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Earthquake Off North Korea Coast Not Result of Nuclear Test - Pentagon

Earthquake Off North Korea Coast Not Result of Nuclear Test - Pentagon

A magnitude-5.8 natural disaster was detected off North Korea's east coast Thursday (local time), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The authorities said that the quake hit early in the morning at a depth of 538 km below the seabed. "It's a natural quake", John Bellini, a geologist with the USGS, told South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

USGS geophysicist John Bellini also confirmed that the latest quake, which did not trigger a tsunami warning, was not caused by a nuclear test.

Pentagon spokesman Jamie Davis said that the natural disaster off the coast of Korea was not caused by nuclear weapons tests, Reuters reports. All of North Korea's underground nuclear tests have been conducted on land. Initially, it was reported as a magnitude 6.0 but was later revised to 5.8. South Korea's Defence Ministry said there was no indication that North Korea had carried out a nuclear test.

Analysts say North Korea needs to conduct another atomic test explosion to flawless a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental US. It occurred 537 km below the seabed and 193 km southeast of Rajin, northeastern North Korea, the center said.

Japan's meteorological agency reported a 6.3-magnitude quake, but did not issue a tsunami warning.

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