Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear test site - USGS

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The United States Geological Survey said a 2.9 magnitude quake with a depth of 5km had been recorded 23km north-east of Sungjibaegam on Thursday (12 October) which was used before for nuclear drills.

The 2.9 magnitude temblor was detected about 23 kilometers (14 miles) from Sungibaegam, "in the area of previous North Korean nuclear tests", USGS said.

Suspicions are high that North Korea may have carried out another weapons test today after a magnitude-2.9 quake was detected very close to one of their test sites.

"The event has natural disaster like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature of the event".

This latest tremor came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude quake struck near the same area.

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When compared to the tremors registered during any of North Korea's previous nuclear tests, the authorities said that the strength of Friday's quake was much lower.

South Korea's weather agency says the four quakes likely occurred because the underground nuclear explosion September 3 weakened or affected the tectonic plate structures in the area.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks following Pyongyang's nuclear test as US President Trump engages in an escalating war of words with the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo believe that Pyongyang is preparing to perform another test of a ballistic missile or even a nuclear test soon.

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