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North Korean Coast Hit By Magnitude 5 Earthquake Sparking Fears Kim Jong-Un Had Ordered Nuclear Test

01/04/2014 16:17 BST | Updated 01/04/2014 16:59 BST

A magnitude 5 earthquake was recorded off the coast of North Korea on Tuesday morning, sparking fears that Kim Jong-un had carried out his promise to conduct a nuclear test.

The epicentre of the tremor, which was detected around 4am local time, was recorded by the US Geological survey 80 miles off the coast of the hermetic state, at a depth of around 10 miles.

The earthquake follows only two days after the North Korean dictator threatened to carry out a “new form” of nuclear test. The magnitude of the tremor – a 5.1 shockwave - was similar to that of a nuclear test carried out in December 2012, giving rise to fears that Jong-un had detonated the state’s fourth nuclear device.

However, according to NK News, the "location and depth of the earthquake did not immediately suggest North Korean nuclear testing was the cause".

On Monday, remarkable pictures emerged showing an dispute between North and South Korea in which artillery shells were fired into each other's waters by the rival countries, forcing residents on nearby islands to evacuate to shelters.

The South Korean artillery fire came after shells from a North Korean live-fire drill fell south of the Koreas' disputed western sea boundary, an official with South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

No shells from either side were fired at any land or military installations, said the official, who provided no other details and spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules.

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