President Donald J. Trump said that the U.S. “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” if push comes to shove.
In his maiden speech to world leaders at the UN General Assembly, Trump touched on reforming the diplomatic body, took aim at “rogue states,” and excoriated the Iran Nuclear Deal.
But his most colourful rhetoric was saved for Kim Jong-Un’s totalitarian government.
“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” Trump said, repeating the name he used for the North Korean leader in a tweet earlier this week.
Trump’s latest warning follows weeks of rhetorical sparring between Washington and Pyongyang.
North Korea has demonstrated a series of advanced weapons, in defiance of U.N. sanctions. On September 17, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told CNN that the multinational body had “exhausted” its options regarding North Korea’s threatening behaviour.
Addressing the General Assembly today, Trump also said he will always “put America first” and that countries can only resolve global conflict if they do the same.
“We are calling for a great reawakening of nations,” he said.
The day before his speech, Trump said the U.N. wasn’t reaching its full potential because of “bureaucracy and mismanagement.”
“If we work together and champion truly bold reforms the United Nations will emerge as a…greater force for peace and harmony in the world,” he told the General Assembly.
Trump has previously talked about the U.N.’s “utter weakness and incompetence” and said “it’s not a friend of democracy”.
The U.S. is the biggest U.N. contributor, providing 22% of its core budget and 28.5% of its peacekeeping budget.