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Russia: U.S. Still Probing Seismic Mystery

Washington, 3 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United States is still mystified by a seismic disturbance that occurred in Russia last month and was powerful enough to have been a nuclear explosion.

U.S. Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said yesterday that it remains a mystery and that U.S. experts are working hard to resolve it.

He confirmed that Russia has denied a nuclear-type explosion took place near an Arctic test site on August 16.

Bacon said American and European experts analyzing the recordings now disagree whether the event was an explosion or an earthquake and whether it took place on land or in water.

He said they will continue to retrieve and analyze data from various monitoring posts until they arrive at a satisfactory explanation.

The Russians have said that what registered was an ordinary earth tremor in the Kara Sea, about 100 kilometers from Novaya Zemlya.