He said Friday he is “always open” to negotiations, but added, “We’re going to see what happens with North Korea”.
The US Geological Survey said that the tremor hit at 1.41am (12.41am, Singapore time) with a depth of around 5km.
Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies, previously expressed similar worries, saying he wondered whether North Korea would be able to carry out another nuclear test in the area. “The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event”, the U.S. agency told AFP.
But the Korea Meteorological Administration in the South said on its website that “analysis shows it was a natural quake”. They said it wasn’t man-made and didn’t appear to cause any damage in the area.
This latest tremor came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude quake struck near the same area. The tremor was the latest in a string of at least three shocks to be observed since Pyongyang’s September 3 nuclear test, which caused a 6.3 magnitude natural disaster.
On North Korea, Kelly said Americans “should be concerned about a state that has developed a pretty good ICBM capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear re-entry vehicle”.
The strength of Friday’s quake was much lower than the tremors registered during any of North Korea’s previous nuclear tests, including its first detonation in 2006, which triggered a 4.1-magnitude quake.
Based on Donald Trump’s recent statements to North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s replies, I, once again, ask the mayor and City Council to begin making preparations for what seems more and more likely every day. Worries about a potential military clash between the US and North Korea have also intensified in South Korea and elsewhere, with President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanging crude personal insults and warlike rhetoric.
In response to Trump’s speech, Kim rebuked him, calling Trump “mentally deranged” and threatened the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”.