North: Tunnel Work Continues at N. Korea's Nuke Test Site


Two small tremors, of magnitude 2.4 and 2.9, were detected between and 1am and 2am EST last week according to the USGS and Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation.

A tweet from Zerbo said analysts had confirmed that the activity was "tectonic" in origin.

Citing recent commercial satellite imagery, 38 North said Monday that there has been a consistently high level of activity at the site's Western portal since North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

"They're probably relaxation events from the sixth nuclear test", said a USGS official (via Global News). A December 11 piece on the North Korea site 38 North by Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear testing expert Frank Pabian and other contributors reported "a consistently high level of activity" at the West Portal of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site since the North's sixth nuclear test.

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Regarding the northern portal, where the last five nuclear tests were conducted, the institute said it has been left "mostly dormant and likely abandoned, at least for the time being".

On Sept. 3, North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb with an explosive yield at least 10 times greater than that of the atomic bomb the USA dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

South Korea's spy agency told South Korean lawmakers in October that North Korea might be readying two more tunnels at the site.

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A sequence of tremors registered since that test has led experts to believe that there was damage caused to the region and that it may have affected nearby active volcano Mount Paektu.

North Korean state media reported on Saturday that the corpulent dictator had scaled Mount Paektu with senior military officials to "emphasize his military vision" after completion of the country's nuclear force.

North Korea may also be preparing tests of submarine launched ballistic missilesNorth Korea may be preparing for additional tension-raising amid its continued stalemate with the United States, analysts suggest.

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