President Donald Trump plugged his "native city" of New York and thanked U.N. nations for assisting hurricane victims before launching into a threatening U.N. address Tuesday. In it, he bluntly warned North Korea that he would "totally destroy" the country if its leader, Kim Jong-Un, does not back down from a "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles."
"No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles," Trump said. "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, it will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
Trump went on to refer to Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man," echoing a tweet from over the weekend.
"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," Trump said.
Trump calls Kim Jung Un "Rocket Man" in a speech to the United Nations.
This is real life. pic.twitter.com/7J0y4RzgfY
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 19, 2017
The President then hedged his threat, while insisting that the United States will act alone on North Korea if action is deemed necessary.
"The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary," Trump said. "This is what the United Nations is all about... let's see what they're all about."
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in August. Also last month the United Nations unanimously adopted new sanctions against the country, banning exports in excess of $1 billion.
"We must do much more," Trump said Tuesday. "It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior."
Trump has been criticized in recent months for his own violent and threatening rhetoric, which he doubled down on Tuesday.
"The US has been stepping up its joint military exercises with South Korea and soon with Japan, really as a show of force against North Korea to try to make it reconsider its behaviour," Jordan said.
"The Chinese and the Russians don't like this show of military force by the United States. They say that this is a proactive action - almost as proactive as North Korea's actions to test intercontinental ballistic missiles and other ballistic missiles."
Trump also plugged his "America First" message on Tuesday, insisting that he will always put America's interests above others. He also squeezed in some boardroom jargon.
"The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies," he said. "But we can no longer be taken advantage of, and enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing."