Quake detected in North Korea, reports conflict on scale and nature

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Vladimir Putin G-20 summit Hamburg July 7

South Korea's presidential office said Seoul and Washington had coordinated closely over the deployment of the US bombers, calling it one of the most effective countermeasures against the advancement of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, South Korean media reported.

North Korea detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapon earlier this month at its underground Punggye-ri site northeast of Pyongyang, causing a quake with a magnitude of around 6.3.

A CTBTO spokeswoman said Zerbo's remark about a "smaller magnitude" referred to its monitoring of an event in North Korea on September 3 which the agency described as consistent with a man-made explosion but stopped short of calling a nuclear blast, pending testing for airborne radioactivity.

"A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a manmade natural disaster", said the South Korean official, who asked for anonymity.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) could not confirm whether the quake was manmade or a natural event, and measured it at a magnitude of 3.5.

The area where the quake struck is not known to experience natural earthquakes.

Ri had warned Thursday that North Korea may consider an even larger hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific region.

Washington announced tougher restrictions Friday aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programme, building on tough new United Nations sanctions aimed at choking Pyongyang of cash.




Kim Dong-yub, a former top South Korean military official, said it is more likely the North's next significant launch would be a full-range test of an unarmed Hwasong-14 ICBM.

China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

Earlier on Saturday, China said it will limit exports of refined petroleum products from October 1 and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately to comply with the latest United Nations sanctions. The tremors from the North were reported a day after the state's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho suggested another nuclear test could be conducted by Pyongyang.

He makes hard decisions for the Trump administration because attempting to stop the test could be as unsafe as letting it go ahead.

China has taken various steps in recent months to signal its impatience with its neighbour, the latest being an immediate ban on imports of North Korean textiles and a tighter cap on oil supplies from next year. The Pentagon said no other USA fighters or bomber aircraft have flown so far north of the Demilitarized Zone off North Korea's coast in the 21st century.

"North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime", Trump said as he joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a meeting in NY.

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