North Korea claims successful test of ‘missile-ready’ nuclear bomb – live

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “North Korea claims successful test of ‘missile-ready’ nuclear bomb – live” was written by Nicola Slawson (now) Melissa Davey (earlier), for theguardian.com on Sunday 3rd September 2017 12.04 UTC

Trump responds to nuclear test

Anna Fifield, the Tokyo bureau chief for Washington Post, has tweeted the front page of Rodong Sinmun, a North Korean newspaper. The headline, she says, reads: “Respected supreme leader comrade Kim Jong-un directs the nuclear weapons project.”

Updated

A dark shadow is looming over the world after more than half a century of peace, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has said after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test.

Xi made no direct reference to Sunday morning’s detonation as he addressed an annual summit of the Brics nations but told his audience that only through dialogue, consultation and negotiation could “the flame of war be put out”.

2017 BRICS Summit in Chinaepa06180529 Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum at the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center in Xiamen in southeastern China’s Fujian Province, 03 September 2017. The ninth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit in Xiamen runs from 03 to 05 September. EPA/Mark Schiefelbein / POOL
Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the Brics Business Forum in Xiamen, China.
Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein / POOL/EPA

“Thanks to the joint effort of all countries, global peace has reigned for more than half a century. However, incessant conflicts in some parts of the world and hotspot issues are posing challenges to world peace,” Xi said in his 40-minute address to a summit between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in south-east China.

“The intertwined threats of terrorism and a lack of cybersecurity – among others – have cast a dark shadow over the world. People around the world want peace and cooperation, not conflict or confrontation.”

More on that story here:

Updated

In South Korea, residents are continuing as normal despite the actions of their unpredictable neighbour.

Yeon Park, from Gimhae in southern South Korea, says no one really cares as it’s happened before. He told the Guardian:

To be honest, not many South Koreans realise the reality [of the situation] including myself. What North Korea is doing is on air everyday on the news, but I don’t think people here care about it a lot. Even I don’t really care about it as this kind of news has occurred many times.

Hyunhee Kim also said she wasn’t paying much attention:

I know it is an emergency. But this happens often and the end is always quiet and nothing happened. So I do not worry about it again. News comes from multiple channels, but I do not pay much attention. I don’t know how things are going, but I do not think there will be anything particularly bad this time again.

Elliot Morris, an English teacher from the UK who has lived in South Korea since 2010, also isn’t too worried. He said:

I don’t feel too anxious or concerned at the moment. I normally take the policy of seeing how my Korean colleagues and friends react to these bits of news from the North. It seems like business as usual today. I stopped getting worried about these things a few years ago. However, I’m probably keeping a closer eye on it at the moment as there has been an uptick in the Northern Korean chest beating of late.

Updated

In China, The Global Times, a nationalist, Communist party-run tabloid that sometimes reflects Beijing’s way of thinking, has put out this English-language editorial.

“This is another wrong choice that Pyongyang has made in violation of UN security council resolutions and the will of the international community. This test will result in a new round of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula and heighten the risk of the situation spiralling out of control due to possible miscalculations by all sides,” the newspaper warns.

“Currently, the most important thing for China is to make sure that we are able to detect if a nuclear leak occurs, to allow us to inform people living in the north-eastern China to take the appropriate safety measures.”

Updated

Japan says North Korea poses a “grave and urgent” threat

Japan’s prime minister has said North Korea’s nuclear test is “absolutely unacceptable” and said its nuclear and missile programmes pose a “more grave and urgent” threat to his country.

“The fact that North Korea forced through a nuclear test this time is absolutely unacceptable to our country,” Shinzo Abe said in a statement.

The statement continued:

North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programme is a threat that is more grave and urgent to the safety of our country and has entered a new stage. It is significantly hurting regional and international peace and stability. Our country lodge a strict protest against North Korea and condemns it in the strongest words.

Updated

John Delury, a North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul, wrote an analysis earlier today on what needs to happen next to calm the situation down. Donald Trump has a very big part to play, he said.

