US News North Korea Nuclear Bomb Test Site Hit by Earthquake

12:41  13 october  2017
12:41  13 october  2017 Source:   Newsweek

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Media reports are beginning to stream in of an earthquake in North Korea near a known nuclear test site . At this point we’re not sure if earthquake should be inside scare-quotes or not, but South Korea reportedly claims the earthquake was man-made

North Korea hit by earthquake near nuclear test site . Nicole Morley for Metro.co.ukSaturday 23 Sep 2017 10:45 am. Share this article with Facebook Share this article with Twitter Share this article with Google Plus Share this article with Whatsapp Share this article through email Share this article

10_13_Punngye © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 10_13_Punngye

A series of tremors and landslides near North Korea's nuclear test base likely mean the country's sixth and largest blast has destabilized the region, and the Punggye-ri nuclear site may not be used for much longer to test nuclear weapons, experts say.

A small quake was detected early on Friday near the North's nuclear test site, South Korea's weather agency said, but unlike quakes associated with nuclear tests, it did not appear to be manmade. The tremor was the latest in a string of at least three shocks to be observed since Pyongyang's September 3 nuclear test, which caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

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The earthquake was felt miles away from the North Korean test site . South Korea and Japan have long speculated that North Korea was developing the weapon, and this explosion should confirm their worst fears. A Hydrogen bomb is far more powerful than a conventional nuclear fission bomb

China earthquake centre reports that the 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit the North Hamgyong province of North Korea at 8.30am GMT. They say the quake is believed to have been caused by a suspected explosion and was detected in the same location as previous nuclear tests .

Friday's quake was a magnitude 2.7 with a depth of 3 km in North Hamgyong Province in North Korea, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at 2.9 magnitude at a depth of 5 km.

The series of quakes has prompted experts and observers to suspect the last test—which the North claimed to be of a hydrogen bomb—may have damaged the mountainous location in the north west tip of the country, where all of North Korea's six nuclear tests were conducted.

The North Portal of Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site © Getty The North Portal of Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site

"The explosion from the September 3 test had such power that the existing tunnels within the underground testing site might have caved in," said Kim So-gu, head researcher at the  Korea Seismological Institute.

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North Korea got hit by earthquake near their nuclear test site last week and according to the statement released on the website of the administration, the quake recorded a depth of zero YOU SHOULD READ THIS: 21 die in Lagos-Ibadan Expressway crash. TAGS. Bomb . north Korea . Site .

Top South Korean military officials said the earthquake was caused after Pyongyang conducted its sixth nuclear test . It added that a second shockwave was detected in North Korea shortly afterwards and hit a magnitude of 4.6, which it called a “collapse”.

"I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated. If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution."

According to 38 North, a Washington-based project which monitors North Korea, numerous landslides throughout the nuclear test site have been detected via satellite images after the sixth test. These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North's previous tests, 38 North said.

The explosion from the sixth test was large enough for residents of the Chinese border city of Yanji, 125 miles north of North Korea's nuclear test site, to feel the ground shake beneath their feet.

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"The reason why Punggye-ri has become North Korea's nuclear testing field is because this area was considered stable and rarely saw tremors in the past," said Hong Tae-kyung, a professor of earth system science at Yonsei University in Seoul. "The recent small quakes suggest that the test might have triggered crust deformation."

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Unusual seismic activity was detected near North Korea ’s nuclear test site Saturday. China’s earthquake administration detected a 3.4-magnitude earthquake , which it called a “suspected explosion,” CNBC reported.

5.3-magnitude seismic event reported close to North Korean nuclear test site . North Korea is thought to have a handful of rudimentary nuclear bombs and has spent decades trying to perfect a multistage, long-range missile to eventually carry smaller versions of those bombs .

South Korea's spy agency said recently the North was readying possibly two more tunnels following its latest test, according to ruling Democratic Party lawmakers who had been briefed on the issue.

The tunnel used for Pyongyang's first nuclear test had been shut down after that test, while a second tunnel had been used for the following five, the National Intelligence Service was cited as saying last month. This second tunnel may have caved in after the sixth test, the intelligence officials said.

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North Korea has hinted its next test could be above the ground. Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said last month the North could test "an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb" over the Pacific Ocean, in response to President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" the country.

Arms experts say detonating a nuclear-tipped missile over the Pacific Ocean, while seen as the logical final step to prove the success of its weapons program, would be extremely provocative and carry huge risks.

Another issue that could keep North Korea from using Punggye-ri for nuclear tests is the nearby active volcano of Mt. Paektu, Yonsei University's Hong said.

The 2,744 meter (9,003 ft) mountain, straddling the north western border between China and North Korea, last erupted in 1903. Since North Korea began testing its nuclear capabilities, experts have debated whether explosions at Punggye-ri could trigger another volcanic eruption.

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South Korea is adding the weapons to its arsenal as part of one of recently-developed military programs, the so-called “Kill Chain.”Seoul’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has acquired the technology to build graphite bombs, non-lethal weapons that can take down North Korea’s power system in case of a war, according to military sources who spoke to South Korea’s news agency Yonhap on Sunday.

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