North Korea tests another nuclear weapon

Cheryl Sanders
September 24, 2017

A magnitude 3.5 quake was recorded in North Korea Saturday evening, and officials were trying to determine whether it was a natural tremor or a nuclear blast.

That is about 20km (12m) south-east of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, an official from the Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul said.

The quake was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong province, where North Korea's known Punggye-ri nuclear site is located, according to South Korea's meteorological agency. He also said, "we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea if forced to defend itself".

China time and had a depth of zero meters, the China Earthquake Networks Center said in a statement, adding it was a suspected blast. The larger one had a 3.4 magnitude, the group's initial assessment found, which is much smaller than anything declared as a nuclear test in previous years.


In comments to reporters in New York, North Korea's foreign minister said his country's leader is considering whether to demonstrate his ability to detonate a nuclear warhead aboard a missile sent above the Pacific Ocean.

"It could be a natural quake that really was man-made as the nuclear test would have transferred a lot of stress", he said.

The importing of North Korean textiles has been banned altogether by Beijing in compliance with the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution, and new shipments are now forbidden.

North Korean textile exports in 2016 totaled $750 million, according to South Korea's Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. The quake was centred near North Korea's nuclear test site.


An natural disaster located near a North Korea nuclear test site may be an indication of another nuclear detonation.

China wants to stop North Korea's nuclear and missile development but has warned against pushing the government of Kim Jong Un so hard it collapses, or hurting ordinary North Koreans.

This week marked a new level of acrimony in a blistering war of words between Kim and Trump, with the North Korean leader calling the American president "mentally deranged" and a "dotard".


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