China experts say 3.4-quake hits North Korea in 'suspected explosion'

Pauline Gross
September 25, 2017

On the surface it seems like more of the same: North Korea responds to another threat by U.S. President Donald Trump by calling him a "deranged" old man who will "pay dearly" for his insults.

Russian Federation urged calm on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "madman".

In a rare direct statement, Kim said that Trump would "pay dearly" for the threats, and that North Korea "will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

The comments are the North's first response to Trump's debut speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, during which he vowed to "totally destroy North Korea" if provoked.

"It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific", Mr Ri said, quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency. North Korea experts said the United States would never tolerate such a test and a military conflict is possible if the North actually carried one out. Click any of these buttons below!

"With those words, President Trump handed the Kim regime the soundbite of the century", said Marcus Noland at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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South Korea's weather service has rejected a claim that a recent quake in North Korea was caused by an explosion, saying it was a natural tremor.

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But neighboring South Korea and Pyongyang's main rival took a different view saying it might have been a natural quake . According to United Nations customs data, China sent 6,000 barrels a day of oil products to North Korea in 2016.

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Four sources earlier told Reuters that China's central bank has told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

The additional sanctions on Pyongyang, including on its shipping and trade networks, showed Trump was giving more time for economic pressure to weigh on North Korea.

China has also urged calm, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi telling his Japanese counterpart that Tokyo should not abandon dialogue over North Korea. Civil aviators and mariners in the target area may perish, given that North Korea does not offer global warning of its missile launch plans - unlike other states that routinely test ballistic missiles.

European Union ambassadors have reached an initial agreement to impose more economic sanctions on North Korea, going beyond the latest round of United Nations measures, officials and diplomats said.

Reuters added that banks were "told to stop providing financial services to North Korean customers and to wind down loans with existing customers".

Responding to the speech, Kim said Trump's comments amounted to an insult.

An emergency management official says Hawaii would face thousands of casualties and severe infrastructure damage from a North Korean missile.

Trump said North Korea's textiles, fishing, information technology, and manufacturing industries were among those the United States could target.

Other reports by GizPress

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