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Natural disaster recorded near North Korea's nuclear test site

13 October 2017

A shallow 2.9-magnitude quake struck near North Korea´s nuclear test site before dawn on Friday, weeks after Pyongyang´s biggest detonation, but South Korean experts said the tremor did not appear to be man-made.

The quake took place at 16.41 UTC (5.41am NZT) at a depth of 5km, the US Geological Survey reported.

Today (Thursday), a relatively weak 2.9 magnitude natural disaster was recorded near the North Korean town of Sungjibaegam.

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, near the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site. "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 USGS said in a brief statement.

It has conducted several ballistic missile tests, as well as publicly stating it is working on a nuclear-capable ICBM.

It came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude quake struck near the same area, with seismic experts and a United Nations nuclear test ban watchdog calling that tremor on September 23 a likely aftershock of the North´s sixth and largest nuclear test.

Ri Man-gon, supervisor of the department for the nuclear and missile development, and Kim Rak-gyom, the head of the strategic rocket forces, were absent from a mass rally in Pyongyang as well as a celebration for the anniversary of the Worker's Party of Korea.

In August, Trump threatened the rogue regime with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued with its nuclear programme, which sparked a threat to attack the USA territory of Guam.

Natural disaster recorded near North Korea's nuclear test site