Red China: Firecracker No. 2

A swarm of mosquitoes may create a noise like thunder.

—Old Chinese Saying

It had been predicted for nearly three months, and for the past two weeks U.S. seismologists had kept their ears to the ground in hopes of catching the faint tremor. High-flying U-2 reconnaissance jets, mounted with fallout-collecting air scoops, stood ready along the shores of Asia to fly at a moment's notice. Then, sure enough, another mushroom cloud rose slowly into the skies over Lop Nor in China's harsh Takla Makan Desert.

Hardly a Surprise. Peking's second nuclear explosion was a bit bigger than its first of seven months...

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