NORTH Korea has announced plans for a huge new nuclear test, warning America to take the threat "literally".
North Korea has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons to destroy America and has now announced plans to carry out a provocative new test.
A senior diplomat from Pyongyang today said warnings of a possible atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean should be taken “literally”.
The official told CNN the threat by the hermit state’s despot Kim Jong-un should not be taken lightly.
Ri Yong Pil said the foreign ministry was aware of plans for a launch and urged Washington to prepare itself.
He said: “The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally.”
Last month North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said Pyongyang was considering “the most powerful detonation” of a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
This would mark a concerning deterioration of the already-tense situation on the peninsula.
North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests in its history, with half taking placein the last 21 months.
All six have taken place in underground testing facilities deep within Kim's rogue state.
A seventh test carried out in the atmosphere above an already-turbulent region would therefore mark a worrying milestone in North Korea's march towards nuclear power.
The most recent test took place on September 3 at the Punggye-ri Test Site.
It was so powerful it was registered as a 5.7 magnitude earthquake by the South Korean government.
China and the US also registered it as an earthquake at at even-stronger 6.3 magnitude.
The US Geological Society said: “Possible explosion, located near the site where North Korea has detonated nuclear explosions in the past.”