Seoul, Sep 9, 2016: A 5.3 magnitude seismic event was detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site in its northeastern region on Friday, the South Korean military said, suspecting that the North conducted a 5th and biggest nuclear test.
“An artificial quake was detected near North Korea’s Punggye-ri at around 9:30 a.m. local time,” media 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 event occurred at ground level. Naturally occurring earthquakes strike below ground, the United States Geological Survey said.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s military said North Korea may have conducted the “most powerful” nuclear test so far on Friday after an artificial earthquake was detected at a site where its fourth nuclear test was carried out earlier this year.
In January, North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test after its previous tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.