US: Magnitude 3.5 Quake Detected in N. Korea

Small quake raises nuke test fears
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2017 9:12 AM CDT
US: Magnitude 3.5 Quake Detected in N. Korea
People watch a TV news program reporting North Korea's earthquake, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A small earthquake shook North Korea early Saturday, according to South Korean officials, raising fears that the country had carried out another nuclear test amid its escalating dispute with the US. The quake happened near where North Korea has carried out other nuclear tests, which have registered as small earthquakes, though opinions are split on the source of the latest quake, the Guardian reports. "A key method is to look at the seismic waves or seismic acoustic waves and the latter can be detected in the case of a man-made earthquake," a South Korean meteorological official says. "In this case we saw none. So as of now, we are categorizing this as a natural earthquake."

China's official Xinhua news agency, however, says an explosion was the likely source of the quake, which China measured at 3.4 magnitude, the AP reports. The US Geological Survey says it measured the quake at 3.5 and it cannot confirm whether it was natural or not. China also announced Saturday that it is limiting petroleum exports to North Korea under the terms of a UN resolution passed after a nuclear test earlier this month, reports USA Today. At a rally in Alabama Friday night, President Trump mocked Kim Jong Un as "Little Rocket Man" and told supporters they had nothing to fear from North Korea, despite the country's threat to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, reports the Washington Post. (More North Korea stories.)

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