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Dhaka Tribune

Consecutive earthquakes in North Korea suggest latest nuclear test

Update : 03 Sep 2017, 12:00 PM
China's Earthquake Administration said on Sunday it detected a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in North Korea, suggesting the reclusive country may have conducted a sixth nuclear test. The earthquakes struck 75 km (45 miles) north northwest of Kimchaek. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The Earthquake Administration said in a statement on its website that the quake, which occurred around 3:30 GMT, was recorded at a depth of zero kilometres. The administration also reported another quake in North Korea of magnitude 4.6, which it termed as a "collapse." A statement on the administration's website said the second quake, measured again at a depth of zero kilometres, came eight minutes after the first quake. The coordinates of the two quakes were almost identical, according to figures provided by the administration.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017KCNA North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017 KCNAPrevious recent tremors in the region have been caused by nuclear tests, which if the case this time round, would be a direct challenge to US President Donald Trump, who hours earlier had talked by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the "escalating" nuclear crisis in the region. The first, more powerful quake measured magnitude 6.3 and was 10km deep, according to the US Geological Survey said, again suggesting a nuclear device. Such a magnitude would be its most powerful detonation yet. Witnesses in the Chinese city of Yanji, on the border with North Korea, said they felt a tremor that lasted roughly 10 seconds, followed by an aftershock.

North Korea, South Korea and Japan announcements

North Korea's state television said it would carry an important announcement at 0630 GMT, after an earthquake registering magnitude 6.3 was detected near its known nuclear test site on Sunday. The chairman of South Korea's parliament defence committee was quoted as saying the quake was likely the result of a 100 kiloton blast, which is four to five times larger than the bomb that was dropped in Japan's Nagasaki in 1945. Japan concluded that the tremors detected in North Korea were a nuclear explosion, marking the sixth atomic test by Pyongyang since 2006. "After examining the data we concluded that it was a nuclear tests," Foreign Minister Taro Kono said at a briefing broadcast by public broadcaster NHK following a meeting of Japan's National Security Council. Tremors caused by a suspected nuclear test in North Korea were at least ten times as powerful as the last time Pyongyang exploded an atomic bomb a year ago, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said. "It was a least ten times as powerful," a JMA official said at a briefing aired by public broadcaster NHK. The previous nuclear blast in North Korea is estimated by experts to have been around 10 kilotons. Japan's Ministry of Defence said it had dispatched at least three military jets from bases in Japan to test for radiation.
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