Asia

Earthquake in North Korea; China suspects its a blast at nuclear test site

A magnitude 3.4 earthquake was detected in North Korea on Saturday but some experts suspect an explosion.

The tremor occurred at 41.36 degrees latitude and 129.06 degrees longitude at 4.29 p.m., China Earthquake Network Centre said, without providing further details.

According to Xinhua News agency, the tremor was detected “at roughly the same site as shallow quake on Sept. 3 that was caused by nuclear test”

Recall that North Korea escalated tensions with the U.S and its allies early this month when it detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapon at its Punggye-ri site northeast of Pyongyang, causing a earthquake with a magnitude of around 6.3.

This week the regime’s foreign minister said the country’s options included testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

The early September detonation followed two intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July that brought Kim Jong Un’s isolated regime a step closer to achieving its aim of being able to deploy a nuclear warhead over the continental U.S.

On Thursday, North Korea struck back at U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to destroy it, with Kim warning of the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” and his foreign minister suggesting that could include testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

READ: North Korea shakes Japan, fires missile over Hokkaido, residents get SMS to take cover

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly. He said in remarks broadcast on South Korean TV that the countermeasures flagged by Kim might refer to a “strongest-ever” ground-level test of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.

His comments came after Trump ordered new sanctions on individuals, companies and banks doing business with North Korea as he sought to further isolate the regime and increase economic pressure for it to curb its weapons programs.

U.S. analysts estimate that North Korea may have as many as 60 nuclear weapons in addition to cyberwarfare capabilities, a biological weapons research program and a chemical weapons stockpile.

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