Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear site; cause is unknown

Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear site; cause is unknown

Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear site; cause is unknown

Numerous scientific agencies on both sides of the Pacific detected an quake Saturday near the site where North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, at first prompting speculation of another weapons test, before a consensus appeared to emerge that the tremor was a natural occurrence.

"A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a manmade natural disaster", said the South Korean official, who asked for anonymity.

"In this case we saw none".

"If it doesn't go exactly as planned and the detonation occurs at a lower altitude we could see some EMP-like effects for anything in the area". Previous earthquakes in North Korea have indicated nuclear tests.

President Moon Jae-in voiced support for stronger sanctions in response to the North's recent weapons tests, but his tone was in stark contrast to President Donald Trump's dark warning at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that North Korea would be "totally destroyed" if it attacked. "The quake is small enough to suspect that it could have been caused by a tunnel collapse, and satellite data shows there have been many landslides in the area since the nuclear test".

Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles this year as it spurs a program aimed at mastering a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike the United States, in addition to its Sept 3 nuclear test. "Analysis ongoing", CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post, referring to Sept 3 test.

The U.S. Geological Survey said it could not conclusively confirm whether the quake, which it measured at magnitude 3.5, was man-made or natural.

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"The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist", USGS said. "The groundwork laid in 2016 has been built on in 2017, with 122 states approving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the U.N.in July 2017".

Earlier on Saturday, China said it will limit exports of refined petroleum products from October 1 and ban exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas immediately to comply with the latest United Nations sanctions.

He said such a test could pose a danger to shipping and aircraft, even if the North declared a "keep out" zone, and would pose a risk to people if something went wrong.

But on the fringes of the United Nations meeting this week, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho upped the tensions further, telling reporters Pyongyang might now consider detonating a hydrogen bomb outside its territory.

Ri did not respond on Saturday when asked by reporters whether North Korea had conducted a new nuclear test.

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". The quake was about three miles deep, and it is was located in the same vicinity as a September 3 nuclear test that registered as a magnitude 5.3 quake. North Korea's recent missile launches over Japan especially drew stern rebukes from Tokyo and the global community.

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