistically, it's far more likely that Fulham will win the Europa cup. (This is posted the morning after they didn't).

      BTW Anyone care to ponder whether an NK-type regime could survive inventing a limitless source of cheap/free non-explosive energy? I expect that if they tried to uilize it, they'd inevitably sow the seeds of their own rapid demise. The Spanish once found a a near-infinite source of money (gold, South America). This did not advance their empire. It doomed it.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @Neil Hoskins

      "... because it raises the question of what would happen if a totally abhorrent regime did make a breakthrough like that. What would happen? Would we have to start being nice to them or would we just go in and take it, like we did with Iraqi oil?"

      So, invading a country to steal their oil makes you less abhorrent than ?

      1. Ammaross Danan


        If the US declared war on Iraq to steal their oil, then why are my gas prices still going up? (yes, respond with some capitalistic "so the money can go into the hands of American oil companies instead of OPEC")

  7. Huntsman
    Thumb Down

    I demand

    the time back that I invested in this article.

    I fully expected to read about some magical nork powered device, and already had visions of busty beauties (or less attractive ladies - I'm easy) swinging their pendulous sets of chest meat over some sort of mechanical gubbins to produce power.


  8. Elmer Phud

    Ah, sole user.

    Amazing that no-one else has managed it.

    Must feel lonely, so lonely.

    1. Yannick

      Re: I'm So Ronery

      So ronery and sadry arone....

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Herrow Hans...

    He's probably just a bit lonely today.

  10. Billa Bong

    Hang on...

    So rather than carry on with "more energy to run than it gives" pure fusion, why don't they harness the massive increase in explosive power of a fission/fusion hybrid to generate more energy than just fission alone? More bang for your buck, you could say.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. Hang on...

      Because the way that a weapon creates fusion is by applying the massive energy of a fission bomb to the material you want to fuse (Tritium I think); a controlled fission reactor just won't do it.

      Fusion can be achieved, but requires a LOT of energy to start up; then you have the containment problem.

      Controlling fission is a lot easier, you just need to slow the reaction down with a moderator so the energy isn't released explosively.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


        "Controlling fission is a lot easier, you just need to slow the reaction down with a moderator so the energy isn't released explosively."

        Not quite. Moderators don't do quite what you seem to think they do. "Fast" reactors do not use them. They have been built and do work. It's a question of balancing the neutron production rate and the neutron loss rate in the core, a lot of which is set by the geometry, degree of enrichment, placement of fuel elements etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      ....because nobody has come up with a way of containing an explosion of such immense magnitude? Just a guess...

    3. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      I think the clue here is in the word 'controlled'

      Uncontrolled nuclear fusion is relatively easy to achieve, compared to controlled nuclear fusion. What with not having issues of containment, radiation, etc. to deal with. I mean, you _could_ use fusion bombs to generate power, if you didn't mind being a cloud of radioactive gas.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, not research following on from Boobquake

    I am disappoint

  12. Paul_Murphy

    False advertising

    Now I'm sad :-(

    I'm sure that real norks hold the answers to quite a few of lifes problems, just not the norks in the article.

    For shame.


  13. Anonymous Coward

    scarce uranium fue?

    to be picky I thought the Aussies had tonnes of "scarce uranium fuel" as does South Africa, I understood that whilst it isn't limitless, we have more than we (as a planet) could ever want, or use for hundreds of years anyway

    1. Rattus Rattus

      I really don't think

      anyone who clicked on this article cares in the slightest about uranium right now.

  14. Stone Fox

    I too felt a little let down by the artice.

    But it has confirmed one thing...

    The north Koreans are a bunch of tits!

  15. Russ Tarbox
    Thumb Up


    That is all.

    1. Captain Thyratron

      We haven't seen this Taepodong before.

      I must refer you to The Daily Show's coverage regarding the Taeopodong-2. (I do not recall whether it was the same airing which suggested that the North Koreans planned to immobilize the American military forces with laughter by giving weapons amusing names.)

  16. Rich 2 Silver badge


    May I add my considerable disappointment resulting from the flagrantly misleading headline. It was very cruel of the Reg and I hope you are all suitably repentant. Now, don't do it again!

    As for North Korea, they really are ALL completely bloody bonkers! New stars in the sky? Endless power source? What next - the answer to life, the universe and everything???

    1. sholby

      That last one is easy...


      (Though i'm still trying to figure out why my life hasn't magically changed...)

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous John

      Letters and/or digits? OK. abc123

      That was my reaction too. There's no scientific reason to think that a fusion reactor is impossible. It's an engineering problem, and it's conceivable that a Nork has come up with an engineering solution.

      I'll believe it when I see it though.

  18. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Mysterious Orient Plays Folly Host to the West with a Trojan Chasing Dragon

    Given the embargo on and dearth of reliable information coming out of North Korea, how would any of you know of what is being achieved in any such fields of Fabulous Energy.

