Earthquake Detected Near North Korea Nuclear Test Site; China "Suspects Explosion"

Tyler Durden's picture

In what may be the latest major escalation involving North Korea - and potentially the nation's 7th nuclear test - China's earthquake administration said it detected a magnitude 3.5 earthquake in North Korea, which it suspects "was caused by an explosion", raising fears that the rogue state has tested another nuclear bomb. The Chinese administration said in a statement on its website that the quake was recorded at a depth of zero kilometers, while Xinhua said the epicenter was in roughly the same place as a similar shallow earthquake on 3 September, which turned out to be caused by North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test.

However, in analyzing the same earthquake, South Korea came to a different conclusion, and said it was likely to be natural or man-made such as a nuclear test. South Korea’s weather agency assessed the seismic activity as a natural event.

"The quake is presumed to have occurred naturally," an agency official said, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. "A sound wave, which is usually generated in the event of an artificial earthquake, was not detected."

“We use several methods to tell whether earthquakes are natural or manmade,” an official, who asked for anonymity, told the Independent. “A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a manmade earthquake. In this case we saw none. So as of now we are categorizing this as a natural earthquake.”

Furthermore, all of North Korea's previous six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 3.9 or above. The last test on 3 September registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake. A secondary tremor detected after that test could have been caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site, experts said at the time.

Additionally, the US Geological Survey said that it detected a magnitude 3.5 quake in the area of previous North Korean nuclear tests, but that it was unable to confirm whether the event was natural. North Korea's weakest nuclear test, its first, which it carried out in 2006, generated a magnitude 3.9 quake.

As shown previously, satellite photos of the area after the 3 September quake showed numerous landslides that were apparently caused by the huge blast, which North Korea said was a hydrogen bomb. It is possible the tremor was linked to ongoing landslide activity.

Overview of Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site Before the nuclear test:

And after:

Nuclear proliferation watchdog CTBTO said on Saturday it had detected two seismic events in North Korea on Saturday but they were probably not deliberate explosions.

“Two #Seismic Events! ... unlikely Man-made! Similar to "collapse“ event 8.5 mins after DPRK6! Analysis ongoing,” CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post.

Concerns about another North Korea test have been heightened ever since Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, who is currently in New York for a United Nations meeting, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific. Ri told reporters that a test of "the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb" was one possible "highest-level" action against the US.

But he said that he did not know exactly what his state's exact plans were. "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un," he added.

The quake comes amid heightened tensions around the Korean Peninsula, as the North has been maintaining a torrid pace in nuclear and weapons tests. The state said its recent nuclear test was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for its developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles. In two July flight tests, those missiles showed potential capability to reach deep into the US mainland when perfected.

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Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

Since the effect of these nuclear detonations have becoming increasing small and short-lived, I suspect the market will simply skip the brief sell-off this time and go directly to new lifetime highs.

IridiumRebel's picture

I buy e-minis every time they test a rocket or nuke.

MillionDollarButter's picture

Then there came a sound, distant first, that grew into castrophany so immense

That it could be heard far away in space

There were no screams, there was no time

The mountain called Monkey had spoken

There was only fire, and then


toady's picture

L'il Kim is testing these all at the same site? How long until he breaks thru the earths crust?

Richard Chesler's picture

May be he just discovered mexican food, tacos and burritos.


BaBaBouy's picture

Where's Bubble Boy Kim getting all his OIL From Now ???

J S Bach's picture

I'd bet there were a lot of 3.5+ "earthquakes" detected in the Nevada deserts during the 40s and 50s, too.  More fear mongering to insidiously goad the plebs into fear and ultimately war.

BigJim's picture

Ya know, it's a long time since any of the established nuclear powers did any actual live tests. Since then they've used computers to develop & simulate testing the various refinements they've been making to their weaponry.

I wouldn't be at all suprised if China were using NK to conduct these tests on various new miniature munitions, on the condition they'd cover for them and pretend to slap sanctions on them, and to pull Trump's tail and test US resolve, all while assuring Kimbo - and warning the US - that they'd intervene if the latter initiates any acts of war.

That's what I'd do if I were the Chinese leadership and had a pet rogue nation next door.

BigJim's picture

... and then I'd test a big fat EMP way above the middle of the Pacific far from land, but surrounded by ship-bourne sensors and detection equipment, just to see exactly what these boogieman munitions can really do.

SoDamnMad's picture

Or Iran could ship weapons parts via second and third country ports to North Korea for testing in trade for guaranteed supplies of oil-fuel and swaps for coal/currency.   This so Is-Ra-Hell who with 300+ of their own nucs doesn't split a vein

Tiwin's picture

Sadly ,true.

And ZeroHedge marches lock step with CNN ABC FOX NYT on this one.

