China imposes limit on oil supply to North Korea

Trump listens during a luncheon with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly Thursday Sept. 21 2017 in New York. (AP

Trump listens during a luncheon with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly Thursday Sept. 21 2017 in New York. (AP

Trump praised China on Thursday for what he said was instructions to its banks to cut off business with North Korea. Ri, who said Pyongyang's ultimate goal was to establish a "balance of power with the US", retorted that Trump himself was on a "suicide mission" after the USA president said Kim was on such a mission.

Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard".

China's natural disaster administration initially announced it had detected a magnitude 3.4 tremor in North Korea at a depth of "zero kilometres".

Chinese earthquake officials earlier said the tremor was a "suspected explosion", while South Korean officials and CTBTO, the nuclear proliferation watchdog, both said they believed it was a natural quake.

The quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea, just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) northwest of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, according to an official from Seoul's Korea Meteorological Administration.

"This mission is a demonstration of United States resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

"I'm not defending North Korea". He said in a telephone interview that the North likely would do a couple of trial runs with unarmed missiles in coming months before performing the test with an actual H-bomb aboard.

China's Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, through its executive secretary, tweeted Saturday that the activity was "unlikely man-made".

Also Thursday, Trump issued an executive order expanding the Treasury Department's ability to target anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea and to ban them from the USA financial system.

North Korea's weakest nuclear test, the first one conducted in 2006, generated a magnitude 4.3 quake.

As Pyongyang continues to move ahead with its nuclear programme, tension builds up in the Korean Peninsula. At the United Nations, Trump called Kim "rocket man" and threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea.

China said on Saturday it will ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea, as well as imports of textiles from the isolated North, to comply with a United Nations Security Council resolution.

This week marked a new level of acrimony in a blistering war of words between Kim and Trump, with the North Korean leader calling the American president "mentally deranged" and a "dotard".

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