Suspicions are high that North Korea may have carried out another weapons test today after a magnitude-2.9 quake was detected very close to one of their test sites.
It was centred very close to North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, which previous weapons tests have been detected at through the earthquakes they generate. A small quake on September 23 was thought to be an aftershock of the nuclear test earlier in the month. "The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event", the USGS said in a brief statement.
The USGS further added that the Air Force Technical Applications Center is the only organization in the federal government whose mission is to detect and report technical data from foreign nuclear explosions.
It was the latest in a string of aftershocks following North Korea's sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, which caused a 6.3 magnitude quake, according to the USGS.
Fox News reported that the absence of two key officials in North Korea's nuclear programme during public events this week, which may suggest that another test was imminent.