Bay of Pigs's picture

And don't forget to short paper gold and buy some of those attractive Illinois bonds as well.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Earthquake Detected Near North Korea Nuclear Test Site; China "Suspects Explosion"

My response: I believe GOD could end this CRAP with one, two or possibly three HUGE 9.0+ earthquakes that levels both the missle test facilities and the cities. We will see how this one plays out.


The US can send its military home to assist flood victims and rebuild communities.

BigJim's picture

Lulz. Keep taking the Bible three times daily. See you in heaven!

BigJim's picture

You can always count on Chicago's Diversity Dividend®

gatorengineer's picture

I short E-minis a half hour after the market opens as few things are as bullish as a nuke test.


Time for the Cheeto Jesus to draw another line....  Bam Bam would be proud

NEOCON1's picture

How does a welfare recipient homeless bum as yourself get Internet access, let alone money to trade the market?

curbjob's picture

Idk about lifetime highs ? Doesn't it usually require a loss of life incident to get Wall Street to rally hard ? preferably with child fatalities to light a fire under those small caps.

IridiumRebel's picture

Rocket starts!

BigJim's picture

Ah yes, the mythical 23/7 I keep hearing about.

Oh, no, I'm thinking of 24/7

Consuelo's picture



"...burning out his fuse up here alone"

JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Those stupid fucks are bombing themselves again ... 

yogibear's picture

Fat-boy, Un,  says a pacific detonation of an H-bomb.

We shall see.

Hopefully he triggers the volcano to errupt. 

iamrefreshed's picture

North Koreans have what their grandfathers fought for and they don't have the balls to fight against. Hope they enjoy it. That and eating each others flesh.

This is it's picture

Is that the best u can do fat boy? 

land_of_the_few's picture

Not even a supervolcano eruption, again. Disappointing.

Stan522's picture

Maybe God will take care of things for us all....

Deep In Vocal Euphoria's picture

What is there to take care of?


What has north korea ever done you?


I'm waiting......

GreatUncle's picture

They occupy the eastern foothold for an invasion into China & Russia.

Will that do?

backwaterdogs's picture

hillary is NK has some beautiful traffic cops!


I must say, if Kim can get beautiful women to be this disciplined, he definitely is one up on the u.s. in that regard!

Consuelo's picture



Love the billboards...

Stan522's picture

Do you always lick your own dick..?


I'm waiting!

NEOCON1's picture

Their actions cause unintelligent phuqqs like you to pollute the internet biosphere with your "awesome" opinions...nuff said.

Tiwin's picture

Lookie! we are talking tuffy on a country that is not one of Israel's enemies!

The USA is not a puppet state.

See look NK nukes!

Meanwhile.....the magician reaches his right hand towards more mideast war AND your wallet -as you gaze at his kike-y right hand.

Thank you mainstreamJnews and lately ZH too.

NEOCON1's picture

Nice anti-semitism Adolf. Your right arm must be muscular as phuqq with all that Heil Hitlering you do!

NEOCON1's picture

Their actions cause unintelligent phuqqs like you to pollute the internet biosphere with your "awesome" opinions...nuff said.

Nightjar's picture

blablabla whatever

Swamp Yankee's picture

I definitly need moar beer.

Lumberjack's picture

Natural quake at 5km depth, 50 km away from test site.

In other news:

Solar City fined $30 million.

Solar City will pay the federal government almost $30 million for making claims it could not back up.

Solar City made claims for renewable energy grants under the 2009 stimulus package.

The Department of Justice accused them of overstating their costs- violating the False Claims Act.

Deep In Vocal Euphoria's picture

North korea has done fuck all to you fat ugly pig americans.



But I can tell you all what you did to north korea...


1/3 of the population slaughtered.............


it's different this time..........nobody has to fire a are dying.......the rot spreading from the inside out.........i love every second of it...........

OliverAnd's picture

Have you been eating stray dog again?

Deep In Vocal Euphoria's picture

cracking those unfunny jokes wont save you...............

toady's picture

Those were jokes? Bet it gets booed off the stage every open-mic night...

ironmace's picture

You meant deep in my sloppy asshole, google translate can mess up.

Able Ape's picture

I don't know if KIM is spying on Americans BUT I know for certain that Uncle SCAM is...He listens to EVERYTHING; so tell me, who's more likely to bust your door down in the middle of the night and cart you away?  That's right - UNCLE SCAM!...

The Jaguar's picture

NK is one big fat ugly pig, anyone can see that. You sound like you are triggering yourself again dopey.

any_mouse's picture

There was kinetic military action going on.

Norks used human shields.

Had the North taken over the South there would have been many more deaths of civilians.

Stalinist Kim would have been in charge of the entire peninsula.

Korean Christians would have been slaughtered in a Korean Holodomor.

The problem was that the Deep State did not want a terminal confrontation with Communist China and Soviet Union.