China urges North Korea not to go further in a 'dangerous direction'

Nuclear weapon

A 3.0 magnitude quake was detected near North Korea's nuclear test site on Saturday, South Korea's weather agency said.

The U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers, based in Guam, and F-15C Eagle fighter escorts from Okinawa, Japan, flew the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea's coast in the 21st century, Dana White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement.

North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to deter a US invasion, but Thornton contended that the North ultimately seeks to take over USA -allied South Korea. "This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options".

The tremor occurred at 4:29 p.m.

A magnitude 3.5 quake struck at 4:29 a.m. ET Saturday 22 kilometers (more than 13 miles) east-northeast of Sungjibaegam, North Korea, the US Geological Survey said.

South Korea's weather agency said its analysis had determined that the quake's origin was probably "natural", the Yonhap News Agency reported. The depth of the natural disaster was 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). "We can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

The moves follow the adoption of a unanimous UN Security Council agreement on sanctions after the isolated North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said later in NY that Pyongyang may consider its most powerful test of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

There have been concerns about the stability of the nuclear test site since the September 3 detonation.

After several hours of uncertainty, Chinese and South Korean monitors concluded Saturday that seismic activity in North Korea was a natural event, and not a nuclear test.

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Hans Kristensen, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists, says he thinks the North Korean threat is likely bluster, but if it happened "there's a real possibility" the US would take military action in response, given the potential for an accidental detonation over a populated area and the potential threat to sea or air traffic.

It claimed that it had detonated a hydrogen bomb for an intercontinental ballistic missile.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in NY. He said in remarks broadcast on South Korean TV that the countermeasures flagged by Kim might refer to a "strongest-ever" ground-level test of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.

China accounts of about 90 percent North Korea's trade, according to The Associated Press.

"Trump, the president of so-called "power, ' is mad enough to wag his tongue without any consideration that he would 'totally destroy" a sovereign state".

"The fire roughnecks who enjoy playing with fire, will die in fire", the news agency said.

Earlier this month, Pyongyang fired its second missile in as many months over northern Japan into the Pacific Ocean.

She said Kim's aim in developing nuclear weapons is "to fulfill a long-term desire on the part of the North Korean regime to reunify the Korean Peninsula under the Kim family regime and proliferate these weapons and blackmail other countries".

Meanwhile, China announced on Saturday that it will limit exports of petroleum products to North Korea starting in October under the terms of the latest United Nations sanctions passed in response to North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

With assistance from Kanga Kong, Stanley James, Gearoid Reidy, Shinhye Kang and Andy Sharp. It also has a vast array of conventional artillery aimed at Seoul.

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