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‘Explosion’ near China-North Korea border causes small quake

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A “suspected explosion” near the China-North Korean border caused a small earthquake on Monday, Chinese seismology authorities said, less than an hour after news broke about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip to Pyongyang.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the 1.3-magnitude earthquake with a zero-metre depth occurred at 19:38 pm (1138 GMT) in Hunchun city in northeastern Jilin province.

It was unclear what caused the explosion.

In the past, nuclear tests by Pyongyang have caused tremors around the northern border China shares with North Korea.

But the latest incident occurred more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Punggye-ri, the North’s nuclear site under Mount Mantap.

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Analysts played down the tremor, saying it may have been caused by a number of factors.

“Don’t be alarmed just yet folks,” tweeted Vipin Narang, a security studies professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Mining explosions for example can cause small tremors.”

An official at South Korea’s meteorological administration said there was “nothing in particular that can be detected through the seismic waves”, according to the country’s Yonhap news agency.

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In September 2017, a test conducted at North Korea’s nuclear site at Punggye-ri triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that was felt across China’s northern border.

Chinese seismologists later concluded that Pyongyang’s main nuclear test site had partially collapsed, rendering it unusable, following the massive bomb blast — which the North claimed was a hydrogen bomb test.

Experts later cast doubt on that claim, with Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of Strategic Studies commenting that there was “no evidence” that it was unusable.

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In January 2016, Chinese border residents in northern Jilin province were evacuated from buildings after feeling tremors from a North Korean nuclear test.


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CBS cuts off ugly interview with Liz Cheney after she attacks host for asking about Trump’s racism

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) accused CBS host Margaret Brennan of unfairly bringing race into a discussion after President Donald Trump told four non-white Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from.

In an interview on Face the Nation, Brennan asked Cheney if it was appropriate for Trump supporters to chant "send her back" at a rally in North Carolina last week.

"The news media wants to make this about race -- you just did it," Cheney told Brennan. "It’s not about race, gender, religion... As Republicans we will fight against those even if the mainstream media accuses us of racism when we do this."

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CNN’s Santorum gets his butt handed to him by fellow conservative over defense of Trump’s ‘disgusting’ racism

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CNN contributor Rick Santorum ran into some fierce resistance on Sunday morning when he attempted to defend the explicit racism in Donald Trump's tweets at Democratic lawmakers -- with the only other conservative on the panel blowing up on him.

Speaking with fill-in host Dana Bash, the former GOP Senator from Pennsylvania was right away on the defensive when asked about the president's tweets and the resulting "send her back" chant at a rally in North Carolina.

"He says things to bring attention to these issues and I know it's hair on fire time for everyone on the left," Santorum offered in Trump's defense, which brought a sharp comeback from fellow conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp.

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White House flack: Trump made it clear he ‘disagrees with’ and ‘stands with’ people who chanted ‘send her back’

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White House spokesperson Mercedes Schlapp on Sunday insisted that President Donald Trump "stands with" people who chanted a racist slogan at his rally last week -- although she also claimed that he disagrees with the chant itself.

In an interview on ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Schlapp why Trump let the racist "send her back" chant go on for 13 seconds after he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

"He is not a racist," Schlapp said of the president. "He's a compassionate man whose policies have focused on the minority community."

"You also saw him in that room in North Carolina -- 13 seconds as the crowd chanted 'send her back,'" Stephanopoulos pointed out. "It seems like you're at odds with the president, you had a different reaction to that chant."

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