The country’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said last month that Pyongyang was considering conducting “the most powerful detonation” of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific ocean.
Now that threat, made after Donald Trump vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if they continued their nuclear programme, has been given more weight by Ri Yong Pil, a senior diplomat in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry.
He told CNN: “The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally.”
Previous nuclear tests undertaken by North Korea have been conducted underground.
If one were to be carried out above ground it would back up the warnings from CIA chief Mike Pompeo, who said last week that Kim Jong-un was just months away from gaining the ability to strike the United States with nuclear weapons.
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Trump is set to visit Asia next week and refused to rule out visiting the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea.
He said this week: “I’d rather not say, but you’ll be surprised.”
White House officials insist the President is looking for a peaceful resolution to the standoff between the US and North Korea, despite a war of words between the two nations.