North Korea: Tremor detected near weapons' test site

People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's earthquake at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul South Korea Saturday Sept. 23 2017. South Korea's weather agency said an earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday around where the country

Another official at the the Korea Meteorological Administration's command center said it is believed to have been a natural quake.

The flight, which was disclosed shortly before North Korea's foreign minister was due to address the United Nations, was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea that any US fighter jet or bomber has flown in the 21st century, the Pentagon said. The North has threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

A magnitude-3.4 quake has been detected in North Korea.

An official from Seoul's meteorological agency said it had been detected near where North Korea had recently conducted a nuclear test, but said it was clear the quake was not caused by an artificial explosion.

North Korea's weakest nuclear test, its first one, conducted in 2006, generated a magnitude 4.3 quake.

"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".

"In this case we saw none".

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. "So as of now, we are categorising this as a natural quake".

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The site of the tremor is close to where the regime on 3 September claimed to have detonated a thermonuclear weapon, in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date. The last test registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake.

Likewise, China's Earthquake Networks Center said an analysis by the seismic service found that the quake "is a natural one", Xinhua, China's official news agency, reported.

The United States Geological Survey, the peak body on earthquakes, has yet to determine if the quake was natural or artificially caused.

Kim on Friday threatened the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" in a tirade against Trump's warning that Washington would "totally destroy" the North if the United States or its allies were threatened.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said in NY on Thursday that Pyongyang may consider its most powerful test of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

On Thursday Trump announced new US sanctions that he said allow targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.

An import ban on clothing produced in North Korea is also planned.

Saturday's detection comes at a time of rising tensions between the United States and North Korea, with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump engaging in an escalating war of words.

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