President Donald Trump told world leaders in his first address to the United Nations that North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is a suicide mission that will lead to its destruction if not stopped by collective action by the rest of the world.
Trump delivered unusually stark denunciations of both North Korea and Iran, telling his audience — including officials from those two countries — that no nation can remain on the sidelines when rogue governments threaten war.
“No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Trump said of North Korea, calling it a “depraved regime.”
If the dispute over its weapons programs leads to war, Trump said, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump said, in a disparaging reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
In a blunt and blistering speech, Trump also denounced governments in Syria, Iran and Venezuela, emphasizing that they all must be confronted by a coalition of “sovereign” nations. He said that he hopes the disputes would be resolved through the United Nations — “that’s what the United Nations is all about” — but he was critical of the institution, saying that it had too often concerned itself with “bureaucracy and process.”
The 42-minute address was met at times by light applause as Trump delivered it and when he concluded. His ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat in seats designated for the U.S. delegation. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner, son Eric and daughter-in-law Lara all attended the speech, as did the first lady, Melania Trump