Kim Jong-un promises to make a "mentally deranged" Trump pay dearly for his threats.

North Koreas leader Kim Jong-un makes a statement regarding US President Donald Trumps speech at the UN general assembly. September 22, 2017.
North Koreas leader Kim Jong-un makes a statement regarding US President Donald Trumps speech at the UN general assembly. September 22, 2017. (Reuters)

North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after US President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the country, with leader Kim Jong-un promising to make a "mentally deranged" Trump pay dearly for his threats.

Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, with whom he has traded insults over recent weeks. South Korea said it was the first direct statement of its kind by a North Korean leader.

However, Kim's foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, said in televised remarks North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale on the Pacific Ocean.

Ri, who was talking to reporters in New York ahead of a planned address later this week, also said he did not know Kim's exact thoughts.

TRT World's Jon Brain has this report from New York.

Japan, the only country ever to suffer an atomic attack, described the threat as "totally unacceptable."

Trump said in his first address to the United Nations on Tuesday he would "totally destroy" North Korea, a country of 26 million people, if it threatened the United States and its allies, and called Kim a "rocket man" on a suicide mission.

Kim said the North would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States and that Trump's comments had confirmed his own nuclear programme was "the correct path."

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on September 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a programme aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire," Kim said in the statement carried by the KCNA state news agency.

Criricism of Chinese media

In a separate report, KCNA made a rare criticism of official Chinese media, saying their comments on the North's nuclear programme had damaged ties and suggested Beijing, its only major ally, had sided with Washington.

Singling out the official People's Daily and its more nationalistic sister publication, the Global Times, KCNA said Chinese media was "openly resorting to interference in the internal affairs of another country" and driving a wedge between the two countries.

The escalating rhetoric came even as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for statesmanship to avoid "sleepwalking" into a war.

South Korea, Russia and China all urged calm.

However, the rhetoric was starting to rattle some in the international community. French Sports Minister Laura Flessel said France's team would not travel to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea if its security cannot be guaranteed.

The 2018 Games are to be staged in Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world's most heavily armed border.

Asian stocks fell and the Japanese yen and Swiss franc gained on the possibility of a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies