Two tremors detected in North Korea appear not to be man-made, easing fears the state had conducted another nuclear test.
A Nuclear Test Monitoring Agency has reported two seismic events in North Korea. Both the CTBTO Agency and South Korea said early analysis suggested it was unlikely the tremors were man-made. South Korea’s meteorological agency said early indications suggested it was a natural earthquake because no soundwaves specific to man-made tremors had been identified. The agency put the tremor at magnitude 3.0.
China’s earthquake administration initially announced it had detected a magnitude 3.4 tremor in North Korea at a depth of ‘zero kilometres’. Said to be a ‘suspected explosion’, it raised fears Kim Jong-un’s regime had conducted another nuclear test.
In recent months, a number of tremors have been detected in the isolated state, with the most recent being earlier in September. All have been considered indications of nuclear tests, raising tensions and prompting a fresh round of United Nations sanctions.
The earthquake on Saturday (September 23) was detected in North Hamgyong Province, which is also the location of the country’s Punggyeri nuclear site, according to South Korea’s meteorological agency.
China’s Foreign Ministry gave no immediate statement, but state media outlets and social media widely reported the news.
Magnitude-3.4 zero-depth quake detected in North Korea, at roughly the same site as shallow quake on Sept. 3 that was caused by nuclear test pic.twitter.com/dkMhaipJv2
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) September 23, 2017