Korea: Temblor Detected in North Korea Not a Nuclear Blast

Steve Phelps
September 25, 2017

South Korea's weather agency said a magnitude 3.2 earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday close to where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, but it assessed the quake as natural.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said the country's seismic service detected a magnitude 3.4 quake in North Korea and saw the likely cause as an explosion.

North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the USA mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "Little Rocket Man".

In a rare direct statement, Kim said that Trump would "pay dearly" for the threats, and that North Korea "will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

At the United Nations, North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said Saturday that his country's nuclear force is "to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the US and for preventing its military invasion, and our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the U.S".

North Korea's Foreign Minister also issued a threat in response to Trump's speech, saying the country was considering dropping a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order giving the Treasury Department more authority to cut off trade that helps finance North Korea's weapons and nuclear programs. He said Kim was on "suicide mission".

"This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any USA fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea's coast in the 21st century", White said.

North Korean has launched two medium range ballistic missiles over Japan in recent weeks, and has threatened an attack on Guam.

The flight follows a week of heightened rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang, with Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults.

China, Russia urge end to North Korea vicious cycle
The U.S. military released 24 photos of the latest show of force, an apparent message to North Korea and the worldwide community. Trump called it "a lucky word'". "The US is strangling and suffocating a country and breaking its will", the statement said.

"None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission", Ri said in broad denunciation of Trump that brought applause from the North Korean delegation.

The US show of strength came after an earth tremor was detected across North Korea, prompting fears that the regime was testing another nuclear weapon.

Sunday, Trump responded to Ri's United Nations speech with another threat, tweeting that if Ri "echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"

The article said, "For more than seven decades since the foundation of the UN, no chief executives or diplomats including the preceding U.S. presidents have openly called for the obliteration of another state" at the UN General Assembly. "I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire".

In another dizzying development Saturday, what seismologists say was a minor quake prompted speculation that Pyongyang could be conducting yet another weapons test.

Participants of a mass rally shout slogans as they gather on Kim Il Sung sqaure in Pyongyang on September 23, 2017.

China announced Saturday that it will limit oil exports to North Korea under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, further reducing support from Pyongyang's last major trading partner, energy supplier and diplomatic ally.

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

The fresh insults came as United States bombers flew close to North Korea's east coast.

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