Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear test site - USGS

13 October, 2017, 13:21 | Author: Lula Armstrong
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South Korea has detected a fourth small natural disaster near North Korea's main nuclear test site after the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test explosion last month. According to the US Geological Survey, there isn't enough information to conclude the nature of the quake yet.

Meanwhile, the South Korea Meteorological Administration posted on its official website that "analysis shows it was a natural quake".

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was detected some 23 kilometers north-east of the Punggye-ri Test Site, but it has yet to confirm whether it was a natural or a man-made tremor.

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Speculation that North Korea has carried a nuclear test has followed a seismic event in an area where previous tests had taken place.

Kim So-gu, head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute, said: "The explosion from the September 3 test had such power that the existing tunnels within the underground testing site might have caved in". The tremor was the latest in a string of at least three shocks to be observed since Pyongyang's September 3 nuclear test, which caused a 6.3-magnitude quake. "I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated".

This latest tremor came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude quake struck near the same area.

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September's nuclear test was so strong that it shook buildings in Russian Federation and China and was described as a "perfect success" by North Korea's state-run media.

The explosion from the sixth test was large enough for residents of the Chinese border city of Yanji, 125 miles north of North Korea's nuclear test site, to feel the ground shake beneath their feet.

The area is considered stable and quakes do not normally occur there. The authorities added that the epicentre of the quake was located north of the Punggye-Ri testing site.

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