UNITED NATIONS – In a bracing speech to the United Nations, President Trump threatened Tuesday to "destroy" North Korea if it does not give up its nuclear weapons program.
Pyongyang's "reckless" pursuit of nuclear weapons "threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life," Trump told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.
If North Korea continues down this path, Trump said, "we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," Trump said, using a mocking nickname for North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
While the U.S. is willing and able to take military action, Trump added that "hopefully this will not be necessary."
North Korea was in the front row for Trump's speech, because the U.N. uses a lottery system to determine seating.
Trump called on United Nations delegates to do more to pressure North Korea. "If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph," Trump said.
Throughout Trump's eight months in office, tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have escalated. Trump last month threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea did not stop threatening the U.S. Yet his bellicose rhetoric failed to persuade Pyongyang not to conduct its sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test on September 3.
Trump also accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, despite its agreement with the United States and allies, vowed to meet the catastrophic threats of "radical Islamic terrorists."