South Korea says quake in North Korea was not result of blast

China's Top Bank Orders Others To Cut Business Ties With North Korea

South Korea's weather agency said in a statement on its website that the tremor was a natural occurrence, though it hit close to the area where North Korea conducts nuclear tests.

Earlier in the month, North Korea carried out its biggest ever sixth nuclear test, with seismic monitors measuring an "explosion" of 6.3 magnitudes near its main test site, sending tensions over its weapons ambitions to new heights.

But on the fringes of the United Nations meeting this week, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho upped the tensions further, telling reporters Pyongyang might now consider detonating a hydrogen bomb outside its territory.

Beijing's appeal came as a war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un escalated, with the young North Korean leader calling the 71-year-old American president a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard". A U.S. official, who studies North Korea's military politics, said it was too early to determine if the test supported North Korea's claim that it had succeeded in developing a thermonuclear weapon, "much less one that could be mounted on an ICBM and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere without burning up".

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said that it detected two seismic events in North Korea, but they were "unlikely (to have been) man-made".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this week that "we're witnessing a very risky confrontation spiral around (North Korea)".

"We are quite challenged but our diplomatic efforts continue unabated", Tillerson said in an interview with ABC.

Recent UN Security Council sanctions have expanded bans on North Korea's export of various commodities, including lead, lead ore, iron, iron ore, sea food, and textiles.

The European Union has also reportedly agreed to impose tougher sanctions on Pyongyang, in addition to the latest round recently imposed by the U.N. Security Council. Any plane or ship that has visited North Korea is prohibited from arriving in the United States for 180 days, according to a text of a notification letter Trump sent to the speaker of the House of Representatives.


"The U.S. and others need to increase the economic costs to Pyongyang for its illegal and destabilizing nuclear program", added Burns, a Harvard University professor and director of the Kennedy School's Future of Diplomacy Project.

On North Korean television, a newsreader called the test a "complete success" and said the "two-stage thermonuclear weapon" had "unprecedented" strength.

"Chinese government authorities will issue a notice based on the export situation when approaching the upper limit, and from that date implement a prohibition on exports of refined oil products to North Korea for the year", it said.

"I think China, to use an undiplomatic word, is getting more and more pissed off with North Korea", McCallum, who took over Canada's diplomatic post in the country after almost two decades in Parliament, told CTV's Question Period.

Imports of textiles from North Korea would also be banned immediately, the statement said.

North Korea's leadership, ever the experts in brinkmanship, know that full well, and this knowledge has allowed them to call China's bluff repeatedly.

Comparing the president to an ageing gambler, the foreign minister said Mr Trump had turned the United Nations into a den of gangsters where bloodshed is the order of the day.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that in a complex and volatile world, China is an "anchor of stability".

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

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