China tells Japan not to abandon dialogue over North Korea

China tells Japan not to abandon dialogue over North Korea

China tells Japan not to abandon dialogue over North Korea

The U.S. Geological Survey said on Saturday it could not conclusively confirm whether a magnitude 3.5 quake detected in North Korea was manmade or natural.

"This mission is a demonstration of USA 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".

China's quake administration said it was a magnitude 3.4 natural disaster and cited a "suspected explosion".

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 US Geological Survey (USGS) said that it detected a magnitude 3.5 quake in the area of previous North Korean nuclear tests, but that it was unable to confirm whether the event was natural.

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.

The Sept. 3 detonation followed two intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July that brought Kim Jong Un's isolated regime a step closer to achieving its aim of being able to deploy a nuclear warhead over the continental U.S.

In two July flight tests, those missiles showed potential capability to reach deep into the USA mainland when perfected. Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged USA dotard".

Donald Trump later used his speech to the UN General Assembly to tell the world he would "totally destroy" North Korea if the U.S. was threatened by its regime.

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. The North has threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.

A secondary tremor detected after that test could have been caused by the collapse of a tunnel at the mountainous site, experts said at the time.

Satellite photos after the September 3 quake showed numerous landslides apparently caused by the massive blast, which North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

On Thursday Trump announced new US sanctions that he said allows the targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.

But after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Friday that Pyongyang will consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the U.S.in response to President Donald Trump's threat to destroy the country.

Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern about the rise of tensions over North Korea and, while it too has signed up for the increasingly tough United Nations sanctions, it has also urged a return to talks and for all parties to exercise restraint.

Trump tweeted on Friday, saying Pyongyang would be tested like never before.

Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Kōno Tarō on Thursday urged all countries to sever diplomatic and economic relations with North Korea in the wake of its recent series of provocations.

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