A magnitude 6.0 natural disaster that struck off North Korea in the Sea of Japan does not appear to have been caused by a nuclear test, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, citing initial reports.
It occurred at 4:18 a.m.
"It occurred at 500 kilometers (310 miles) below the seabed".
But such a provocation was unlikely in this case, given the quake's depth and epicenter 192 kilometers (119 miles) southeast of Chongjin - which also reduces the chance of any damage within North Korea according to experts. South Korea's Defense Ministry said there was no indication that North Korea had carried out a nuclear test.
The quake does not appear to have been caused by a nuclear test, Reuters quoted Pentagon spokesman Maj. John Bellini at USGS told Yonhap there is "no way it was caused by a nuclear test".
North Korea has staged five nuclear tests - including two previous year - and has made a significant progress in its missile capability under Kim Jong-Un, who took power in 2011.
People walk by a screen showing the news reporting about an natural disaster near North Korea's nuclear facility, in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016.
Analysts say North Korea needs to conduct another atomic test explosion to ideal a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the continental US. North Korean time, 538 kilometers below the seabed and 194 kilometers southeast of Rajin, northeastern North Korea, the center said on its website.
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