A magnitude 5.0 earthquake was detected near North Korea’s nuclear site in its northeastern region on Friday, the South Korean military said, raising speculation that the North conducted a nuclear test.
“An artificial quake was detected near North Korea’s Punggye-ri at around 9:30 a.m. local time,” Yonhap news agency quoted South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying.
A government source said there is a high possibility that Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test on the occasion of its 68th anniversary of the establishment of its regime.
The US Geological Survey said on Friday that it had recorded a 5.3 seismic event near a nuclear test site, The Guardian reported.
The event occurred at ground level. Naturally occurring earthquakes strike below ground, the United States Geological Survey said.
In January, North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test after its previous tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.