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A tunnel-digging project has been under way at North Korea's nuclear test site in Punggye-ri since October, the 38 North website at Johns Hopkins University said Friday, raising fears of another imminent nuclear test.
"The continued tunneling under Mt. Mantap... has the potential for allowing North Korea to support additional underground nuclear tests of significantly higher explosive yields, perhaps up to 282 kilotons," the website said. One kiloton is equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT.
That suggests the North expects a bigger detonation than the five previous ones, which only yielded 1 to 12 kt.
The website came to the conclusion by comparing satellite images from October with those taken last month and found a growing mound of excavated dirt near the exit of a mine shaft in the northern part of the site.