North Korea: U.S. should take hydrogen bomb threat 'literally'

North Korea: U.S. should take hydrogen bomb threat 'literally'
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Senior North Korean official Ri Yong Pil warned the U.S. to take Pyongyang's threat of setting off a hydrogen bomb "literally," telling CNN the country "has always brought its words into action."

"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 the network, referring to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho's threat last month to drop a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific. 

The foreign minister's threat was made in response to President Trump's debut speech on the floor of the United Nations, in which he threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea. 

The comments come amid increasing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. 

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North Korea has conducted a slew of intercontinental ballistic missile tests, putting the international community on alert, as well as causing Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ratchet up their own rhetoric. 

While Trump has taken to referring to Kim as "Rocket Man" or "Little Rocket Man," Kim has called Trump "a mentally deranged dotard."

A North Korean state-run newspaper referred to Trump as a "lunatic" with "war fever" in an article on Monday. 

“Dignitaries of White House, and State and Defense Departments of the U.S. are having a hard time cooling Trump, who is overheated with a war fever,” the article from The Pyongyang Times read, as reported by Newsweek.

“Lunatic Trump is running headlong into ruin, taking America with him, and the poor puppet forces are following him, at the peril of their lives,” the article continued.

Trump is set to embark on his first trip to Asia since taking office next week. 

The White House has downplayed the possibility that he would make a visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which separates North and South Korea, but said a final decision had yet to be made and that “security is not a concern.”

Vice President Pence visited the DMZ earlier this year.