Quake recorded near North Korea's nuclear test site

Quake recorded near North Korea's nuclear test site

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.

The US Geological Survey said that the tremor hit at 1.41am (12.41am, Singapore time) with a depth of around 5km.

Today (Thursday), a relatively weak 2.9 magnitude quake was recorded near the North Korean town of Sungjibaegam.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows the quake was detected just 23 kilometres from Sungjibaegam, a town close to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and added that it can not confirm whether the earthquake was natural or man-made.

The strength of today'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.

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Maps showing the epicentre of a 2.9 quake in North Korea, left, along with the location of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, right.

"I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated". A small quake on September 23 was thought to be an aftershock of the nuclear test earlier in the month.

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

These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North's previous tests, 38 North has said.

Another issue that could keep North Korea from using Punggye-ri for nuclear tests the nearby active volcano of Mt. Paektu, Yonsei University's Hong said. Since North Korea began testing its nuclear capabilities, experts have debated whether explosions at Punggye-ri could trigger another volcanic eruption. "The recent small quakes suggest that the test might have triggered crust deformation".

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