- Epicentre of the quake near North Korea's Punggyeri nuclear site: China
- Previous earthquakes from North Korea have indicated nuclear tests
- Tensions rising since North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test
The administration said in a statement on its website that the quake, which occurred around 0830 GMT, was recorded a depth of zero kilometres.
Previous quakes from North Korea have indicated nuclear tests by the reclusive state, the most recent earlier this month.
The earthquake was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong Province, where North Korea's known Punggyeri nuclear site is located, according to South Korea's meteorological agency.
The agency said it was analysing the nature of the quake and its initial view was that it was a natural tremor because no soundwaves specific to man-made earthquakes were detected.
There was no immediate reaction from China's Foreign Ministry.
Tensions have continued to rise since North Korea carried out its sixth nuclear test, prompting a new round of U.N. sanctions.
North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, currently in New York for a United Nations meeting, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific.