Earthquake In North Korea Sets Off Alarm And Speculation

Posted September 26, 2017

South Korea's weather agency reported a magnitude 3.0 quake in an area of North Korea where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but assessed the seismic activity as natural.

Numerous scientific agencies on both sides of the Pacific detected an quake Saturday near the site where North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, at first prompting speculation of another weapons test, before a consensus appeared to emerge that the tremor was a natural occurrence.

National geological agencies could not confirm on Saturday what caused an quake in North Korea at the same site where it had conducted a nuclear test.

Imports of textiles from North Korea would also be banned immediately, the statement said. On its website, the USGS said that it "cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

"We resolutely condemned the nuclear missile adventures of Pyongyang in violation of Security Council resolutions, but military hysteria is not just an impasse, it's a disaster", Lavrov said in a speech at the UN General Assembly.

And it's possible that North Korea is able to undermine them.

In an escalation of the war of words between the United States and North Korea, Trump sent a pre-dawn tweet Friday saying, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"

It said that it was thought to be an artificial quake caused by a "suspected explosion".

All North Korea's nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 or above. Since Kim came to power after the death of his father Kim Jong Il in 2011, he has ramped up nuclear and missile weapon tests.

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Trump also mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the speech, dubbing him "Rocket Man".

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said later in NY that Pyongyang may consider its most powerful test of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

Kim earlier this week called Mr Trump "deranged" and said he would "pay dearly" for his threats.

So-called atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons were banned by the US, the then-Soviet Union and numerous world's nations in a 1963 treaty, though China conducted the last such test known worldwide in 1980.

Trump told the United Nations on Tuesday the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.

The Commerce Ministry in Beijing said that starting on October 1, China would limit supplies of refined petroleum products, local media reports. The country also has tested more than a dozen missiles this year, some of which have flown over Japan - a strong US ally.

President Donald Trump has added economic action to his fiery military threats against North Korea, authorizing stiffer new sanctions in response to the Koreans' nuclear weapons advances.

Textile trade contracts signed before September 11 would be respected if import formalities are completed before midnight on December 10, the statement said.