The USGS reports that a shallow (5km deep) magnitude 2.9 earthquake was reported in North korea, 23km NE of Sungjibaegam, close to where the country conducts nuclear tests.
While initial reports suggest that the quake was not caused by a nuclear test, the USGS has said it is unable to conifirm, yet, whether the quake was natural or man made.
- USGS CAN'T CONFIRM WHETHER N. KOREA QUAKE NATURAL OR MAN-MADE
Until there is confirmation that this was a natural aftershock, the market is not taking any chances, and the USDJPY has sold off notably on the report. As discussed previously, officials have been expecting the North to do something provocative surrounding either its national holiday on October 10 or the start of the Chinese Party Plenum next week.
In North Korea related news, earlier in the day Russia announced, somewhat amusingly, that North Korea officially deems Crimea as part of Russia, suggesting that relations between Moscow and Pyongyang continue to grow even as China appears to have become increasingly disenchanted with its provocative neighbor.