Natural disaster sparks fears that North Korea has carried out another nuclear test

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According to South Korea's weather agency, a small quake was detected, on Friday (10/13/2017), near North's nuclear test site, but unlike a nuclear-related quakes, the quake did not appeared to be a man-made one.

"The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

The United States Geological Survey said a 2.9 magnitude quake with a depth of 5km had been recorded 23km north-east of Sungjibaegam on Thursday (12 October) which was used before for nuclear drills. "The event has quake like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

Experts from South Korea's Meteorological Administration told CBS News the September 3 test possibly weakened the tectonic plate structures in the area, most likely causing the subsequent quakes.

China accounts for roughly 85 per cent of North Korea's external trade and is seen by many as the key to forcing Pyongyang to at least freeze its nuclear and missile programmes. "If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution".

And now the latest quake to hit the region suggesting the detonations have dramatically destabilised the area.

Due to the recent nuclear tests by Pyongyang, tensions have soared up and the US President Trump has been engaged in an escalating war of words with the North's leader Kim Jong-un. There is also a chance the nuclear tests could trigger a volcanic eruption at Mt. Paektu, which is a mountain about 60 miles away from the Punggye-ri region, CBS reported.

"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.

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