North Korea's foreign minister on Thursday said that Pyongyang could respond to the United States President Donald Trump's threats of military action by testing a powerful nuclear bomb in the Pacific Ocean.
The North Korean leader made the statement just hours after the country's ruler Kim Jong-un announced that the US President would "pay dearly" for threatening to destroy his regime.
Trump on Tuesday vowed to annihilate North Korea if Washington or its allies are threatened. He made the statement in his first appearance at the United Nations (UN). In a blunt warning to Pyongyang, Trump told the world leaders gathered for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that ''the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
The North Korean leader, Ri Yong-ho, is scheduled to address the UNGA at the weekend. Ri, reacting to Trump's speech, told the reporters in New York that Pyongyang could conduct the "most powerful detonation of an H-bomb."
"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 minister said, according to reports.
Ri made the statement after Kim said that he was considering retaliating at the "highest level" after the US President warned that America would destroy North Korea of it was forced to defend itself.
North Korea, earlier this month, had detonated a powerful hydrogen bomb at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the north-east of the country. The explosion reportedly triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that was felt over the Chinese border in Yanji.
Kim, in a statement released by the official KCNA new agency, called Trump "mentally deranged" and warned him against issuing any threats to his regime.
The North Korean ruler described Trump as "a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire," he also added that the Republican billionaire was unfit to hold the top position at the White House.
"Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defuse tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors," Kim said according to KCNA new agency.
After North's latest missile launch and the sixth nuclear test, the US had suggested that its patience for diplomacy with Pyongyang was running out. With North Korea's growing nuclear programme, unbridled missile tests, and the US' threats of military action, a highly plausible prospect of a nuclear war looms over the world.