North Korea quake 'not a nuclear test' - report

The underwater test-fire of a strategic submarine ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea on April 23. (KCNA via KNS, AFP)
The underwater test-fire of a strategic submarine ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea on April 23. (KCNA via KNS, AFP)

Seoul – An undersea earthquake off the coast of North Korea was not caused by a nuclear test, the South's media reported on Thursday.

The 5.9-magnitude quake struck about 190km southeast of the reclusive state's third largest city, Chongjin, in the early hours of Thursday, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

North Korea has staged five nuclear tests – including two last year – and has made significant progress in its missile capability under Kim Jong-Un, who took power in 2011.

But the quake, which did not trigger a tsunami warning, was not caused by a nuclear test, Yonhap news agency reported USGS geophysicist John Bellini as saying.

"It occurred at 500km below the sea bed," he told the agency.

"It's a natural earthquake."

Tensions between Pyongyang and the US soared earlier this month when the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, an apparent game-changer in its confrontation with Washington over its nuclear and missile programmes. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 6031 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 7112 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.27
(+1.04)
ZAR/GBP
21.37
(-0.29)
ZAR/EUR
19.30
(+0.83)
ZAR/AUD
11.57
(+0.27)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.19)
Gold
1927.40
(+0.91)
Silver
25.15
(+1.70)
Platinum
890.00
(+2.23)
Brent Crude
43.05
(+1.28)
Palladium
2411.00
(+0.90)
All Share
55380.88
(+0.20)
Top 40
50973.14
(+0.24)
Financial 15
10088.38
(+1.33)
Industrial 25
74857.02
(-0.94)
Resource 10
54484.84
(+1.30)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo