Korea's ruling party asks N. Korea, US to halt war of words

Alicia Cross
September 24, 2017

A 3.4 magnitude quake has occurred in the northeastern part of North Korea, data published by the China natural disaster Networks Center (CENC) has said.

The natural disaster occurred about 50km (31 miles) from a nuclear test site, monitors say.

But the official from the South Korean agency said the analysis of seismic waves and the lack of sound waves clearly showed that the quake was not caused by an artificial explosion.

It was Trump's most direct military threat to attack North Korea and his latest expression of concern about Pyongyang's repeated launching of ballistic missiles over Japan and underground nuclear tests.

If it is a nuclear test, the low magnitude of the natural disaster event suggests a much smaller yield compared to the September 3 hydrogen bomb test, which triggered a 6.3 magnitude seismic event.

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

All of North Korea's previous six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 or above.

"We can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event", it said.

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The first sign Pyongyang has conducted a nuclear test is usually seismic activity.

A Friday commentary from the North's official Korean Central News Agency accused the party newspaper People's Daily and other party news outlets of "kowtowing to the ignorant acts of the Trump Administration".

"Two #Seismic Events! 0829UTC & much smaller @ 0443UTC unlikely Man-made!"

North Korea under Kim Jong-un's leadership has launched dozens of missiles as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

"Recent steps in the nuclear disarmament field are encouraging", said Shannon Kile, head of SIPRI's Nuclear Weapons Project.

The pair had swapped insults, with Mr Trump calling the North Korean a suicidal "rocket man" and being labelled "mentally deranged" and "a dotard" in return.

The sources said lenders were asked to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea and were warned of the economic losses and reputational risks if they did not do so.

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