The test does not fundamentally change the situation on the Korean peninsula, though it is another acceleration. What is still missing is diplomacy. It is up to the Trump administration whether they want to flip this into an opportunity to belatedly start talking directly to Pyongyang, or just continue down the beaten track of shows of force, more UN sanctions, and secondary sanctions.

Updated

The United Nations nuclear watchdog said the test was “extremely regrettable” and called North Korea’s nuclear programme a “grave concern”.

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said:

Today’s nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is an extremely regrettable act … Once again, I strongly urge the to fully implement all relevant resolutions. The agency continues to closely follow developments in the DPRK*s nuclear programme, which is a matter of grave concern.

North Korea said the test was a successful detonation of an advanced hydrogen bomb rather than a standard nuclear fission device.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBT), which monitors seismic and radionuclide data worldwide, said the explosion was stronger than previous blasts and was located at the site of earlier nuclear tests.

The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions but it will only enter into force if all countries with advanced nuclear technology ratify it. The outstanding nations are China, Egypt, North Korea, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the US.

Lassina Zerbo, the CTBT’s secretary general, said:

If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would indicate that the DPRK’s nuclear programme is advancing rapidly. I sincerely hope that this will serve as the final wake-up call to the international community to outlaw all nuclear testing by bringing the CTBT into force.

Updated

For background reading, my colleague Pádraig Collins has put together this timeline of North Korea’s nuclear weapon development.

The apparent nuclear test today is the sixth test that North Korea is thought to have carried out since 2006. According to South Korean authorities, the test was about 11 times stronger than North Korea’s test in January last year and up to six times stronger than its test last September.

Updated

Russia and France condemn North Korea’s actions

The Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday it was deeply concerned about a reported nuclear test by North Korea. The ministry said it regretted that the leadership of North Korea was “creating a serious threat” for the region and warned that “the continuation of such a line is fraught with serious consequences” for Pyongyang.

The statement on the ministry’s website said:

This latest demonstrative disregard by Pyongyang of the requirements of the relevant resolutions of the UN security council and the norms of international law deserves the strongest condemnation.

In the unfolding conditions, it is imperative to remain calm and to refrain from any actions that lead to a further escalation of tension. We call on all interested parties to immediately return to dialogue and negotiations as the only possible way for an overall settlement of the problems of the Korean peninsula.

Meanwhile, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, released a statement that said the international community, including the UN security council, on which the country sits, should react quickly and firmly to North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

The President of the Republic calls on the members of the United Nations security council to quickly react to this new violation by North Korea of international law.

The international community must treat this new provocation with the utmost firmness, in order to bring North Korea back unconditionally to the path of dialogue and to proceed to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic programme.

Updated

The US is “firmly committed” to defending Japan

During an emergency call between US national security adviser HR McMaster and his Japanese counterpart, McMaster said Washington was firmly committed to defending Japan, including with its nuclear deterrent, following North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

The security official made the assurance during a telephone call to Shotarou Taniuchi, the director-general of the Japanese national security council, according to a Japanese government statement.

Under Japan’s alliance treaty with the US, Washington has pledged to defend Japan. It has put Japan under its nuclear umbrella, meaning it could respond to any attack on Japan with atomic weapons.

Updated

China’s nuclear safety administration said it had begun emergency monitoring for radiation along the border after North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test.

The test was widely felt in north-east China and rocked some cities for as long as eight seconds, according to reports and accounts on social media. It was felt as far away as the city of Changchun, about 250 miles (400km north-west of North Korea’s test site at Punggye-ri, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Witnesses in the Chinese city of Yanji, which borders North Korea, said they felt a tremor that lasted several seconds. Some people said they ran out of their homes in fear.

Michael Spavor, director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, told Reuters:

I was eating brunch just over the border here in Yanji when we felt the whole building shake. It lasted for about five seconds. The city air raid sirens started going off.

One person wrote on Chinese microblog Weibo:

I put my underpants on and I just ran, and when I reached the first floor I can say I wasn’t the only one running away with just my underpants on.

