Quake of magnitude 3.4 detected near North Korea's nuclear test site

That is about 20km (12m) south-east of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, an official from the Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul said. "In this case we saw none".

The exercises were meant to underscore "the seriousness with which we take DPRK's reckless behavior", White said, using an acronym for North Korea.

An quake of magnitude 3.4 was detected in North Korea on Saturday, the Chinese natural disaster administration said.

Beijing has halted its imports of coal, iron ore, seafood and other goods, implementing United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea for its provocative nuclear and missile tests.

The tougher stance follows North Korea's latest nuclear test this month.

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Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, claiming it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile. On its website, the USGS said that it "cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event".

Tensions have continued to rise around the Korean peninsula since Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test, prompting a new round of United Nations sanctions.

The pair were at odds over President Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly, in which he threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if forced to do so in defence of the USA or its allies.

The North, which says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against the threat of a U.S. invasion, responded on Friday with a rare personal rebuke from Kim, who called Trump "mentally deranged" and threatened the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history". They enable him to cut off access to the US financial system and freeze the assets of any company or individual doing business with North Korea, measures known as secondary sanctions.

The world hasn't seen an above-ground, atmospheric nuclear test since an inland detonation by China in 1980, and North Korea upending that could push the region dangerously close to war.

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If China truly wants to denuclearize the peninsula, he said it should work "to put the kind of pressure on North Korea that can change its strategic calculation before it's too late". It is wary of the fallout it would suffer if North Korea imploded, and it wants to preserve a buffer between itself and the United States forces based in South Korea.

The ban on textiles, North Korea's second largest export, is expected to cost the country around $700 million a year.

South Korea's weather agency, however, offered a different view.

The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, told banks to "strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea", four sources told Reuters. Despite rising tensions between Moscow and Washington - over Russia's interventions in Crimea and Syria, and the very principles of the world order - Russian Federation has voted twice in recent weeks at the United Nations to impose sanctions on North Korea.

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