By Charlotte Ikonen / Published 12th October 2017
The quake was detected in the same location as previous nuclear tests, 29km north-east of Sungjibaegam.
The state’s media reports the rumble was detected on the Earth’s surface – citing a depth of 5km.
TERRIFYING: A 2.9 magnitude earthquake has hit North Korea
The area is where the hermit kingdom has carried out previous nuclear tests, prompting fears of a new drill.
A statement on the US Geological Survey website said: “This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests.
“The event has earthquake like characteristics, however, we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event.”
All of North Korea’s previous six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 or above.
The last test on September 3 registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake.
Last month, the same region was hit by a 3.4 magnitude tremor which China said it suspected was an “explosion”.
Earlier today, Daily Star online revealed ominous satellite images that suggest North Korea is preparing for a nuclear test as war tensions in the region threaten to bubble over.
A series of photographs from the infamous Sinpo South Shipyard suggest Kim Jong-un’s military chiefs are working on a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
Onlookers fear the hermit kingdom is planning to unleash the dreaded Juche Bird missile – believed to be capable of striking every city on the US mainland.
TEST SITE: Kim Jong-un could be preparing for a missile launch
Chillingly, the quake come as North Koreans celebrate the anniversary of the ruling Workers Party – a day previously picked out by the regime to test new missiles.
Pyongyang is adamant on continuing Kim’s nuclear programme despite a string of increasingly volatile threats from Donald Trump.
Just this week, American bomber planes flew over the Korean peninsula.
MAPPED: The earthquake hit at 8.30am local time
Although no military provocation materialised, the North’s state-run newspaper attacked the US in an editorial the same morning.
It accused the White House of pushing them towards a nuclear war and vowed not to stand by in the face of “criminal actions of warmongers.”
Earlier this week, President Trump summoned US generals to the White House War Room over the ongoing crisis.
War fears heightened recently after he warned to “totally destroy” Kim’s rogue state.
He described the tubby tyrant as a “rocket man in a suicide mission” in a barnstorming debut speech at the UN.
TESTING: The test launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile from Pyongyang in August
Kim has repeatedly launched missiles in a series of tests this year.
He believes expanding his nuclear arsenal will secure his legitimacy domestically and tighten the state’s security from the threat of a US invasion.