North Korea has threatened to detonate the “strongest” hydrogen bomb in the Pacific, after Kim Jong Un warned that Donald Trump would “pay dearly” for his threat this week to “totally destroy” North Korea if America was forced to defend itself and its allies.
Trump responded with one of his customary early morning tweets on Friday, calling Kim “obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people”, and warning he “will be tested like never before!”
Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean foreign minister, told reporters in New York on Thursday that Kim’s earlier warning of the “highest level of hardline countermeasure in history” could mean a hydrogen bomb such as the one Pyongyang said it tested on September 3, according to South Korean media.
“It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific,” Mr Ri was quoted as saying by Yonhap, the South Korean news agency. “We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un.”
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.”
“I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue,” Kim said. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”
Kim said Trump’s comments were reflective of “mentally deranged behavior.”