Volcanic activity in North Korea can be influenced by further nuclear testing.
The active volcano is located on the borders of China and North Korea, and could erupt if the secretive state’s tests continue, says scientists in South Korea.
An artificial earthquake was triggered when the Kim Jong-Un led nation fired weapons from the Punggye-ri nuclear site –72 miles from Mount Paektu – which could have impacted volcanic activity.
The massive volcano, which stands at 9,000 feet tall, has not erupted since 1903, and is overdue.
The team, led by Hong Tae-kyung, a professor in the Department of Earth System Sciences at Yonsei University, examines the impact that nuclear testing has on seismic activity, with the results published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The team looked at North Korea’s first three nuclear tests – in 2006, 2009, and 2013 – and found that any earthquake magnitude over 7.0 could cause a devastating eruption.
Its 2006 test triggered an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.6, 2009 saw an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.4, while 2013’s was 4.8, showing that the earthquakes are getting stronger with each nuclear test.
Hong Tae-kyung said: “An underground nuclear explosion test near an active volcano constitutes a direct threat to the volcano.”