NEW YORK — President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that the US would “totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” President Trump said during his first address to the UN General Assembly.
“It is time for North Korea to realize that its denuclearization is its only responsible future.”
He also warned that Kim Jong Un — whom he referred to as “rocket man”— “is on a suicide mission for himself.”
The strong words came after the President made the case that North Korea is a “country that imperils the world” and said that it is in no country’s interest that North Korea continue on its current path of nuclear and ballistic missile development.
He also offered strong words for countries that trade and finance North Korea: “It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a nation but would arm supply and financially support a country that imperils the world.”
During the address, he also suggested he plans to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, saying it was a mistake to enter into the agreement at all.
“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions,” he stated. “That deal is embarrassment to the US and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
President Trump faces a mid-October deadline for re-certifying Iran’s compliance with the agreement.
The President also touched on terrorism and how it is gaining strength around the world.
“Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet,” President Trump said near the beginning of his remarks.
“To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril.”
But he also said that peace is possible.
“The powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems,” adding that the United States is prepared to combat global instability through military might.
“Our military will soon be the strongest it’s ever been,” he said.
He said he would continue to place America’s interests ahead of other countries’, suggesting his counterparts do the same with their own populations.
“As President of the United States, I will always put America first,” he said. “All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own nations.”
While President Trump has delivered major foreign policy addresses before, the issues at the United Nations are broader, and the geographic spread of his audience wider.