North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test in Punggye-ri, Kilju-gun, North Hamgyeong Province at 9:30am on September 9, and it was stronger than the previous four nuclear tests.
In a detailed analysis by the Met Office at 11:30am, the test was detected as a 5.04 magnitude earthquake with the fifth test producing about double the energy of the forth nuclear test- 4.8 magnitude – that took place in January. It had a yield of about 10 kilotonnes which is the North’s strongest nuclear test up to date considering that the forth test was about 4-6 kilotonnes. The “Little Boy,” a highly enriched uranium atomic bomb dropped by the US on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 had a yield of 15 kilotonnes. North Korea’s fifth nuclear test had about 70% of the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
During N. Korea’s test, vibrations were detected about 200 places in South Korea such as Ganseong, Sokcho, Seohwa, Yangyang, Hwacheon and Inje. Conditions of the earthquake were similar to that of the artificial earthquake at the time of the forth nuclear test.
“It seems the tes was done at a depth of 700 meters which is deeper than the depth of the forth test. This shows that N. Korea took into account the force of explosion, and so they tested deep underground.” Ji Heon-cheol, the head of the (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources)Earthquake Center, explained at the Earthquake research center. “We’ve found a typical wavy pattern that occurs after an explosion in the air and sound waves which we gathered about 30 minutes after the detonation. Considering these evidences, it’s obvious that N. Korea has carried out their largest nuclear test to date.” Ji said.
Reporter Lee Seul [firstname.lastname@example.org]