Earthquake in North Korea raises suspicions of weapons test

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Suspicions are high that North Korea may have carried out another weapons test today after a magnitude-2.9 earthquake was detected very close to one of their test sites.

Maps showing the epicentre of a 2.9 quake in North Korea, left, along with the location of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, right.

Maps showing the epicentre of a 2.9 quake in North Korea, left, along with the location of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, right.

Source: US Geological Survey/Google Maps

The quake took place at 16.41 UTC (5.41am NZT) at a depth of 5km, the US Geological Survey reported.

It was centred very close to North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, which previous weapons tests have been detected at through the earthquakes they generate.

The last time a weapon was detonated at the site, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake was detected.

There are no nearby tectonic plate faultline boundaries to the test site.

Tensions between North Korea and western powers have escalated in recent months, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatening the United States, in particular, with war.

It has conducted several ballistic missile tests, as well as publicly stating it is working on a nuclear-capable ICBM.

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