Quake hits North Korea near nuclear test site

Quake hits North Korea near nuclear test site

The US Geological Survey assessed it to be of 2.9 magnitude, originating 23 kilometers northeast of Sungjibaegam, Ryanggang Province, in North Korea.

Experts studying Friday's quake in North Korea say the rogue nation may have unintentionally destabilized its nuclear test site due to the toll of repeated atomic trials. "The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event", the USGS said in a brief statement.

It was centred very close to North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, which previous weapons tests have been detected at through the earthquakes they generate.

"The explosion from trials on September 3 has such strength that the tunnels inside the underground testing site may have caved in", said Kim So-gu, head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute.

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The test on September 3 triggered a much stronger 6.3-magnitude quake that was felt across the border in China and sparked global condemnation, leading the United Nations Security Council to unanimously adopt tough new sanctions against Pyongyang. "If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution".

According to South Korea's weather agency, a small quake was detected, on Friday (10/13/2017), near North's nuclear test site, but unlike a nuclear-related quakes, the quake did not appeared to be a man-made one.

And now the latest natural disaster to hit the region suggesting the detonations have dramatically destabilised the area.

The UN stepped up sanctions after Pyongyang fired missiles over Japan and tested its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb last month. These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North's previous tests, 38 North said.

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