A senior North Korean diplomat has urged the US to take its hydrogen bomb threat "literally".
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho threatened to conduct the "strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean" last month after President Donald Trump vowed during a speech at the United Nations to "totally destroy" the country if it attacked the US or its allies.
Now, a senior official from the North Korean Foreign Ministry has suggested that the US take its threats seriously because Mr Ri is in close contact with leader Kim Jong-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 Yong-pil told CNN.
Meanwhile, North Korea's ambassador has urged the UN Security Council to condemn the recent joint South Korean-US naval exercise near the Korean peninsula, calling it part of preparations for a pre-emptive strike and "nuclear war" against his country.
Ja Song-nam said last week's exercise was the largest "waged with general mobilisation of the nuclear strategic assets" after Mr Trump last month "made the most ferocious declaration of war in history by claiming to 'totally destroy"' North Korea.
Mr Ja said the naval exercise, which involved the nuclear aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, three nuclear submarines, Aegis destroyers and more than 40 other battleships, increased tensions on the Korean peninsula.
The North Korean state media continued its propaganda campaign against Mr Trump overnight too.
"The lunatic Trump is plunging the whole of the US into an abyss of destruction while the miserable South Korean authorities are blindly following him to death," the Pyongyang Times wrote.
The latest spray follows an unusual ploy from North Korea last week, where it sent a letter to the Australian Foreign Affairs Department urging it to turn away from the US President.
In the letter, where the rogue nation refers to itself as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), it "bitterly condemns the reckless remarks of Trump as an intolerable insult to the Korean people, a declaration of war against the DPRK and a grave threat to the global peace".
The missive concludes by calling for "international justice" and "sharp vigilance against the heinous and reckless moves of the Trump administration trying to drive the world into a horrible nuclear disaster".
- with AP