Another, as reported by AFP said:

I was lying down and sleeping when the tremor woke me up. At first, I thought it was a dream.

Updated

Guam homeland security and the office of civil defence has released a statement via its Facebook page seeking to reassure citizens. The statement said the situation was being closely monitored by security chiefs.

There are no known immediate threats assessed for Guam and the Marianas at this time. The threat level remains the same.

Guam, a sovereign US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, is used by the US as a strategic military base. The small remote island is within range of North Korean medium- and long-range missiles and in August was threatened by North Korea.

Pyongyang said at the time it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, located 3,400km (2,100 miles) away, and threatened to create an “enveloping fire” around the territory.

Updated

The nuclear test will create maximum embarrassment for Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, experts have said. Xi was only hours from opening the summit of the BRICS nations – the association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – when news of the test emerged.

Eva Dou of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that the opening speech had been upstaged by North Korea’s actions.

However, Stephen McDonell of the BBC, said that the president had not mentioned the nuclear test.

Updated

South Korea calls for the “strongest possible” response

South Korea said North Korea’s defiant sixth nuclear test should be met with the “strongest possible” response, including new UN security council sanctions to “completely isolate” the country.

Seoul and Washington also discussed deploying US strategic military assets to the Korean peninsula after North Korea defied international warnings and conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet on Sunday, South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said in a news briefing.

Updated

China “strongly condemns” North Korea’s nuclear test

China’s ministry of foreign affairs has just released a statement saying it “resolutely opposes” and “strongly condemns” the nuclear test, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

The statement says:

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has once again conducted a nuclear test in spite of widespread opposition from the international community. The Chinese government resolutely opposes and strongly condemns it.

For those who can read Chinese, the full statement is here.

Updated

My colleague Justin McCurry in Tokyo has the full story on this morning’s news that North Korea seems to have carried out its sixth nuclear test.

Here’s some background from that article:

Sunday’s test – the first since Trump took office in January – offers more evidence that North Korea is moving perilously close to developing a nuclear warhead capable of being fitted on to an intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM] that can strike the US mainland.

Since it conducted its first nuclear test just over a decade ago, the regime has strived to refine the bombs’ design and reliability, as well as increasing their yield.

As the US and countries in the region analysed data resulting from the quake, Japan’s government was the first to state publicly that it was confident the shockwaves came from an underground nuclear explosion in North Korea.

Top security officials from the US and South Korea have spoken following North Korea’s apparent sixth nuclear test, South Korea’s presidential office has said.

US national security adviser HR McMaster spoke with his counterpart, Chung Eui-yong in Seoul, for 20 minutes in an emergency phone call about an hour after the detonation, the office said.

This is Nicola Slawson and I’ll be continuing to update you on the latest news from North Korea throughout the morning.

Here’s the full text of the statement from North Korea on its hydrogen bomb test, which Jonathan Cheng of the Wall Street Journal has posted on Twitter:

Updated

What we know so far:

Melissa Davey signing off from Melbourne and handing this live blog over to my UK colleague Nicola Slawson. Thanks for following the latest developments with us – here’s what we know so far:

  • North Korea claims to have successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test.
  • According to South Korean authorities, the test was about 11 times stronger than North Korea’s test in January last year and up to six times stronger than its test last September.
  • During a broadcast on North Korea’s state news agency KNCA, Pyongyang claims it is close to developing a nuclear warhead capable of being fitted on to an intercontinental ballistic missile.
  • South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff say they detected a seismic wave from 12.34-12.36pm around Punggyeri, North Korea, while China’s Earthquake Administration said it detected a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea that was a “suspected explosion”.
  • A second quake in North Korea of magnitude 4.6 suspected to be a second explosion was more likely to be a structural collapse, news reports say, likely caused by the first explosion.

More to come …

Updated

It sounds like the second tremor reported, initially thought to be another nuclear test, was a structural collapse in the aftermath of the first explosion,possibly a tunnel collapse, reports say.

