North Korean Nuclear Site Hit With Earthquake

The official meteorological office of South Korea said that today, an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.4 occurred close to a nuclear test site in North Korea.

According to the state meteorological service, the earthquake was a natural occurrence. In the last several months, Kilju has been rocked by a series of minor earthquakes.

According to Yonhap news agency, located 41 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Kilju, the Punggye-ri nuclear test site was the epicenter of the earthquake. The Korean Meteorological Administration reported its detection at 7 p.m. (1000 GMT) at a depth of 20 km (12 miles).

The Punggye-ri complex was the site of six nuclear tests carried out by North Korea from 2006 to 2017. Even China felt the larger 6.3-magnitude earthquake set off by the 2017 nuclear test.

Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, warned that war might “break out any moment” and called for a nuclear assault on the South at Pyongyang’s year-end strategy talks when he also urged for a military buildup.

In late 2018, Kim was able to successfully launch a spy satellite into orbit with the support of what Seoul said was Russian assistance in return for weaponry deliveries for Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine.

Following widespread outrage over the 2017 test, the UN Security Council passed further sanctions, including limits on oil exports, with unanimous approval.

A yield of up to 250 kilotons was calculated by monitoring organizations during the sixth nuclear test; this is sixteen times larger than the US bomb that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.

After the 2017 test, North Korea said that it had exploded a hydrogen bomb “of unprecedented huge strength,” describing it as a “highly momentous occasion” on the path to its “final objective” of having nuclear weapons.

In 2018, US intelligence agencies determined that North Korea had 65 nuclear weapons worth of fissile material and produced an additional 12 weapons worth of fissile material annually.

North Korea may have over 200 nuclear bombs and hundreds of ballistic missiles stored by 2027, according to a RAND Corporation assessment from 2021.