While China reports a possible explosion in North Korea, the South's weather agency believes the quake was natural, noting that some of the characteristics of artificial earthquakes, specifically the sound waves, were not detected.
There are suspicions that the quake was caused by settling in the wake of the most recent nuclear test. The United States Geological Survey registered a depth of 5km. He specializes in global risk analysis, USA security and foreign policy strategy, and security and political relations in Asia.
Though the confiscation of passports and restriction of movement of North Korean workers overseas have led them to be depicted as "slave labor" in the mainstream media, there is nonetheless competition among North Koreans for these jobs.
Trump praised China for taking action against North Korea in his ongoing bid to achieve "complete denuclearization" of the country. Returning workers typically invest their earnings and bring back goods for sale in North Korean markets, thus fueling a process of grass-roots marketization and the rise of an entrepreneurial class. But for a host of strategic reasons, there are inherent limits to what Beijing will do.
A senior US diplomat says a North Korean hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific would be an "unprecedented act of aggression" by the communist nation.
China and Russian Federation had initially opposed a proposal from the United States to completely ban oil exports, but later agreed to the reduced measures.
Pyongyang also launched a ballistic missile in late August that flew over the island before falling into the sea.
In an escalation of the war of words between the United States and North Korea, Trump sent a pre-dawn tweet Friday saying, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"
As for China, he said Beijing's cooperation is essential to prevent "a catastrophe" and conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Moscow may have less direct influence with Pyongyang than does Beijing, but it evokes far less nationalistic resentment and suspicion among North Koreans.
In the past year, the United Nations has begun to impose sectoral sanctions on North Korean exports.
The test prompted global condemnation, leading the United Nations Security Council to unanimously adopt new sanctions that include restrictions on oil shipments.
"But sanctions are not the panacea", Wang said. They remain a valuable expression of collective condemnation and reassert the goal of nuclear non-proliferation. A total blockade of the country might, but it is too risky to even attempt.
Shin: By amassing a nuclear arsenal, North Korea hopes to secure the Kim regime internally and externally. Its leaders say nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it.