Updated

North Korea claims successful test of H-bomb

North Korea has said it successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded on to a intercontinental ballistic missile, Yonhap News in South Korea reports.

North Korea’s state-run TV broadcaster said that Pyongyang carried out the sixth nuclear test in a special announcement hours after an artificial earthquake was detected near its nuclear test site.

An artificial earthquake with a 5.7 magnitude was detected at 12:29pm near North Korea’s nuclear site in the north-eastern area.

Updated

The Guardian’s Tokyo correspondent, Justin McCurry, has written a wrap of the latest developments in North Korea:

North Korea has carried out a nuclear test in a direct challenge to Donald Trump, hours after it released images of what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb that will be loaded on to a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

The regime confirmed it had conducted its sixth underground test, which was heralded by a magnitude 6.3 magnitude earthquake felt in Yanji, China, about 10km from North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the country’s north-east, according to South Korea’s meteorological agency.

The shockwaves were at least 10 times as powerful as the last time Pyongyang exploded an atomic bomb a year ago, Japan’s meteorological agency said. The previous nuclear blast in North Korea is estimated by experts to have been about 10 kilotons.

Sunday’s test – the first since Donald Trump took office in January – offers more evidence that North Korea is moving perilously close to developing a nuclear warhead capable of being fitted on to an intercontinental ballistic missile that can strike the US mainland.

You can read McCurry’s full report here.

Updated

North Korea claims in TV announcement to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test

Updated

According to South Korean news agency Yonhap:

South Korea has contradicted a news report that there was a second earthquake near North Korea’s nuclear test site, according to AP News. The Korea Meteorological Administration said it had not detected another quake.

South Korea’s Yonhap news service reported a second earthquake had happened eight minutes after the first, citing China’s earthquake agency.

Tremors caused by the suspected nuclear test were at least 10 times as powerful as the last time Pyongyang exploded an atomic bomb a year ago, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said on Sunday. The previous nuclear blast in North Korea is estimated by experts to have been about 10 kilotons.

Updated

The US president has postured and threatened while Kim Jong-un has simply ploughed on building a nuclear warhead and a missile that can carry it, writes John Delury, a North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul:

The test does not fundamentally change the situation on the Korean peninsula, thought it is another acceleration. What is still missing is diplomacy. It is up to the Trump administration whether they want to flip this into an opportunity to belatedly start talking directly to Pyongyang, or just continue down the beaten track of shows of force, more UN sanctions, and secondary sanctions. More of the same stuff that has been done for the last eight years.

Read Delury’s full analysis for the Guardian here.

Updated

Latest test has yield of up to 100 kilotons

South Korean news agency Yonhap News has just filed this report:

North Korea’s apparent sixth nuclear test was estimated to have a yield of up to 100 kilotons, about four to five times stronger than the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945, the chief of the parliament’s defence committee said on Sunday.

Citing a report from the military authorities, Kim Young-woo said that the explosive power of the apparent nuke tested Sunday appeared to be much stronger than the North’s fifth one, estimated to have a yield of 10 kilotons. One kiloton is equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT.

“(The North’s latest test) is estimated to have a yield of up to 100 kilotons, though it is a provisional report,” Kim of the minor opposition Bareun party told Yonhap News Agency over the phone. “The test will be a very crucial political and strategic inflexion point.”
Kim also pointed out the need for the Moon Jae-in administration to make a decision over whether to stick to its peace initiative that seeks to re-engage with the belligerent state through both sanctions and dialogue.

Earlier in the day, the South’s weather agency detected a magnitude 5.7 earthquake from the North’s Pyunggye-ri nuclear test site in a sign of another strategic provocation. South Korean intelligence authorities have said that Pyongyang appears ready for another nuke test.

Pyongyang carried out nuke experiments in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016.

Updated

Veteran foreign correspondent and North Korea expert Jean Lee is well worth following on Twitter for updates.

Update from North Korea expected in less than an hour

According to the Guardian’s Tokyo correspondent, Justin McCurry, an update from North Korea is expected in less than an hour.

