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Seoul: A 5.0 magnitude earthquake was detected near North Korea’s nuclear site in its northeastern region on Friday, the South Korean military said, raising speculation that the North conducted a nuclear test.

“An artificial quake was detected near North Korea’s Punggye-ri at around 9:30 am local time,” Yonhap news agency quoted South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying.

(Also Read: North Korea rejects UNSC condemnation on its missile launches)

A government source said there is a high possibility that Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test on the occasion of its 68th anniversary of the establishment of its regime.

The US Geological Survey said on Friday that it had recorded a 5.3 seismic event near a nuclear test site, The Guardian reported.

The event occurred at ground level. Naturally occurring earthquakes strike below ground, the United States Geological Survey said.

In January, North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test after its previous tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

First Published | 9 September 2016 8:39 AM
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