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(LEAD) N. Korea appears to have conducted nuclear test: officials

All Headlines 11:49 May 25, 2009

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; UPDATES with additional remarks, information, minor changes)

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has detected an "artificial earthquake" in North Korea, suggesting the communist state went ahead with its threat to conduct a nuclear test, the presidential office and government officials said Monday.

"An artifical earthquake was detected at 9:54 this morning near Poongkye-ri in North Hamkyong Province," Lee Dong-kwan, a spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told reporters.

President Lee Myung-bak has called for an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, the spokesman said, noting Poongkye-ri was the site of North Korea's first-ever nuclear test that took place in 2002.

"The government is still trying to verify whether it in fact was a nuclear test, but it believes there is a possibility," the spokesman said.


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