North Korea’s foreign minister has warned that Pyongyang could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to US President Donald Trump's threats of military action during UN meeting.
Ri Yong-ho, who is due to address the UN general assembly at the weekend, told reporters in New York: “It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific. We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un”.
The threats by Pyongyang came after Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
In a rare direct statement delivered straight to camera, Kim said that Trump would "pay dearly" for the threats, and that North Korea "will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".
Earlier this month, North Korea detonated a powerful hydrogen bomb at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the north-east of the country. The explosion caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that was felt over the Chinese border in Yanji.
Hours after the North Korea’s foreign minister’s warning, Japan's defense minister Itsunori Onodera issued a statement that the country must ready itself for the sudden escalation in tensions and be prepared for a missile launch.
Onodera said such a test could involve a nuclear device mounted on a medium-range or intercontinental ballistic missile. “We cannot deny the possibility it may fly over our country,” Onodera said.