U.S. bombers fly off North Korea's coast in show of force

U.S. bombers fly off North Korea's coast in show of force

U.S. bombers fly off North Korea's coast in show of force

However, initial assessment of the quake differed widely, with the Chinese natural disaster administration saying that it had detected a magnitude 3.4 natural disaster in North Korea that was a "suspected explosion".

US bombers, escorted by fighter jets, flew off the North Korean coast in a show of force on Saturday, while in Pyongyang, tens of thousands of people staged a mass rally to express support for "final victory" over the United States and call for the annihilation of the enemy, the state Korean Central News Agency reported.

A US intelligence official and USA -based non-governmental experts said their initial assessment was that the quake was either natural or connected to North Korea's latest and largest nuclear test on Sept.3, and not caused by a new nuclear test.

Early reports from the China Earthquake Administration (CENC) said a 3.4 magnitude quake was "caused by suspected explosion in North Hamgyong Province" and the depth of its epicentre was 0kms.

The Korea Meteorological Administration also cited the possibility that the seismic activity Saturday occurred because of the geological stress from the sixth nuclear test.

"We can not deny the possibility it may fly over our country", he said.

The area where the quake struck is not known to experience natural earthquakes.

Earlier this week North Korea's Ri said his country could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to Trump's threats of military action.

USA bombers accompanied by fighter jets flew off the east coast of North Korea on Saturday in a show of force created to project American military power in the face of Pyongyang's weapons programs, the Pentagon said.

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The depth is poorly constrained and has been held to 5 km by the seismologist", USGS said in a statement . Responding to the speech, Kim said Trump's comments amounted to an insult, reports CNN .

A nuclear launch by North Korea would come dangerously close to an act of war, said Lee Choon Geun, a missile expert from South Korea's Science and Technology Policy Institute.

Saturday's activity comes at a time of heightened tensions and name-calling between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korea's weather agency said its analysis had determined that the quake's origin was probably "natural", the Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho wouldn't have spoken without approval from Pyongyang's top leadership when he suggested to reporters in NY on Friday that the country could conduct an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test to fulfill the vows of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un.

"When approaching the upper limit, Chinese government authorities will issue a notice based on the export situation", said a statement on the Commerce Ministry's website. Such cooperation is critical for Pyongyang, and the most recent sanctions highly increase pressure on the communist country to abandon development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

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.

China has urged the United States to refrain from making threats to North Korea.

The announcement follows days of increasingly bellicose rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un's regime, which has raised global alarm.

The US president called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a "mentally deranged US dotard" who would face the "highest level of hardline countermeasure in history".

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