Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear test site - USGS

REUTERS    
     HISTORY Founder Kim Il-sung and former leader Kim Jong-il

The quake took place at 16.41 (UTC) at an estimated depth of 5km, and while the USGS said the quake appeared natural, it did not rule out the possibility of a nuclear test.

Today, the USA reported a relatively weak quake at the same area as North Korea's previous nuclear tests. "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".

Including the latest quake, 114 earthquakes with magnitude of two or greater were recorded on the Korean Peninsula this year.

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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 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.

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. In July, North Korea carried out two tests of ballistic missiles, and on August 29 and September 15 it launched two missiles, which flew over Japan's territory.

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