Quake hits North Korea near nuclear test site

Quake hits North Korea near nuclear test site

Suspicions are high that North Korea may have carried out another weapons test today after a magnitude-2.9 quake was detected very close to one of their test sites.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) on Thursday detected a 2.9 magnitude natural disaster 23km northeast of Sungjibaegam in North Korea, near the country's nuclear testing site.

It added that the quake was recorded "in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests". According to the US Geological Survey, there isn't enough information to conclude the nature of the natural disaster yet. "The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) is the sole organization in the USA federal government whose mission is to detect and report technical data from foreign nuclear explosions". In September, it detonated a hydrogen bomb which caused a 6.3 magnitude quake in the northeast of the country where the Punggye-ri test site is located.

The strength of Friday's quake was much lower than the tremors registered during any of North Korea's previous nuclear tests, including its first detonation in 2006, which triggered a 4.1-magnitude quake.

Later, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and UC Santa Cruz released a joint report that concluded that tunnels in the test site collapsed after the quake.

All six nuclear tests have been carried out in this location in the northwest tip of the country.

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