Quake detected near North Korean nuclear test site

Posted September 25, 2017

National geological agencies could not confirm on Saturday what caused an natural disaster in North Korea at the same site where it had conducted a nuclear test.

According to South Korea's meteorological agency, the quake was detected near the Punggyeri nuclear site in North Korea's Hamgyong Province.

Meanwhile, analysts said that seismic activity detected near the site of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear site might be aftershocks from a nuclear test earlier this month.

A spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House said institutions analysing the seismic activity maintain that "it was natural and not from explosion".

According to a release from Guam Homeland Security the U.S. Geological Survey detected a magnitude 3.5 natural disaster in North Korea at around 6:29pm on Saturday.

Both quakes were "unlikely man-made" and occurred 31 miles (50km) from the site of previous tests, according to Lassina Zerbo, head of the CTBTO, who said they were similar to tremors recorded after North Korea's recent and most powerful nuclear test.

"Our analysis shows that it was a natural quake".

Ri had warned Thursday that North Korea may consider an even larger hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific region.

A small natural disaster near North Korea's nuclear test site on Saturday was probably not manmade, the nuclear proliferation watchdog and a South Korean official said, easing fears Pyongyang had exploded another nuclear bomb just weeks after its last one.

South Korea's weather agency, however, offered a different view. North Korea has little energy production of its own, but does refine some petroleum products from crude oil it imports - which is not included in the new ban. Yet in early September, after North Korea conducted its sixth and biggest nuclear test, it called the prospect of a full oil embargo "rash and extreme". Pyongyang had claimed to have successfully tested an h-bomb. experts have estimated that the energy released amounted to 250 kilotonnes, representing 16 times the power of the bomb that had leveled Hiroshima in 1945.

A North Korean ballistic missile could reach Hawaii in less than 20 minutes, according to Denny Roy, a research fellow at the East-West Center whose focus is North Korea and nuclear weapons. Such cooperation is critical for Pyongyang, and the most recent sanctions highly increase pressure on the communist country to abandon development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump taunted the previous USA administration on their way of handling North Korea, saying that Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong-Un should have been handled a long time ago.

The Ministry of Commerce wrote on its website that China would limit exports of refined petroleum products from October 1, and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, speaking before the United Nations, angrily responded to US President Donald Trump's UN remarks in which he referred to Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man". As per AP, the ministry also said it will ban textile imports from the North.