Small quake hits North Korea in 'suspected explosion'

Cheryl Sanders
September 24, 2017

People walk by a screen showing the news reporting about an natural disaster near North Korea's nuclear facility, in Seoul, South Korea on January 6, 2016.

Nuclear proliferation watchdog CTBTO has said that the two seismic events detected in North Korea on Saturday were probably not deliberate explosions.

The 3.0 quake was detected around where the isolated country recently conducted a nuclear test, said South Korea's weather agency.

It said epicentre of the quake was nearly same with a similar little depth natural disaster on September 3, which was actually a nuclear test.

China, on the other hand, estimated that the tremor was triggered by a "suspected explosion".

Two South Korean officials at the Korea Meteorological Administration told CNN that their analysis so far suggests Saturday's seismic activity around the nuclear site was not caused by an explosion or a collapse of the site.

A senior USA diplomat says a North Korean hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific would be an "unprecedented act of aggression" by the communist nation.

"A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a manmade quake", said the South Korean official, who asked for anonymity. In this case we saw none.

The area isn't where natural earthquakes normally occur.

Punggyeri nuclear site is located in Kilju where the quake was detected, the official added. North Korea has one nuclear test site - Punggye-ri. In two July flight tests, those missiles showed potential capability to reach deep into the USA mainland when perfected.

Numerous scientific agencies on both sides of the Pacific detected an quake Saturday near the site where North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, at first prompting speculation of another weapons test, before a consensus appeared to emerge that the tremor was a natural occurrence.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) could not confirm whether the quake was manmade or a natural event, and measured it at a magnitude of 3.5.

A secondary tremor detected after that test could have been caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site, experts said at the time.

"This may be the most powerful detonation of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific ocean", - said the Minister of the DPRK reporters.

In an escalation of the war of words between the United States and North Korea, Trump sent a pre-dawn tweet Friday saying, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"

North Korea's foreign minister said this week that his country could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to President Donald Trump's threats of military action.

Other reports by iNewsToday