Shockwaves from a small earthquake in North Korea set off seismic equipment run by the United States Geological Survey.
USGS said the magnitude-2.9 earthquake occurred in the area where North Korea carried out its prior nuclear tests.
“This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests,” the agency said. “The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature of the event.”
The depth of the quake was held to 3 miles by the seismologist. The USGS said that only the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) is tasked with identifying and measuring nuclear explosions by foreign powers.
North Korea claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb under a mountain in the same area in early September this year. That test caused a magnitude-6.3 earthquake, exponentially more powerful than the one recorded today.
The report of the earthquake comes amid heightened tensions between the reclusive communist regime and the United States. President Donald Trump’s administration spearheaded an effort to impose the toughest United Nations sanctions on North Korea yet in an effort to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.
But the communist dictator appears undeterred. Pyongyang tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb earlier this year and fired rockets over Japan as it pursues the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.
Trump warned North Korea that the United States was ready to “totally destroy” North Korea should it endanger the United States or its allies.
“Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Policy didn’t work!”
In a follow-up message, Trump hinted to Kim, whom he refers to as “Little Rocket Man,” that agreements and negotiations have done nothing to resolve the conflict and that “only one thing will work.” The White House later clarified that Trump was referring to military action.
Trump is a fierce opponent of communism and has often referred to it as a deadly and destructive ideology. North Korea is a typical late-stage communist regime, with millions of people living in terror and the majority of the populace destitute under a corrupt elite class. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people are feared to have perished in the nationwide network of forced labor camps.