China tells banks to stop services to N. Korean customers

Jerome Frank
September 25, 2017

An quake measuring 3.4 magnitude on the richter scale was detected in North Korea, claimed China's Xinhua news agency.

The epicentre is roughly the same as that of a previous shallow quake on September 3, which turned out to be caused by a North Korean nuclear test, the official Xinhua news agency said.

A South Korea Meteorological Agency spokesman said that acoustic waves from a man-made explosion should have been detected but were not.

Lewis finds similarities between the current situation surrounding North Korea and the events that led to China's 1966 test, which was driven by US doubts of Chinese capabilities to place nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles.

The USGS also said it occurred in the nuclear test area but said its seismologists assessed it as having a depth of 5km.

There is no confirmed evidence provided at this time, whether there was an actual test explosion out of North Korea or a natural quake.

"Our analysis shows that it was a natural quake".

In a sign of growing frustration, China on Saturday imposed a limit on oil supplies to North Korea under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, reported news agency AP.

South Korea's weather agency, however, offered a different view.

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On Monday, the official China Daily said sanctions should be given time to bite but that the door must be left open to talks. Instead, he said, the worldwide community should strictly implement the sanctions imposed on North Korea by the U.N.

Another official at the the Korea Meteorological Administration's command center said it is believed to have been a natural quake.

An atmospheric thermonuclear blast would also raise the risk of damage caused by an electromagnetic pulse, an intense wave of electrical energy generated by the explosion that could destroy electronic devices and equipment over a vast area, Lee said.

Tensions have been high since Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, leading the UN Security Council to approve stiffer sanctions against the regime.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has lashed out as world leaders have tightened the screws on his regime in Pyongyang over its nuclear programme and repeated missile tests.

Tensions between North Korea and the USA continue to escalate, with President Donald Trump last week threatening to "totally destroy North Korea".

Experts say this move could cut off a major source of foreign currency for Pyongyang, as textiles are one of country's major exports, estimated by IHS Markit analysts to value $750m. Textiles have been Pyongyang's last major source of foreign revenue following repeated rounds of United Nations sanctions, under which China cut off purchases of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods. In April, the Global Times - a state-run tabloid that often reflects official thinking - raised the prospect of curbing oil exports in retaliation for North Korea's increasingly provocative behavior.

Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province concluded earlier this month another test at Punggye-ri could cause the overhead mountain to cave in, potentially releasing large amounts of radioactive material which could drift far beyond the region into neighboring countries including China.

On Thursday, Trump announced an executive order authorizing a new round of sanctions aimed at slowing North Korea's progress toward being able to launch a nuclear strike on the continental U.S. The new sanctions target any company or person doing business with North Korea.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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