President Donald Trump warned “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-Un is on a “suicide mission” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it targets the United States or its allies, in an address to the UN on Tuesday.
Appearing before the 193-member organisation that emerged from the ashes of World War II, Trump boasted of America’s military strength, signalled he was ready to rip up a nuclear accord with the “murderous regime” in Tehran, and berated US foes from Pyongyang to Caracas.
“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,” Trump said.
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” he said, using his new nickname for the North Korean leader.
“The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”
Trump branded Iran as a corrupt “rogue state” and threatened to rip up the landmark international deal struck in 2015 to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme.
“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it,” Trump told the UN General Assembly.
“Believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”
But, the US leader added, the greatest threat to the Tehran regime was not the American military, but the Iranian people who want change.
Trump did not back away, suggesting his populist “America First” campaign rhetoric should be an example to other UN members.
“Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests.”
“As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our nations, we also realize that it’s in everyone’s interests to seek the future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous and secure,” he said.
After decades in which America has led the drive toward a global rules-based order, Trump indicated his foreign policy would define the national interest much more narrowly.
“For too long the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success,” Trump said.
“But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished and thousands of factories disappeared.”