Quake reported near North Korean nuclear test site

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-South Korea air exercise, with Pyongyang calling it an "all-out provocation" that could lead to nuclear conflict as a US lawmaker warned of a growing likelihood of "preemptive war" on the divided peninsula.

South Korean F-15K, KF-16, and F-5 fighters will also take part.

News about the launch comes within days of North Korea launching a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The five-day Vigilant Ace drill - involving some 230 aircraft including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters - begins Monday, five days after the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be capable of hitting the USA mainland in a new challenge to President Donald Trump.

White House national security adviser HR McMaster said Saturday that North Korea represents "the greatest immediate threat to the United States" and that the potential for war with the communist nation is growing each day.

North Korean monitoring group 38 North said the tremors could be an indication of "Tired Mountain Syndrome" - a condition where rock becomes increasingly permeable following a below-ground nuclear blast.

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North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation. It launched an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-15, that state-controlled media described as the "most powerful ICBM" carrying a "super-large heavy warhead" to unprecedented heights of nearly 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).

The brigade is charged with entering Pyongyang to target North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other senior officials in the country's ruling party if signs of a nuclear attack are detected.

Graham said this development showed conflict is approaching. They will be joined by more F-35bs - the Marine Corps version, based in Japan - B-1 bombers and E-3 airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that will fly in to join the wargames and then return to bases elsewhere, the official said.

It is likely the ballistic missile, fired higher than any previous North Korean missile, broke up as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere, the official said.

"We are in a race to be able to solve this problem", McMaster said.

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