North Korea Has 5.3 Seismic Event, USGS Labels It An ‘Explosion,’ Did The Rogue Nation Test Another Nuke? [Breaking/Video]

A 5.3 magnitude seismic event has just been reported in North Korea, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). USGS isn’t calling the 5.3 magnitude event in North Korea an “earthquake,” either. They are calling it an “explosion.” And the 5.3 magnitude North Korea explosion happened almost on top of Sungjibaegam, North Korea, and a known nuclear testing facility. The event took place at 00:30:01 UTC on Friday, September 9.

What’s more, the North Korea seismic activity comes amid weeks of speculation that the tiny rogue nation, which was recently reprimanded for test-firing missiles into the Sea of Japan, may be getting ready to test another nuclear weapon.

As Sputnik News reports, if confirmed, this will the fifth nuclear test that North Korea has conducted in its underground test facility. The majority of North Korea’s recent nuclear and ballistic tests have been conducted since January of this year, and are believed to be in response to recent crippling sanctions implemented by the United Nations. The news of the possible North Korea nuclear test also comes following a recent report by security experts that indicated that North Korea was quickly and drastically building up its nuclear arsenal.

“Assuming the current rate of development, while North Korea still faces significant technological challenges including building a new class of submarine to carry the missile, it is on track to develop the capability to strike targets in the region — including Japan — by 2020.”

While the USGS has recorded the magnitude of the recent North Korea seismic activity at 5.3 magnitude, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre has documented it at 5.0. Bloomberg reports that the early morning seismic activity in North Korea was extremely shallow and showed telltale signs of being “artificial in nature.” That is because the recent North Korea quake is believed to have originated at or near the Earth’s surface, not underground like a naturally occurring quake.

The recent large quake in North Korea was also reported by the government of South Korea as being a probable nuclear test by the North. The recent seismic activity took place at almost exactly the same location that a 5.1 earthquake was recorded in January. That earthquake was later determined to be the fourth nuclear test conducted by North Korea. So far, today’s North Korea event seems to be mirroring the country’s fourth nuclear test very starkly, at least according to initial reports.

As Reuters reports, today’s North Korea quake is widely believed to have been a test of an unidentified nuclear weapon. Like the January nuclear test and a multitude of missile tests this year, if it is confirmed that North Korea tested another nuke, it would be yet another violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The sanctions currently being faced by the isolated dictatorship are the direct result of decades of the nation violating such resolutions.

CNN reports that within the last week, North Korea also launched three ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. That provocative action came without warning, posing a potential threat to air and sea vessels in the missile’s paths, and was first reported on by the South Korean military. Those missiles were launched from the country’s North Hwanghae province.

Following that successful launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un publicly declared that he was greatly satisfied, and in a report released Tuesday, he called on his nation to “bolster its nuclear forces.” If the recent 5.3 magnitude seismic event that occurred near the North Korean military testing facility is confirmed to be another nuclear test, it will appear that the nation’s military immediately followed the direction of their leader.

So far, the cause of the large and apparently artificial seismic quake in North Korea hasn’t been independently confirmed. However, governments the world over are seriously investigating the earthquake. At this point, it is unknown what is next for North Korea.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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