Possible N.Korea nuclear test detected

South Korea has detected an "artificial earthquake" at North Korea's nuclear test site, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday, suggesting Pyongyang had gone ahead with a threatened atomic test.

  • Published: 12/02/2013 at 10:44 AM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

Graphic showing Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea where an 'artificial earthquake' was detected on Tuesday.

Yonhap said an "artificial earthquake of 5.1 magnitude" had been detected in Kilju county, where the Punggye-ri test site is located.

The US Geological Survey measured it as a 4.9-magnitude quake at a very shallow depth of just one kilometre (0.6 miles).

The South Korean defence ministry and the presidential Blue House both said they were trying to verify whether a nuclear detonation had taken place.

Pyongyang has been threatening a "higher-level" nuclear test for weeks despite warnings of severe repercussions from the UN Security Council.

If confirmed, it would mark the third time the North has detonated a nuclear device, following previous tests in 2006 and 2009.

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