Published: Mon, September 25, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

North Korea quakes 'may be test aftershocks'

North Korea quakes 'may be test aftershocks'

The site affected by the quake is close to where North Korea conducted its last and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month.

The latest United Nations sanctions for the first time imposed limits on supplies to the North of the fuel it needs to keep its citizens and soldiers moving. During World War II, Kim Il-sung (Kim Jong-un's grandfather) served as a captain in the Red Army; Kim Jong-il (Kim Jong-un's father) travelled to Russian Federation several times in the early 2000s. Beijing has by most accounts strictly enforced a ban on coal imports from North Korea, raising the chances that it will also stick to the broad restrictions in resolution 2375.

Resuming peace talks was just as much a part of the United Nations resolutions as enforcing sanctions, Wang said, according to a statement issued by China's Foreign Ministry late on Friday.

According to Deutsche Welle, which cites South Korean sources with covert contributors in the north, state-run trading companies have begun to manufacture and sell illicit drugs in a move to bust the sanctions regime.

So, what effect can sanctions have on the North Korean economy?

As pressure from the West to derail North Korea's nuclear weapons program increases, Kim will likely continue to develop cyberattack capabilities in response.

U.S. President Donald Trump also ordered new sanctions against North Korea, which will hit people and entities doing business with the country.

Even though China has supported a series of tough United Nations resolutions this year targeting a growing portion of North Korea's economy, many experts are skeptical that Chinese officials and companies are fully applying the sanctions.

But the country's quake monitoring centre later went on the say a magnitude 3.4 natural disaster was not the result of a fresh missile test. It's created to reduce North Korea's access to foreign currency.

"The key vulnerability is the military - but presumably their stockpiles are prioritized and well coordinated with decisions about the nuclear and missile programmes", he said. Indeed, one of the paradoxes of more than a decade of multilateral sanctions against North Korea is that they have coincided with the country's continued economic recovery following a catastrophic collapse in the 1990s. "US military intervention will not and can not solve a political problem".

Tillerson spoke Thursday at a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council called by the United States on "the acute threat" posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. "But a live nuclear weapons launch and detonation in the Pacific would be an extraordinarily irresponsible act".

"From the date of implementation of the announcement, (the PRC) fully bans all imports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and water products originating in North Korea", a customs notice issued on August 14 said.

Commenting on their assessment of the quake, the South Korean official said "several methods" had been used to work out whether the incident was natural or manmade.

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