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

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

A magnitude 3.5 quake struck at 4:29 a.m. ET Saturday 22 kilometers (more than 13 miles) east-northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

But the official from the South Korean agency said the analysis of seismic waves and the lack of sound waves clearly showed that the quake was not caused by an artificial explosion.

Earlier this month, when North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test ever, officials detected a 6.3-magnitude natural disaster, which was followed by a 4.1-magnitude quake - caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site.

"Seismic waves from a natural quake have a distinct pattern", the official said.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck around 20 kilometres (12 miles) away from the North's nuclear test site, where earlier this month it detonated its sixth and largest device, which it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb capable of being launched onto a missile.

A secondary tremor detected after that test could have been caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site, experts said at the time.

The Executive Secretary Sina Zerbo said in a Tweet that it had occurred about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the site of prior tests. "The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist", USGS said in a statement.

China warned on Friday that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was "grave" and called for restraint on all sides after North Korea hinted that it might explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, now in NY for a United Nations meeting, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific.

The first sign Pyongyang has conducted a nuclear test is usually seismic activity.

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

"Under UNSC Resolution 2375 and Chinese trade laws, China has taken the following measures in its trade with North Korea..."

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in NY, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.

His comments came after Trump ordered new sanctions on individuals, companies and banks doing business with North Korea as he sought to further isolate the regime and increase economic pressure for it to curb its weapons programs. It will also ban imports of textiles from North Korea.



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