North Korea will make an announcement later on Sunday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. The regime is set to make a “special and important” announcement at 3pm Pyongyang time, the North’s state-run TV broadcaster said, but did not provide further details.

Updated

Wang Zhen from the Guardian’s Beijing bureau has been speaking to people near the border.

“I was having lunch in a restaurant when the lights just started shaking,” Zhang Zhiyuan, a journalist for the Chinese newspaper Yanji News, who lives and works near China’s border with North Korea, told Zhen.

“People here have all run outside of their apartments.”

Updated

John Delury is an associate professor of chinese studies and North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul in South Korea. He says the sixth nuclear test was “widely expected”.

In fact, he predicted as such one day ago:

Updated

What we know so far

  • An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 was recorded inside North Korea, hours after the regime boasted it had built a new, more advanced nuclear warhead.
  • South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff say they detected a seismic wave from 12.34-12.36pm around Punggyeri, North Korea.
  • South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quotes military officials as saying they believe North Korea has conducted its sixth nuclear test.
  • China’s Earthquake Administration said it detected a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea that was a “suspected explosion”.
  • The same body said it detected another quake in North Korea of magnitude 4.6, which it termed as a “collapse”.
  • A statement from the administration’s said the second quake, measured at a depth of zero kilometres, came eight minutes after the first quake, which it said was a “suspected explosion”.
  • Witnesses in the Chinese city of Yanji, on the border with North Korea, said they felt a tremor that lasted roughly 10 seconds, followed by an aftershock.
  • Japan’s prime minister, Shinzō Abe, says “If North Korea has indeed gone ahead with a nuclear test, it is completely unacceptable and we must lodge a strong protest.”
  • The Japanese government shortly after determines that North Korea has conducted its sixth nuclear test, the country’s foreign minister, Taro Kono said.

Updated

Japan confirms nuclear test

The Japanese government has determined North Korea on Sunday conducted its sixth nuclear test, the country’s foreign minister, Taro Kono said, according to Kyodo news.

Updated

At a doorstop in Sydney, Australia, the deputy Labor leader, Tanya Plibersek, has called conflict on the Korean peninsula “the greatest threat to peace and stability in our region”.

“It is absolutely vital that we continue to see pressure from the international community to support peace and de-escalation of conflict on the Korean peninsula. Right across our region governments have been watching North Korea’s actions with a great deal of concern and trepidation.”

Asked about North Korea’s claim it is capable of fitting a hydrogen bomb to an intercontinental ballistic missile, Plibersek said it was “very difficult to know how much of the North Korean regime’s propaganda is true” and said that reports differed on the likelihood of that claim being true.

“What we know for certain is that the North Korean regime is behaving irresponsibly, aggressively and in a way that threatens peace and security in our region … [and] that the people most likely to influence with the North Korean regime is China and we continue to urge China to do all it can to urge the North Korean regime to stand down.”

For those just joining us, it appears North Korea has just launched its biggest nuclear test to date at a test site in the north-east of the country. The suspected test comes hours after leader Kim Jong-un said his country had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb. The Guardian has just posted this backgrounder on how we got to this point:

Updated

Shinzō Abe, the prime minister of Japan, is responding to news of the suspected test

Japan’s government said it would lodge a “strong protest” if the nuclear test was confirmed. “If North Korea has indeed gone ahead with a nuclear test, it is completely unacceptable and we must lodge a strong protest,” Abe told reporters on Sunday.

The US president, Donald Trump, had just spoken with Abe on Saturday. According to a statement from the White House: “The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of close cooperation between the United States, Japan, and South Korea in the face of the growing threat from North Korea”.

Updated

North Korea earthquake points to largest nuclear test

Updated

Here’s where the explosion occurred, based on information from the United States Geological Survey:

NK locator map

NK locator map

Reuters has filed this take on the latest developments:

A shallow, 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook North Korea on Sunday, suggesting it had detonated a sixth nuclear device, hours after it said it had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb that possesses “great destructive power”.

