- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2016

An “artificial earthquake” was detected in North Korea early Friday, likely caused by Pyongyang’s fifth nuclear test, according to South Korean officials.

The Yonhap News Agency, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported that the 5-magnitude earthquake was detected around 9:30 a.m. near North Korea’s principal nuclear sites in that country’s northeast.

North Korea is not on any of the major earthquake fault lines, which strongly suggests another nuclear test. According to U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was of 5.3 magnitude near Punggye-ri and the result of an “explosion.” 

According to Yonhap, citing a “South Korean government source,” there is “a high possibility that Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test” to commemorate the anniversary of the Communist regime’s 1948 founding.

“Given the location and magnitude of the seismic activity detected, the quake is likely to have been caused by a nuclear device,” the source told Yonhap.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn cleared his schedule Friday afternoon to hold an emergency National Security Council meeting, Yonhap reported.

Yonhap had reported earlier Thursday that “recent satellite imagery shows fresh activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site.”

North Korea’s previous nuclear tests were conducted in 2006, 2009, 2013 and in January of this year.

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