VIDEO: North Korea is suspected of having conducted its fifth nuclear test, as a magnitude five earthquake is detected close to its test site.
There has been no confirmation from the North, but previous artificial earthquakes in that area and of that magnitude have all been nuclear tests.
Recent satellite imagery and intelligence has indicated increased activity at the Punggye-ri site, where North Korea carried out its previous tests, indicating a fifth was imminent.
The US Geological Survey, which monitors global seismic activity, said Friday morning’s tremor had been detected in that area and was caused by “an explosion”.
North Korea analyst Jeffrey Lewis, at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the US, told Reuters the size of Friday’s tremor indicated a device with a 20 to 30 kilotonne yield.
If confirmed, that would be the North’s largest device to date.
North Korea is banned by UN sanctions from any tests of nuclear or missile technology.
But in recent months it has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches and has threatened to carry out nuclear attacks on its enemies.
Japan PM says suspected North Korea nuclear test can’t be tolerated
TOKYO – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that a suspected nuclear test by North Korea could not be tolerated and that Japan would protest strongly to Pyongyang if confirmed.
A seismic tremor was recorded in an area around North Korea’s known nuclear site on Friday, and was suspected to be the fifth nuclear test by the isolated nation. REUTERS