A North Korean official told CNN in an interview that the country’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho’s warning of a possible atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean should be taken literally. The statement was made by Ri Yong Pil, a senior diplomat in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry. He further said that the foreign minister is pretty well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader.
North Korean Foreign Minister had said in September that Pyongyang may consider conducting “the most powerful detonation” of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean amid rising tensions with the United States.
The minister’s comment came in the wake of President Donald Trump’s warning that North Korea, which is developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting US, would be completely destroyed if it threatened America.
CIA chief Mike Pompeo had recently claimed that North Korea could be only months away from acquiring ability to hit US with nuclear weapons.
Experts have said that an atmospheric test could be considered a way of demonstrating that capability. Donald Trump is set to visit Asia next week where he will highlight his campaign to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.
In spite of repeated warnings by US, including military ones, White House officials have said that Trump is trying to find a peaceful resolution to the standoff.
The US Navy has said in a statement that the aircraft carrier strike group Nimitz had entered the 7th fleet area of operation, which includes the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
Moreover, it has joined two other carriers, the Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt, in the region. Navy officials said the Nimitz, which was previously carrying out operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, would be ready to support operations in the region before heading back to its home port. It further said that the movement had been long planned.