In the ever-evolving bombastic war of words, a senior North Korean official issued a grim warning to the world this week that it should take “literally” the country’s threat to test a nuclear weapon above ground.
Ri Yong Pil told CNN that North Korea “has always brought its words into action.” It seems this threat is no different.
This comes after last week when North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has become a “full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges” and cautioned that “the entire U.S. mainland is within” their firing range.
Last month on a visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Ri Yong Ho, the regime’s chief foreign minister, hinted that the country could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean just hours after President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea in his speech to the UN.
“The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally,” Ri told CNN.
The UN imposted new sanctions on the rogue state last month after it carried out the strongest ever of its six nuclear tests in early September. The regime has claimed they used a hydrogen bomb in the test.
The country’s continued threats have put its neighbors on high alert, especially after Pyongyang flew a ballistic missile over Japan last month, and after North Korea warned that a nuclear war “may break out any moment” in response to South Korea and the U.S. beginning naval drills off the east and west coasts of the Korean peninsula last week.
In the back-and-forth barbs between Washington D.C. and Pyongyang, North Korea has also threatened to fire missiles into the waters off the U.S. territory of Guam.
And despite Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, pledging diplomacy with North Korea “until the first bomb drops,” Ri Yong Pil has implied that diplomatic channels between the two nations are nonexistent.
“The U.S. is talking about a military option and even practicing military moves. They’re pressuring us on all fronts with sanctions. If you think this will lead to diplomacy, you’re deeply mistaken,” Ri said.
This comes after Trump’s comments on Sunday when he said the U.S. was “prepared for anything” when it came to North Korea’s threats.
“We’ll see what happens… We are so prepared, like you wouldn’t believe,” he said in an interview on Fox Business Network with Maria Bartiromo.
He added, “You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be… Would it be nice not to do that?” referring to responding to a nuclear attack from North Korea, “The answer is yes. Will that happen? Who knows, who knows, Maria.”