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Quake detected in North Korea; South Korean officials calling it natural

24 September 2017

A USA intelligence official and US -based non-governmental experts said their initial assessment was that the quake was either natural or connected to North Korea's latest and largest nuclear test on Sept.3, and not caused by a new nuclear test.

The quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea, just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) northwest of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, according to an official from Seoul's Korea Meteorological Administration.

There's been a cap on North Korean exports of coal to China, a major source of income for the North Korean state.

The quake also caps a week in which President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un exchanged increasingly bellicose insults toward each other and follows a threat on Thursday by the North to carry out a significantly more unsafe nuclear test.

The Commerce Ministry also said it has issued a "comprehensive ban on imported textiles" from North Korea. After the North Korean nuclear test earlier this month, the Trump Administration lifted all restrictions on payloads.

North Korea has abundant coal but depends nearly entirely on imports for oil and gas.

"Today, we commence a four-day visit to the Republic of Korea and Japan to demonstrate our bipartisan commitment to both nations and highlight the strategic importance a future Labor government will place on our relationships in North Asia", Mr Shorten said ahead of the trip.

The BBC reported that North Korea is estimated to have imported 6,000 barrels of refined petroleum daily from China last year - or almost 2.2 million in total for the entire year.

North Korea's economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2016.

It said that it was thought to be an artificial quake caused by a "suspected explosion", Yonhap reports. He said in a telephone interview that the North likely would do a couple of trial runs with unarmed missiles in coming months before performing the test with an actual H-bomb aboard.

The exercises were meant to underscore "the seriousness with which we take DPRK's reckless behavior", White said, using an acronym for North Korea.

Two South Korean officials at the Korea Meteorological Administration told CNN that their analysis so far suggests Saturday's seismic activity around the nuclear site was not caused by an explosion or a collapse of the site.

Yesterday, US President Donald Trump praised China for instructing its banks to cut off business with North Korea. The locations are around 50 kilometers away (more than 30 miles) from the site of previous nuclear tests, the group said.

"It seems like a vague reality to me", said Kim Hye-ji, a 27-year-old graphic designer.

Textiles are one of the North's last major sources of foreign revenue following repeated rounds of United Nations sanctions under which Beijing cut off purchases of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods.

North Korea has launched dozens of missiles this year, several of them flying over Japan, as it accelerates a weapons program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Quake detected in North Korea; South Korean officials calling it natural