Beijing : A shallow 3.5-magnitude earthquake hit North Korea near the country’s nuclear test site on 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-km 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”, reports AFP.
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