China experts say 3.4-quake hits N.Korea in 'suspected explosion'

A US military F-15C Eagle takes off at Japan's Kadena Air Base bound for international airspace over the waters east of North Korea

However, South Korean officials have said this could be a natural quake as two seismic events have now been triggered, therefore this being "unlikely" to be man-made.

"We use several methods to tell whether earthquakes are natural or manmade", said the official, who asked for anonymity.

And US bombers and fighter jets have flown along the coast of North Korea in a show of force.

But Japan's Kyodo News earlier reported that a 3.4 magnitude natural disaster was detected at a depth of zero kilometres near the North's nuke test site, citing China's quake agency. They believe the activity was the result of a natural quake.

There have been concerns about the stability of the nuclear test site since the September 3 test. Website 38 North said satellite imagery taken after that test appeared to show landslides atop the site that were more numerous and widespread than after the previous five tests.

"Experience is a hard but wise teacher and has taught everyone the grim moral responsibility that accompanies nuclear weapons", Tillerson said.

North Korea has one nuclear test site - Punggye-ri.

On Thursday, Mr Ri had warned that North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific Ocean. "However, we are carrying out a further analysis because there are concerns that it might have been a man-made natural disaster". The USGS measured this month's nuclear test at magnitude 6.3.

The quake comes as the worldwide community is on a high alert after North Korea's foreign minister threatened on Thursday to test a hydrogen in the Pacific Ocean in response to President Trump's United Nations speech, in which he threatened to destroy North Korea, if they continued to threaten the US and their allies.

"I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue", Kim said. That was a big concession by China and going to war against Kim now would have consequences far beyond the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Donald Trump later used his speech to the UN General Assembly to tell the world he would "totally destroy" North Korea if the United States of America was threatened by its regime.

"The fire roughnecks who enjoy playing with fire, will die in fire", the news agency said.

An attack on North Korea now would undercut the recent decision by China to suspend financial transactions with the North and ban oil exports and textile imports.

There was no immediate reaction from China's Foreign Ministry, but the news was widely reported by Chinese state media outlets and on social media.

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