North Korea quake was 'natural' and not a nuclear test

Cheryl Sanders
September 24, 2017

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

Experts say the most likely way the North would conduct an atmospheric test over the Pacific is to launch a long-range missile - probably overflying Japan - and have its nuclear warhead detonate in the skies over a remote part of the Pacific.

As China is North Korea most important trading partner, the suspension of textile imports is expected to affect Pyongyang's income.

The quake also caps a week in which President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un exchanged increasingly bellicose insults toward each other and follows a threat on Thursday by the North to carry out a significantly more unsafe nuclear test.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, a watchdog group that works to end nuclear testing worldwide, said there were two seismic events Saturday in North Korea, neither of very large magnitude.

"The market is probably as much taking profits on the dollar's move earlier in the week as it is reacting to anything related to North Korea".

A limited amount, allowed under the United Nations resolution, would still be exported to North Korea.

The Korea Meteorological Administration said the activity occurred in Kilju in North Hamgyeong Province.

China accounts for some 90% of the North's trade, making its cooperation critical to efforts to derail Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.

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

China's Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor. Since Kim came to power after the death of his father Kim Jong Il in 2011, he has ramped up nuclear and missile weapon tests.

Satellite photos of the area after the September 3 quake showed numerous landslides apparently caused by the massive blast, which North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

"This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options". "We should not allow tension to dominate the entirety of Asia", he said.

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"Recent steps in the nuclear disarmament field are encouraging", said Shannon Kile, head of the institute's Nuclear Weapons Project.

A ban on textile imports from the North will go into effect immediately, the statement said.

In response, the United Nations passed a range of new sanctions against North Korea, including petroleum and textiles restrictions.

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

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