North Korea has ramped up its threat to conduct a nuclear detonation over the Pacific as the country warns it might conduct an atmospheric test. A top official representing the reclusive regime warned the threat should be taken "literally".

In September, the hermit kingdom had conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, suspected to be a hydrogen bomb detonation. Following that, the Kim Jong-un regime had said it would carry out another atmospheric detonation above the Pacific Ocean when the war of words between North Korea and the US was at its peak.

Repeating the warning, North Korea's deputy chief of the foreign ministry's Institute of American Studies told CNN the threat was not to be taken as a hyperbole.

"The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader. So I think you should take his words literally," said Ri Yong-ho in an interview aired on Wednesday (25 October).

The possibility of the regime detonating a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific was mooted by the North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho when he was speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York. North Korea's neighbours in the Pacific are often kept on high alert due to the country's repeated threats.

When asked about the foreign minister's remarks, the North Korean delegate from his ministry angrily responded to CNN that Pyongyang "has always brought its words into action".

The senior diplomat's comments come after the President warned Washington would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the US.

"The US is talking about a military option and even practising military moves. They're pressuring us on all fronts with sanctions. If you think this will lead to diplomacy, you're deeply mistaken," Ri warned.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho,
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho walks to speak to the media outside the Millennium hotel New York, U.S., September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton