Days after United state President tough talk on North Korea .A shallow 3.5-magnitude earthquake hit North Korea near the country’s nuclear test site Saturday, US seismologists said, in what China’s seismic service said was a “suspected explosion”, but Seoul deemed a “natural earthquake”.
The earthquake came after days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s regime over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions raised international alarm.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck around 20 kilometres (12 miles) away from the North’s nuclear test site, where earlier this month it detonated its sixth and largest device, which it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb capable of being launched onto a missile.
This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests. We cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event. The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist,” USGS said in a statement.
Regional experts differed on their analysis of the tremor, with China’s China Earthquake Network Centre (CENC) service calling it a “suspected explosion”, while Seoul’s Korea Meteorological Agency (KMA) judged it a “natural quake”.
“There is no possibility that this could be an artificial quake,” Yonhap news agency quoted a KMA official as saying.
The North’s last test, on September 3, was the country’s most powerful detonation, triggering a much stronger 6.3-magnitude quake that was felt across the border in China.