North Korea tests another nuclear weapon

Nuclear Warhead Buildup Continues in Four Countries, Claims Watchdog

Nuclear Warhead Buildup Continues in Four Countries, Claims Watchdog

North Korea's neighbors said Saturday they have detected a shallow 3.4-magnitude quake in North Korea.

"In this case we saw none".

The area isn't where natural earthquakes normally occur. Kilju is home to the Punggyeri nuclear site, where North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test was conducted on September 3.

Seismic activity was detected Saturday near the site of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear site, but it is not known whether a nuclear test caused the development.

The natural disaster could be the result of a cave in following the test earlier this month. "The quake is small enough to suspect that it could have been caused by a tunnel collapse, and satellite data shows there have been many landslides in the area since the nuclear test".

They do, however, agree that the location of the natural disaster was near the site where the reclusive state conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3. "Analysis ongoing", CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo said in a Twitter post, referring to Sept 3 test.

The United States Geological Survey was neutral in its assessment on the cause of the tremor, which it recorded as a 3.5 magnitude quake, saying in a statement that it could not "conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

"The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist", USGS said.

So-called atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons were banned by the US, the then-Soviet Union and numerous world's nations in a 1963 treaty, though China conducted the last such test known worldwide in 1980.

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There was no immediate reaction from China's Foreign Ministry.

"This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat", said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, calling North Korea's weapons program "a grave threat".

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho warned on Thursday that North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific.

South Korea says Kim Jong Un's rebuke against U.S. President Donald Trump marked the first time a North Korean leader directly issued a statement to the worldwide community under his name.

They were responding Friday to reports that North Korea's foreign minister had said his country might conduct such a test.

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

North Korea's nuclear tests to date have all been underground, and experts say an atmospheric test, which would be the first since one by China in 1980, would be proof of the success of its weapons program. On Thursday, the US unveiled its own set of economic sanctions targeting North Korea.

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

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 USA or its allies were threatened.

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