A North Korea nuclear test over the Pacific? Logical, terrifying

A North Korea nuclear test over the Pacific? Logical, terrifying

A North Korea nuclear test over the Pacific? Logical, terrifying

The South Korean weather agency said analysts have detected seismic activity of a 3.2 magnitude about 6 kilometers (more than 3 miles) from the site used for nuclear tests.

South Korea's presidential office said in a statement that a handful of its government agencies "still maintain [the quake] was natural and not from an explosion".

The flight, which was disclosed shortly before North Korea's foreign minister was due to address the United Nations, was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea that any US fighter jet or bomber has flown in the 21st century, the Pentagon said.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho comments Thursday on the sidelines of a United Nations gathering followed an extraordinary direct statement by Kim in response to President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" North Korea.

Recently, North Korea conducted its sixth most powerful nuclear test on September 3, attracting United Nations sanctions and criticism from the global community.

The quake could be the result of a cave in following the test earlier this month.

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The natural disaster was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong Province, where North Korea's known Punggyeri nuclear site is located, according to South Korea's meteorological agency.

Monitoring groups estimate that the nuclear test conducted in North Korea earlier this month had a yield of 250 kilotons, which is 16 times the size of the U.S. bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

Park said analysts could not rule out the possibility that a natural quake occurred because of a nuclear test.

"We will not seek unification by absorption or artificial means, if North Korea makes a decision even now to stand on the right side of history, we are ready to assist North Korea together with the global community", he said.

Ri did not respond on Saturday when asked by reporters whether North Korea had conducted a new nuclear test.

Seoul's Meteorological Administration assessed the quake as natural, while China called the earthquake a "suspected explosion".

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) and US President Donald Trump (R).

Other experts said such an atmospheric nuclear test is unlikely for now due to its substantial technical and diplomatic risks.

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

North Korea's weakest nuclear test, the first one conducted in 2006, generated a magnitude 4.3 quake. Satellite photos of the area after the Sept 3 quake showed numerous landslides apparently caused by the massive blast, which North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a written statement that it will restrict exports of refined petroleum products from October 1, and ban the export of condensate oil and liquefied natural gas immediately.

Kim on Friday threatened the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" in a tirade against Trump's warning that Washington would "totally destroy" the North if the U.S. or its allies were threatened.

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