MYSTERY: China detects 3.4 N. Korea earthquake on surface, fears of new nuclear test emerge
A magnitude 3.4 earthquake, at a depth of 0 kms, has been recorded near the Kilju area of North Korea. An investigation into whether it’s the result of a nuclear test has been launched but so far, evidence suggests the quake was naturally occurring.
The quake occurred at approximately 08:30 GMT (16:29 local time) on Saturday, CENC reported. Kilju is home to the Punggyeri nuclear site, where North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test was conducted on September 3.
There are conflicting reports as to the strength of the quake, with South Korea’s weather agency reporting that it measured 3.0 on the Richter Scale, as cited by the country’s Yonhap news agency.
The Korea Meteorological Administration added that “the quake is presumed to have occurred naturally.”
"A sound wave, which is usually generated in the event of an artificial earthquake, was not detected,” an agency official told Yonhap.
Japanese news agency Kyodo reports, however, that the quake was caused by a “suspected explosion” at the site.
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Nuclear proliferation watchdog the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed that an investigation is already underway following "unusual seismic activity."
Zerbo said the tremor, and a second “seismic event,” took place roughly 50km from the site of previously confirmed tests, adding that they were “unlikely Man-made.”