U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States will be forced to “totally destroy” North Korea unless Pyongyang backs down from itsnuclear challenge, mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “rocketman” on a suicide mission.
Loud murmurs filled the green-marbled U.N. General Assembly hall when Trump issued his sternest warning yet to North Korea, whose ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests have rattledthe globe.
Unless North Korea backs down, he said,”We will have no choice than to totally destroy NorthKorea.””Rocket man is on a suicide mission forhimself and his regime,”he said.
In what may have been a veiled prod at China, the North’s major trading partner, Trump said:”It is an outrage that some nations would not only tradewith such a regime but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.”Turning to Iran, Trump called the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, was an embarrassment and hinted that he maynot recertify the agreement when it comes up for a mid-October deadline.”I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it,”he said.He called Iran an”economically depleted rogue state”that exports violence.The speech marked his latest attempt to lay out his America First vision for a U.S. foreign policy aimed at downgrading global bureaucracies, basing alliances on shared interests, and steering Washington away from nation-building exercises abroad.
Trump, who entered the White House eight months ago, told world leaders at the 193-member global body that the United States does not seek to impose its will on other nations and will respectother countries’ sovereignty.”I will defend America’s interests aboveall else,”he said.”But in fulfilling our obligations to other nations we also realize it’s in everyone’s interest to seeka future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous and secure.
“Reading carefully from a script, Trump said the U.S. military would soon be thestrongest it has ever been.
Turning to Venezuela, Trump called the collapsing situation there “completely unacceptable” and said the United States cannot stand by and watch. He warned the United States was considering what further actions it can take.”We cannot stand by and watch,”he said.
Shortly before Trump’s speech, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed from the General Assembly lectern for statesmanship to avoid war with North Korea.
“This is the time for statesmanship,”said the former prime minister of Portugal.”We must not sleepwalk our way into war.”