President Donald Trump threatened the destruction of North Korea in a speech to the United Nations Tuesday, leaving the audience of delegates whispering in shock.
“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, adding that a nuclear North Korea threatened the entire world.
“No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Trump said, referring to Pyongyang’s regime. “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself,” he said, referring to North Korea’s 33-year-old leader Kim Jong-un.
In his first speech to the United Nations as president, Trump presented a strongly nationalist and confrontational vision for his foreign policy, presenting an “America first” approach for how he would tackle global conflicts.
Trump pushed back hard on the notion that the U.S. can’t or won’t take military action alone against North Korea, a state with demonstrated nuclear capabilities. “The United States is ready, willing, and able,” he said. “But hopefully this will not be necessary.
He also also held out hope that the U.N. would help broker a solution. “That’s what the United Nations is for,” he said.
Trump went on to call the North Korean regime “depraved” and “twisted,” and added that the denuclearization was the only “acceptable future” for Pyongyang.