It came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude quake struck near the same area, with seismic experts and a United Nations nuclear test ban watchdog calling that tremor on September 23 a likely aftershock of the North's sixth and largest nuclear test.
A shallow 2.9-magnitude natural disaster struck near North Korea's nuclear test site before dawn on Friday, weeks after Pyongyang's biggest detonation, but South Korean experts said the tremor did not appear to be man-made.
The KMA said that it was a naturally-occurring quake with a depth of three kilometers, expecting no damage from the tremor.
The magnitude 2.7 quake occurred about 54 kilometers (34 miles) northwest of Kilju, the town where the test site is located in northeastern North Korea, according to officials at South Korea's Korea Meteorological Administration. In an interview with U.S. network Fox News, Trump was asked what he meant with the cryptic phrase, which had fueled concerns the United States and North Korea were closer to war.
"The worldwide community won't accept North Korea as a nuclear power. If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution", Kim So-gu, the head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute, told Reuters.
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I've a lot of respect for him, it's not easy to do what he does. Just go for it, win your battles and anything can happen. He will score goals and we will help him score goals.
President Donald Trump says he's open to the possibility that negotiations can steady tensions between the USA and nuclear-armed North Korea. These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North's previous tests, 38 North said. North Korea needs time and proof to believe that abandoning its nuclear program will contribute to its own political and economic advantage. "The recent small quakes suggest that the test might have triggered crust deformation".
The tunnel used for Pyongyang's first nuclear test had been shut down after that test, while a second tunnel had been used for the following five, the National Intelligence Service was cited as saying last month.
North Korea has hinted its next test could be above the ground.
"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Trump tweeted on October 1, using his nickname for North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
South Korea's weather agency detected a 2.7 magnitude quake near the Punggye-ri test site, Reuters reported. Since North Korea began testing its nuclear capabilities, experts have debated whether explosions at Punggye-ri could trigger another volcanic eruption.