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China detects 3.4-magnitude earthquake in North Korea in 'suspected explosion'; Seoul deems it natural quake

Beijing: China's seismic service CENC on Saturday detected a zero-depth, 3.4-magnitude earthquake in North Korea, calling it a "suspected explosion".

The epicenter is roughly the same as that of a previous shallow earthquake on 3 September, which turned out to be caused by a North Korean nuclear test, the official Xinhua news agency said.

 China detects 3.4-magnitude earthquake in North Korea in suspected explosion; Seoul deems it natural quake

File image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Reuters

Meanwhile, South Korea's weather agency said a magnitude 3.0 earthquake was detected in North Korea around where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural.

An official from Seoul's Korea Meteorological Administration said Saturday's quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea. She said it was clear that the quake wasn't caused by an artificial explosion. She spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.

The earthquake comes after days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US president Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un's regime, which has raised international alarm.

The September test was North Korea's sixth and most powerful detonation, triggering a much stronger 6.3-magnitude quake that was felt across the border in China.

Pyongyang later said it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted onto a missile - an assertion that no foreign government has so far confirmed.

The move prompted global condemnation, leading the UN Security Council to unanimously adopt new sanctions that include restrictions on oil shipments.

Hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs, are thermonuclear weapons far more powerful than ordinary fission-based atomic bombs, and use a nuclear blast to generate the intense temperatures required for fusion to take place.

With inputs from AP and AFP

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Updated Date: Sep 23, 2017 16:19:11 IST