The earthquake struck 75 km (45 miles) north/north-west of Kimchaek. Previous recent tremors in the region have been caused by nuclear tests, which if the case this time round, is bound to increase the tension hours after US president Donald Trump and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe talked by phone about the “escalating” nuclear crisis.

The quake was only 10 km deep, the US Geological Survey said, again suggesting a nuclear device.

Eight minutes later, China’s Earthquake Administration said it has detected another quake in North Korea of magnitude 4.6, which it termed as a “collapse” and a “suspected explosion”.

The coordinates of the two quakes were almost identical, according to figures provided by the administration.

Witnesses in the Chinese city of Yanji, on the border with North Korea, said they felt a tremor that lasted roughly 10 seconds, followed by an aftershock.

The hydrogen bomb report by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency comes amid heightened regional tension following Pyongyang’s two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in July that potentially could fly about 10,000km (6,200 miles), putting many parts of the mainland United States within range. Under third-generation leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea has been pursuing a nuclear device small and light enough to fit on a long-range ballistic missile, without affecting its range and making it capable of surviving re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of UN security council resolutions and sanctions, “recently succeeded” in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb that will be loaded on to an ICBM, KCNA said.

“The H-bomb, the explosive power of which is adjustable from tens kiloton to hundreds kiloton, is a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals,” KCNA said.

“All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes … were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

Juche is North Korea’s homegrown ideology of self-reliance that is a mix of Marxism and extreme nationalism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader’s grandfather. It says its weapons programmes are needed to counter US aggression.

North Korea offered no evidence for its latest claim, and Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University*s Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, was sceptical.

“Referring to tens to hundreds of kilotons, it doesn*t appear to be talking about a fully fledged H-bomb. It’s more likely a boosted nuclear device,” Kim said, referring to an atomic bomb which uses some hydrogen isotopes to boost explosive yield.

A hydrogen bomb can achieve thousands of kilotons of explosive yield – massively more powerful than some 10 to 15 kilotons that North Korea*s last nuclear test in September was estimated to have produced, similar to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

Updated

Second quake reported

According to Reuters in China, China’s Earthquake Administration said it has detected another quake in North Korea of magnitude 4.6, which it termed as a “collapse”.

A statement on the administration’s website said the second quake, measured at a depth of zero kilometres, came eight minutes after the first quake, which it said was a “suspected explosion”.

The coordinates of the two quakes were almost identical, according to figures provided by the administration.

China’s Earthquake Administration said on Sunday it detected a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in North Korea that was a “suspected explosion”. The administration said in a statement on its website that the quake, which occurred around 11:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), was recorded at a depth of zero kilometres.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency is quoting military officials as saying they believe North Korea has conducted its sixth nuclear test.

USGS updates the magnitude to 6.3

M 6.3 Explosion – 24km ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea – Possible explosion, located near the site where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past. If this event was an explosion, the USGS National Earthquake Information Center cannot determine its type, whether nuclear or any other possible type

Updated

South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff say a magnitude-5.6 quake in North Korea was artificial and it’s analyzing whether the North conducted a nuclear test.

It says it detected a seismic wave from 12:34-12:36pm around Punggyeri, North Korea.
The quake came just hours after North Korea claimed that its leader has inspected the loading of a hydrogen bomb into a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

Updated

An update from the US Geological Survey:

Possible explosion, located near the site where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past. If this event was an explosion, the USGS National Earthquake Information Center cannot determine its type, whether nuclear or any other possible type.

Updated

Earthquake suspected to be caused by nuclear test

An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 has been recorded inside North Korea, hours after the regime boasted it had built a new, more advanced nuclear warhead.

The epicentre of the quake was considered shallow at 10km underground, according to the US Geological Survey.

Previous similar earthquakes in North Korea have come from nuclear tests, which the country conducts underground.

No official confirmation has come, but the situation is obviously tense with recent North Korean missile tests and heated exchanges with Donald Trump and neighbours Japan and South Korea.

We will have more updates as they become available.

Updated

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North Korea claims successful test of 'missile-ready' nuclear bomb – live - NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).