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 Powell: N. Korea Explosion Wasn't Nuclear

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SEOUL, South Korea - A large explosion occurred in the northern part of North Korea, sending a plume of smoke more than two miles wide into the air on an important anniversary of the communist regime, a South Korean news agency reported Sunday. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the explosion Thursday was not a nuclear test but that it was not known yet what caused it.

"There was no indication that was a nuclear event of any kind. Exactly what it was, we're not sure," Powell said, speaking on ABC's "This Week."

Powell said there were "some activities taking place and some sites that we're watching carefully, but it is not conclusive that they are moving toward a test."

The explosion happened at 11 a.m. Thursday in Yanggang province near the border with China, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Yonhap carried reports from unidentified sources, with one in Washington saying the incident could be related to a natural disaster such as a forest fire. It also cited a diplomatic source in Seoul as raising the possibility of an accident or a nuclear test.


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