Global

Small quake hits North Korea in 'suspected explosion'

Small quake hits North Korea in 'suspected explosion'

"In this case we saw none".

Park said analysts could not rule out the possibility that a natural quake occurred because of a nuclear test. The locations are around 50 kilometers away (more than 30 miles) from the site of previous nuclear tests, the group said.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 3.5 quake occurred at 6:29 p.m. Saturday, Guam time, near Sungjibaegam, North Korea.

The quake comes amid soaring tensions over Pyongyang's weapons programme, with the firing of two missiles over Japan in recent weeks and its sixth and largest nuclear test earlier this month. "The quake is small enough to suspect that it could have been caused by a tunnel collapse, and satellite data shows there have been many landslides in the area since the nuclear test".

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on September 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile. "Analysis ongoing", CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post, referring to Sept 3 test.

North Korea says China's ruling Communist Party media outlets are "going under the armpit of the U.S." by criticizing Pyongyang's weapons program.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a written statement that it will restrict exports of refined petroleum products from October 1, and ban the export of condensate oil and liquefied natural gas immediately.

"This mission is a demonstration of USA resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat", said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, calling North Korea's weapons program "a grave threat".

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".

More generally on global security issues, SIPRI noted positive developments such as the entry into force of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and a United Nations General Assembly resolution to start negotiations in 2017 on eliminating nuclear weapons.

US President Donald Trump dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "Rocket Man" in a speech at the UN in which he threatened to "totally destroy" the North if it attacked the US or its allies.

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

North Korea has launched dozens of missiles this year, several flying over Japan, as it accelerates its program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

SIPRI listed North Korea as not having any deployed warheads but with 10 to 20 "other warheads" which include "operational warheads held in storage and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement". He said he wanted North Korea, which never reached a formal peace treaty with the South after the 1950-53 Korean War - to attend next year's Winter Olympics to be hosted by South Korea.


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