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N. Korea carries out apparent nuclear test

Published on Feb 12, 2013 11:39 AM
This GeoEye Satellite Image captured shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in North Korea. South Korea has detected an "artificial earthquake" in North Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on Feb 12, 2013, suggesting Pyongyang may have gone ahead with an expected nuclear test.  -- PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea appeared to have carried out a threatened nuclear test Tuesday, with international monitoring agencies reporting a seismic event near the site of Pyongyang's nuclear test site.

The tremor, whose magnitude was estimated at between 4.9 and 5.1, was detected at 11:57am with the epicentre in Kilju county, where the North's Punggye-ri test site is located.

The US Geological Survey noted the seismic activity - also confirmed by monitors in South Korea, China and Japan - had a very shallow depth of just 1km.

The South Korean defence ministry and the presidential Blue House both said they were trying to verify whether a nuclear detonation had taken place.

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