North Korea nuclear test caused landslides near detonation zone, satellite images show

U.S. President Donald Trump had also asked to be briefed on all available military options, according to his defence chief.

Seoul has hardened its stance against Pyongyang after its torrent of weapons tests, the latest a detonation Sunday of what North Korea said was a thermonuclear weapon built for missiles capable of reaching the USA mainland. He also reaffirmed the USA readiness to protect the United States and its allies by "using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal".

Early Wednesday, Onodera held telephone talks with US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and both agreed to step up "visible pressure" on North Korea, the ministry in Tokyo said.

Trump also approved in principle, the sale of "many billions of dollars' worth of military weapons and equipment from the United States by South Korea", according to a White House readout of the call which did not mention any specific new deals.

Putin stressed the need for a political solution, saying further sanctions and pressure would not solve the problem.

He later said he was considering stopping all US trade with any country that maintained commercial relations with the DPRK.

Haley reiterated U.S. threats to impose sanctions on countries that conduct trade with North Korea, saying these nations will be seen as "giving aid to their reckless and unsafe nuclear intentions".

The phone call comes on the heels of Trump and his administration's stern warnings to North Korea that further threats would be met with military force, including with a possible nuclear strike.

The tremor felt was 9.8 times more powerful than the one from the fifth test, the country's state weather agency said.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, said that a search that U.S authorities carried out at Russia's diplomatic facilities was an attempt to prove that Moscow meddled in US presidential elections, TASS state news agency reported.

He said that dialogue for Pyongyang's nuclear programs should be proceeded in line with progress over the resolution of the nuclear standoff.

Even though many, including the American President Donald Trump, speculates the gravity of the threat, United States intelligence have told the Washington Post that North Korea has progressed at a much faster rate than expected and is capable of striking the US.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned North Korea's latest nuclear test as a "flagrant violation" of global conventions, but also said there can only be a "diplomatic and peaceful solution" of the crisis.

Chang also said the yield from the latest nuclear detonation appeared to be about 50 kilotons, which would mark a "significant increase" from North Korea's past nuclear tests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed a similar sentiment Wednesday during a meeting with South Korea's president in Russia.

Hours later, the Seoul-based Asia Business Daily reported that North Korea was preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile before Saturday.

Global attention remains focused on North Korea this week. China objects to both the military drills and the deployment in South Korea of an advanced US missile defence system that has a radar that can see deep into Chinese territory.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said sanctions on North Korea had reached the limit of their impact.

"China has made some steps, and I commend them for those steps - obviously they could have blocked the last resolution at the United Nations and they did not - but we need to see more action from China", said Gardner, a Colorado Republican.

  • Leroy Wright