A 2.7 magnitude earthquake was detected Friday near a nuclear test site in North Korea, which the Korean weather authorities assessed to be natural.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the quake originated some 10 kilometers away from where the communist regime conducted its sixth and largest nuclear detonation.
It was detected at 1:41 a.m. Friday in the northwest region of Gilju in North Hamkyung Province from a depth of about 3 kilometers underground.
The US Geological Survey assessed it to be of 2.9 magnitude, originating 23 kilometers northeast of Sungjibaegam, Ryanggang Province, in North Korea.
“The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event,” said a statement released by the US Geological Survey.
The area is considered stable and quakes do not normally occur there. However, since the Sept. 3 underground nuke test, it has seen two other quakes of magnitude 2.6 and 3.2.
The North’s latest nuclear experiment, which it claimed involved the test of a hydrogen bomb, generated seismic waves of 5.7 magnitude, according to the Korean authorities, or 6.3 magnitude based on the US’ analysis.
Experts say the small quakes that occurred after the test may have been linked to the nuclear detonation, with some suggesting a possible increase of geological stress in the area.
All of North Korea’s nuclear explosions since 2006 caused earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.3 or above.
By Kim Da-sol (email@example.com