Natural disaster detected in North Korea may be a missile test

Natural disaster detected in North Korea may be a missile test

The epicenter is roughly the same as that of a previous shallow quake on September 3, which turned out to be caused by a North Korean nuclear test, the official Xinhua news agency said. This quake could possibly be due to an "explosion", said the CENC. On Thursday, the USA unveiled its own set of economic sanctions targeting North Korea.

The United States Geological Survey was neutral in its assessment on the cause of the tremor, which it recorded as a 3.5 magnitude quake, saying in a statement that it could not "conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

Lassino Zerbo, of nuclear watchdog the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), tweeted that the quake was not man-made but similar to a "collapse" event, or tremor, that followed nearly immediately after the 3 September test.

"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.

South Korea's presidential office said in a statement that a handful of its government agencies "still maintain [the quake] was natural and not from an explosion".

But the country's quake monitoring centre later went on the say a magnitude 3.4 natural disaster was not the result of a fresh missile test.

Earlier on Saturday, China's natural disaster administration said it had detected a magnitude 3.4 quake in North Korea, calling it a "suspected explosion".

North Korea's weakest nuclear test, its first one, conducted in 2006, generated a magnitude 4.3 quake.

The site of the tremor is close to where the regime on 3rd September claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear weapon, in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho threatened on Friday that his country could consider a hydrogen bomb test on an unprecedented scale on the Pacific Ocean.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in NY during the UN General Assembly shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an unprecedented televised statement, accusing Trump of being "mentally deranged".

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!

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty. That was a big concession by China and going to war against Kim now would have consequences far beyond the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Saturday's seismic activity came on the same day China announced it would limit trade with the North, reducing its fuel exports to its neighbor and banning all textile imports.

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