Quake detected in North Korea - China

25 September, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Seismic activity in North Korea could be a missile test

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.

US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew in worldwide airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday, in a show of force the Pentagon said demonstrated the range of military options available to President Donald Trump.

If North Korea attempts an atmospheric nuclear test at sea, it would probably involve its most powerful ballistic missiles, such as the intermediate-range Hwasong-12 or the intercontinental-range Hwasong-14, experts say. "We can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human made) of the event".

The Korea Meteorological Administration also cited the possibility that the seismic activity Saturday occurred because of the geological stress from the nuclear test.

A Chinese monitoring agency said the quake was actually stronger - at magnitude 3.4 - and that it was like caused by an explosion, Japan's Kyoto News reported.

"A likely explanation of the signals is an aftershock or rock failure resulting from the previous large underground nuclear test carried out on September 3", the agency said.

Beijing authorities said in a statement that this is a move to comply with a United Nations Security Council resolution and sanctions.

"Trump's rubbish is the open declaration of war against our supreme dignity, state, social system and people, and an unpardonable extra-large provocation", the report said, adding that "the USA warmongers will face unimaginable consequences". "Similar to "collapse" event 8.5 mins after DPRK6", a reference to the second tremor that followed the September 3 test.

China's natural disaster administration said the tremors in North Korea were felt at 08:30 hours (GMT). "The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) is the sole organization in the USA federal government whose mission is to detect and report technical data from foreign nuclear explosions".

South Korea responded within minutes by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on the North. 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.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to take the "highest-level" action in response to President Trump's threat to "totally destroy" the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

Lewis finds similarities between the current situation surrounding North Korea and the events that led to China's 1966 test, which was driven by USA doubts of Chinese capabilities to place nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles.

Washington had initially sought a full oil embargo, but softened its stance to secure backing from Russian Federation and China, the North's sole ally and main trading partner, responsible for around 90% of its commerce.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in NY, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Nuclear tests have earlier caused earthquakes in the Communist-dominant country.

Hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs, are thermonuclear weapons far more powerful than ordinary fission-based atomic bombs, and use a nuclear blast to generate the intense temperatures required for fusion to take place.



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