The "Ive Mike" atmospheric nuke test, conducted over the Pacific Ocean by the US in 1952, was the first test of a full-scale thermonuclear device. Photo: Wikipedia

A senior North Korean diplomat has repeated Pyongyang’s threat to detonate an H-bomb in an atmospheric test over the Pacific Ocean.

The threat should be taken “literally,” Ri Yong-pil, the North Korean vice president of the Foreign Ministry’s Institute for American Studies, told US news network CNN in a Wednesday interview.

North Korea “has always brought its words into action,” Ri said. “The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally.”

This is the second time that Pyongyang has threatened to make such a test.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said in September during a visit to the UN General Assembly in New York that Pyongyang may consider conducting “the most powerful detonation” of a hydrogen device over the Pacific.

The North’s foreign minister made the comment in reaction to a threat by US President Donald Trump to “totally destroy” North Korea in a separate address to the UN a few days earlier.

“The US is talking about a military option and even practicing military moves,” senior diplomat Ri said in the CNN interview. “They’re pressuring us on all fronts with sanctions. If you think this will lead to diplomacy, you’re deeply mistaken.”