Two seismic events in North Korea 'unlikely' to be man-made explosions

Mattis Says Diplomacy Best Course Against North Korea

The North's last nuclear test, on September 3, was the country's most powerful, triggering a much stronger 6.3-magnitude quake that was felt across the border in China.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang on September 3 prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions last week.

The latest quake was recorded at a depth of 0km in North Hamgyong province, home to the Punggye-ri nuclear site, South Korea's meteorological agency says.

Evans Revere, a former State Department official and expert on East Asia, said Friday he believes the North is intent on launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, like the Hwasong-14 on a combat trajectory to determine the survivability of a mock warhead.

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

A second tremor soon after that test was possibly caused by a "cave-in", CENC said at the time.

Experts say the most likely way the North would conduct an atmospheric test over the Pacific is to launch a long-range missile - probably overflying Japan - and have its nuclear warhead detonate in the skies over a remote part of the Pacific.

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Kim and Trump have been trading insults this week amid mounting tension between the US and North Korea. "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". "As such, we refuse to handle any individual loans connected to North Korea".

Kim Jong Un, in an unusual direct statement to the world, pledged hours earlier to take "highest-level" action against the US over President Trump's threat to "totally destroy" the North if provoked.

So-called atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons were banned by the USA, the then-Soviet Union and numerous world's nations in a 1963 treaty, though China conducted the last such test known worldwide in 1980.

In a series of meetings this week at the United Nations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reiterated to various foreign counterparts that apart from sanctions, the resolutions also call for dialogue to resume and that this needs to happen.

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

In a statement posted on its website, Ministry of Commerce chinese reiterated terms of sanctions agreed to in NY last day, September 12, set a limit for export to North Korea of 500,000 barrels of oil products for last three months of 2017 and two million for following years.

It also bans all textile exports and prohibits any country from authorising new work permits for North Korean workers - two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation. Trump should not follow in Truman's footsteps and commit the United States to waging war again in Korea.

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