President Donald Trump, in his first address to the United Nations, derided Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, as a “rocket man” on Tuesday and warned that he “is on a suicide mission.”
"If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph," Trump said, as he detailed the horrors of what he called the "depraved" North Korean regime.
"Rocket man is on a suicide mission," he said, using a nickname for Kim that refers to the North's recent missile tests.
"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," he said.
While the U.S. could take military action itself, Trump urged the U.N. to join together in curtailing North Korea's nuclear efforts.
"We meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril," Trump said, calling it up to the nations gathered at the U.N. General Assembly to decide whether the world grows to "new heights" or falls "into a valley of disrepair."
Trump's call to action hinged on the responsibility of a government to its citizens.
"As president of the United States, I will always put America first," he said, in a phrase reminiscent of one of his key presidential campaign slogans.
Trump urged other leaders to do likewise and always "put your countries first."
The president also took on Iran, dismissing the nuclear deal between Tehran and the U.S. and other key world powers which lifted sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program. Trump ripped the deal as an "embarrassment" and vowed that this would not be the last the world hears of the deal — "believe me."
Iran's future, Trump said, comes down to its people who could continue down their current road "or return to its ... roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth."