Quake detected near North Korea nuclear test zone 'occurred naturally'

On Thursday, the USA unveiled its own set of economic sanctions targeting North Korea. Cyberattacks can affect more than just bank accounts or identity theft; they can shut down power transmission, turn off water and prevent aircraft control towers from safely landing planes.

Trump said the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies.

North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to deter a US invasion, but Thornton contended that the North ultimately seeks to take over USA -allied South Korea.

As reported earlier by JOL, as part of the new sanctions on North Korea, China will limit the export of oil products to North Korea and ban the import of textiles from the isolated state.

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.


China has repeatedly called for peace talks, suggesting that Pyongyang halt its nuclear activities in return for the United States suspending military drills in the region. Trump has said he won't allow it, although the U.S.so far has not used military force to impede the North's progress. It plays its hand with Washington much more subtly than that - often adopting an adversarial pose, especially of late, but sometimes a cooperative one.

In the almost three weeks since, as leaders of North Korea and the United States have exchanged insults, the world has braced itself for another show of force by the North. Negotiation is the only way out, which deserves every effort.

In North Korea petrol is sold by the kilogram rather than the liter, and payment in hard currency is required for retail buyers.

In the past year, the United Nations has begun to impose sectoral sanctions on North Korean exports. It's fair to say, however, that the North Korean leadership is at best ambivalent about the notion of Chinese-style economic reform and "opening up".

Those measures did not go far enough for Trump.


Another problem is that if sanctions fail, they can in fact reinforce a regime's illiberal characteristics, providing fodder for propaganda that rails against a hostile outside world. In the new executive order, Trump called the practice of providing resources to North Korea "disgraceful". The market in North Korea is rife with corruption.

Previous earthquakes in North Korea have indicated nuclear tests by the nation, which is at loggerheads with the U.S. and the rest of the global community over its weapon development.

But the new US measures still come with limitations.

"Whatever changes may take place, no matter how long it will take, and whatever difficulties we may face, China will stay firmly committed to the denuclearization of the peninsula", said Wang. But as the scope of multilateral sanctions is extended to target everyday North Koreans' livelihoods, it's crucial to ask whether this approach is likely to succeed. North Korea is also believed to have an array of illicit revenue sources, such as cyberattacks, drugs and weapons.



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