Small quake registered in North Korea near nuclear test site

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Suspicions are high that North Korea may have carried out another weapons test today after a magnitude-2.9 quake was detected very close to one of their test sites. "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.

The tremor hit at 01:41 am (1641 GMT Thursday) with a depth of around five kilometres (three miles), the US Geological Survey said, with the epicentre located north of the Punggye-Ri testing site.

"This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests. The event has quake like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event". On September 3, Pyongyang announced a successful test of a hydrogen bomb.

Including the latest quake, 114 earthquakes with magnitude of two or greater were recorded on the Korean Peninsula this year.

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However, experts warned that the detection of a quake does not always indicate a nuclear test.

But a later joint report by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and UC Santa Cruz claimed the quake was likely caused by a collapsing tunnel, the LA Times reported on October 6.

All six nuclear tests have been carried out in this location in the northwest tip of the country.

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