China says North Korean quake 'suspected explosion', South Korea says likely natural

Elias Hubbard
September 25, 2017

China's natural disaster administration said it was a magnitude 3.4 quake and cited a "suspected explosion".

Two South Korean officials at the Korea Meteorological Administration told CNN that their analysis so far suggests Saturday's seismic activity around the nuclear site was not caused by an explosion or a collapse of the site.

The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Beijing, approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang last week in response to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

"This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean nuclear tests", the USGS said.

Until now, the North has not tested its missiles and nuclear weapons together, opting instead to fire them separately - the missiles above ground and the nuclear weapons below. The last test registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake.

Fears were growing of a nuclear weapons test in North Korea this morning after seismologists detected an natural disaster near where tests have been conducted before. Similar to "collapse" event 8.5 mins after DPRK6!

The head of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation, Lassina Zerbo, said the blast was 50km away from previous sites.

Russia's emergency ministry said background radiation in nearby Vladivostok was within the natural range. "We can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event". The depth of the natural disaster was 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).

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.

China announced Saturday that it will limit exports of petroleum products to North Korea starting in October to implement the latest United Nations sanctions over Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test.

Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged US dotard" who would face the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" in retaliation for Trump saying the USA would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.

US President Donald Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged US dotard" who would face the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

President Trump had recently ordered fresh sanctions over Pyongyang's weapons programmes and even praised China for taking an action to limit financial transactions with North Korea.

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

Imports of textiles from North Korea would also be banned immediately, the statement said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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