Earthquake strikes North Korea near nuclear test zone, but no radiation reported

by
September 24, 2017

A 3.5-magnitude earthquake was detected in northern North Korea on Saturday afternoon, near the nation’s known nuclear test site, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

But experts said seismic data suggested that it was probably not caused by a new nuclear test, although it could have been a delayed geological reaction to the last test nearly three weeks ago. There were no reports of radiation around the site.

“This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests,” the USGS said on its website. “We cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event.”

The earthquake-monitoring agency in neighboring China initially said it suspected that the North Korean quake, which occurred at 3:59 p.m. local time, was caused by an explosion, though the magnitude was significantly lower than a previous nuclear test this month. The USGS estimated the depth of Saturday’s quake to be five kilometers (three miles).

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