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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Quake Reported in North Korea; S. Korea Says Likely Nuclear Test

By Brian Padden September 08, 2016

An earthquake has been reported in North Korea, near the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, raising speculation that the communist nation has conducted its fifth nuclear test.

The European Earthquake Center said the quake was a magnitude 5.0 while the U.S. Geological Survey had a reading of 5.3. The USGS said the tremor was detected on the surface. Naturally occurring earthquakes strike below ground.

A South Korean official tells the Yonhap news agency the earthquake was very likely caused by a nuclear test, although there has been no official confirmation.

Friday is the anniversary of the founding of North Korea, and Pyongyang has in the past marked the important holiday by conducting nuclear and missile tests.

Recent satellite imagery and intelligence has indicated increased activity at the Punggye-ri site, where North Korea carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

North Korea has increasingly threatened its perceived enemies, South Korea and the United States, with nuclear strikes in recent months.

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