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Quake detected near North Korea nuclear test zone 'occurred naturally'

Quake detected near North Korea nuclear test zone 'occurred naturally'”

The CENC said the epicenter was at 41.36 degrees north latitude and 129.06 degrees east latitude, similar to another quake on September 3 after the North Korean nuclear test that day.

For reference, the USA agency recorded a 6.3 magnitude quake after North Korea's hydrogen bomb test on September 3, its sixth of a nuclear weapon.

The tremor originated at 5:29 p.m. about 12 miles southeast of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, in Kilju County, in northeast North Korea. "In this case we saw none".

Commenting on their assessment of the quake, the South Korean official said "several methods" had been used to work out whether the incident was natural or manmade.

The natural disaster, which South Korea's Meteorological Agency put at magnitude 3.0, was detected 49 km from Kilju in North Hamgyong Province, where North Korea's known Punggye-ri nuclear site is located, the official said.

Atmospheric tests of nuclear-armed missiles, as NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reported, are risky for a host for reasons, including the potential for sending nuclear fallout in unpredictable patterns and, if a test were to be administered by North Korea, in the direction of the U.S. The USGS measured this month's nuclear test at magnitude 6.3.

According to United States intelligence sources, the most recent test detonated a 140-kiloton nuclear device, which the North Koreans claim was a hydrogen bomb.

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.

Trump warned that the USA will "totally destroy" North Korea, and Kim threatened to "tame the mentally-deranged dotard with fire".

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Because of that, many experts don't think North Korea would take such a risk.

The main reason for North Korea to take that risk would be to quiet outside doubts about whether it really has a thermonuclear weapon small enough to fit on a missile, said Jeffrey Lewis, a US arms control expert at the Middlebury Center of International Studies at Monterey.

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.

"We are dealing with the North Korea situation through the worldwide process, and we will continue to do so", Mattis said at the Pentagon during a meeting with Adrian Tutuianu, Romania's minister of national defense.

In a series of meetings this week at the United Nations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reiterated to various foreign counterparts that apart from sanctions, the resolutions also call for dialogue to resume and that this needs to happen.

China's Big Four state-owned banks have stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, Reuters reported last week, with some measures beginning as early as the end of past year. There is also no guarantee that even extreme levels of hardship brought about by effective sanctions will produce a popular North Korean revolution.

One project that has been discussed in the past involves building gas pipelines from Russian Federation to South Korea through North Korea.

The strength of the quake was much lower than the tremors registered during any of North Korea's previous nuclear tests, including its first detonation in 2006, which triggered a 4.1-magnitude quake.



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