Quake detected near N Korea nuclear test site

Sep 25, 2017, 00:27
Quake detected near N Korea nuclear test site

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.

A US intelligence official and USA -based non-governmental experts said their initial assessment was that the quake was either natural or connected to North Korea's latest and largest nuclear test on Sept.3, and not caused by a new nuclear test.

While its is not certain how such events might unfold, or even if North Korea will conduct such a trial, it is possible that Pyongyang would opt for an end-to-end test of a ballistic missile tipped with a nuclear warhead.

We now see bans on fishery exports and textile exports. We can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event.

North Korea has refused to stop its missile and nuclear tests, despite successive rounds of United Nations sanctions and global criticism. The natural disaster was centred 50 km away from North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

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While the cause remains unknown, alternative explanations suggested by North Korea analysts include tunnel collapses at the testing site.

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, claiming it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile. A South Korean expert said the quake could have been caused by geological stress created from the recent nuclear explosion.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that China is firmly committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during his speech at the General Debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

The quake came at the end of a week that saw a blistering war of words between Kim and Trump, with the U.S. leader using his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly to warn that Washington would "totally destroy" the North if America or its allies were threatened.

A senior US diplomat says a North Korean hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific would be an "unprecedented act of aggression" by the communist nation.

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The incident comes amid heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula, and a day after Donald Trump publicly branded Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "rocket man", telling audiences that American "really had no choice" but to confront the Pyongyang regime.

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!"

All six of North Korea's nuclear tests thus far, dating to 2006, have been conducted in underground tunnels.

North Korea's state media issued a statement Saturday from the National Peace Committee of Korea describing Trump as "wicked" and "a rabid dog".

His comments came after Trump ordered new sanctions on individuals, companies and banks doing business with North Korea as he sought to further isolate the regime and increase economic pressure for it to curb its weapons programs.

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