An earthquake measuring 6.3 magnitude has struck North Korea near a known nuclear test site, Punggye-ri, suggesting that Pyongyang may have conducted its sixth nuclear test, Yonhap reports.
An allegedly artificial quake was detected at 12:36pm in North Hamgyeong Province, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), Yonhap reports.
“Today, at around 12:36pm, we detected an artificial earthquake measuring 5.6 magnitude… we are analyzing whether a nuclear test was conducted,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to Yonhap.
The USGS reported the tremor as a 6.3 magnitude, while China’s earthquake administration also said it detected a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in northeastern North Korea, calling it a “suspected explosion,” Reuters reported.
The Pentagon and the JCS have urgently called for a crisis countermeasure, assuming that North Korea is most likely to have conducted a sixth nuclear test, the report added. Seoul has placed its military on highest alert and is closely cooperating with the US.
Seoul’s presidential office has already accused its neighbor of conducting a nuclear test while president Moon Jae-in has convened a National Security Council meeting.