China moves to limit fuel, textile trade with North Korea


The United States Geological Survey said it "cannot conclusively confirm" whether the quake was natural or man-made, while South Korea's meteorological agency said it was a "natural earthquake", explaining that sound waves that usually accompany artificial earthquakes were not detected. 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.

For reference, the USA agency recorded a 6.3 magnitude quake after North Korea's hydrogen bomb test on September 3, its sixth of a nuclear weapon.

Refined oil exports to North Korea from all United Nations members is capped at 500,000 barrels from October 1 to the end of the year and 2 million barrels annually from January 1, 2018.

China's official Xinhua news agency said the epicentre was roughly at the same place as a similar shallow quake on September 3, which turned out to be caused by North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test.

The quake comes amid soaring tensions over Pyongyang's weapons programme, with the firing of two missiles over Japan in recent weeks and its sixth and largest nuclear test earlier this month. Trump, speaking during the U.N. General Assembly, called Kim "Rocket Man", and Kim threatened in a video to "tame the mentally deranged USA dotard with fire". "However, we are carrying out a further analysis because there are concerns that it might have been a man-made natural disaster".

The post natural disaster detected near N. Korea nuclear test site appeared first on Vanguard News.

In the same forum, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday took an indirect swipe at the United States, telling the United Nations that "military hysteria" over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests would lead to "disaster".

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South Korea's presidential office said in a statement that a handful of its government agencies "still maintain [the quake] was natural and not from an explosion".

A magnitude 3.2 natural disaster was detected near the test site on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged personal insults this week, and neither side shows any sign of backing down.

On Thursday Trump announced new USA sanctions that he said allows the targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea. China, an ally of North Korea, accounts for about 90 per cent of Pyongyang's foreign trade.

"This doesn't in any way, of course, justify the DPRK's missile and nuclear program, but to ignore the reasons for them is to be very short-sighted", Nebenzia said, using the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Saturday it would limit refined petroleum exports starting October 1 and ban the import of North Korean textiles immediately.

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