    Now please sit up straight and take you daily dose of mind numbing programming from the makers of the all new Nick and Dave puppet show, whilst elsewhere in Much Better Beta Worlds are Perception Boffins beaver away in Secret crossing swords and destroying perverse imperial dreams of global domination with Flash Cash, with their crossing of ts and dotting of is and their Sweet and Sticky Intelligence Community Raves against the new Pairing of Slick Ranters working to Maintain and Repair the Subversive Establishment Model for Ignorance to Flourish in an Age of Limitless Available Knowledge.

    Pretty soon should those who would Play such Dorks realise that their Future is Assured and All Assets Insured by such SMARTer Technologies and/or AIMethodologies as would so easily be able to Crash every Old System based upon Items/Ideas which have No Real Physical Worth but an unbelievably High Virtual Perception Value.

    Which is an Interesting Great Game to be Registering for Play, whenever Both every Wrong and Right Move Destroys that which Plagues the Planet with Fear and Loathing Death in Destruction in many Earthly Realities, whilst in Tandem and Parallel is a Sublime Work in Constructive Progress for Greater Games Mind Control in Other, Much More Enterprising, Virtual Realities, which are Actually Current Testing Programs for the Fusion of Intellectual Property Sources and Resources with AI Control of Unlimited Energy Potential and Pin Point Accurate Delivery.

    Which if that is Norkish, would render the Dorks as Relevant to the Future as Dodos and Dinosaurs are to the Present.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Losing your touch there! This one almost made sense to me, perhaps the amount of sugar I have consumed this morning....

    2. Captain Thyratron

      He's turning into some kind of internet analogue of Max Headroom.

      (Now we just need some guy to dress up like amanfrommars and highjack a TV station that's airing an episode of Doctor Who.)

  19. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Who'd a thunk that a simple 4 letter word would lure a gullible, almost entirely male, audience into clicking a link?! ( Me included! )

    Sure there must be some sort of business you can set up to trap gullible people into clicking HTML links with empty promises, hmmm....

  20. druck Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Fusion sucks

    Even the fusion reaction in a bomb is endothermic (hence sucks).

    It's actually a fission-fusion-fission bomb - a small fission bomb kicks off a fusion reaction which is used to enhance the detonation a much larger second fission bomb.

    One day we'll get more energy out (without the bang), but it wont be NorKs that do it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not always

      The really big bombs of the 1950s were three-stage devices like you described. More modern warheads dispense with the depleted uranium jacket allowing them to be smaller and also a lot less planet killing.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Fnarr! Fnarr!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Do the South Koreans mind the implication of this headline?

  23. heyrick Silver badge




    [ps: yes, I know it was *M*ork, but with all this stuff (a new star? you mean the mothership?), who's to say Norks aren't from another planet as well?]

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Its Typo-Dong..

    Utterly Apt...

  25. /dev/me
    Paris Hilton

    Amazing, reading the headline...

    That you all thought of boobs, and I thought it be another Lewis special on something mighty important.

    All humanities problems are over, and you lot complain of the lack of female curvature in the announcement. Still, if these bold claims of the N-Koreans cannot be backed by proof of evidence, then at least (for the love of science!) can we get a Playmobil reenactment of the events leading to this remarkable discovery?

    1. Rattus Rattus

      All humanities problems?

      I think a lack of female curvature is a pretty important problem right there. Balls to some lousy fusion experiment, we want titties!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Epic Boobs!!!!

    Oh sorry, wrong story...

  27. Somerset John
    Thumb Up

    Fusion reactors are (fairly) easy to build.

    Would it in any way spoil this story if I pointed out that nuclear fusion is actually fairly easy to achieve, and several people have built working fusion devices. And I don't mean bombs. Agreed, there is currently no possibility of these reactors producing any useful power, but they do produce considerable quantities of neutrons and, if I remember correctly, a number have been built just for that purpose. Therer is also a thriving amateur "tabletop fusion" network. These people are not building multi ton Tokamak reactors but small, literally tabletop devices which really do fuse hydrogen, as proven by the production of the aforementioned neutrons.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Norks on men

    Most of you will have moved on to other topics... but with all the innuendos floating about here, I was left with a question: What, or how, would you feel if it was the guys who had "Norks" and not us women. I don't mean moobs either, but a real lactating pair??

    BTW, pendulous is not such a great thing. Small, pert and immune to gravity are the best. You don't have to wear a bra then ;-) .

    1. Rattus Rattus

      re: Norks on men

      If men had a real pair? You mean soft, not covered in chest hair, proper feminine breasts? Well, I think a lot of us would probably never leave the house again.

      ...erm, cause we'd be ashamed to go out in public, yes, that's the reason. Honest.

    2. Marcus Aurelius

      More evidence

      If I recall there was one guy who (for a bet) agreed to have plastic surgery, with an artificial pair fitted and keep them for a year.

      When the year was over he didn't want to have them taken out...

      I hope that answers your question

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If men had breasts

      the bra would certainly have been invented a lot earlier in human history

    4. Marcus Aurelius

      ...a man replies

      If that were the case, we'd never get out of the house and do any work. :-)

      From an outsiders point of view, somewhere in the middle range is best IMO

  29. moonface

    Basic law of physics.

    Norks in pendulous motion create perpetual mental energy.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Nork fusion? - way cool

    I wasn't aware that the U. of Utah had a satellite campus in Pyongyang.

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