24 September, 2017
China's official Xinhua news agency said the epicentre was roughly at the same place as a similar shallow quake on September 3, which turned out to be caused by North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test.
China's official Xinhua News Agency said earlier that its seismic service detected a magnitude 3.4 quake in North Korea and saw the likely cause as 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 USA fighter jet or bomber has flown in the 21st century, the Pentagon said.
North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, now in NY for a United Nations meeting, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific.
Recently, North Korea conducted its sixth most powerful nuclear test on September 3, attracting United Nations sanctions and criticism from the worldwide community.
Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said such a test would be worse than testing a longer range for an intercontinental ballistic missile, which is another scenario the North may be considering.
The U.S. Geological Survey said it could not conclusively confirm whether the quake, which it measured at magnitude 3.5, was manmade or natural.
President Moon Jae-in voiced support for stronger sanctions in response to the North's recent weapons tests, but his tone was in stark contrast to President Donald Trump's dark warning at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that North Korea would be "totally destroyed" if it attacked. Kilju is home to the Punggyeri nuclear site, where North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test was conducted on September 3.
The area isn't where natural earthquakes normally occur.
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He said such a test could pose a danger to shipping and aircraft, even if the North declared a "keep out" zone, and would pose a risk to people if something went wrong.
U.S. President Donald Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard" who would face the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".
Ri is due to address the United Nations later on Saturday.
"It could be a natural quake that really was man-made as the nuclear test would have transferred a lot of stress", he said.
South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters Friday that North Korea must immediately stop such a provocation and return to talks on its nuclear disarmament.
SIPRI listed North Korea as not having any deployed warheads but with 10 to 20 "other warheads" which include "operational warheads held in storage and retired warheads awaiting dismantlement".
North Korea has launched missiles into the northern Pacific in recent months and has threatened to stage missile tests near Guam.