New York: Issuing stern threats to North Korea and Iran both, US President Donald Trump while addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday said his country was ready to completely destroy North Korea and confront Iran's "murderous regime".
In his first address to leaders gathered at the world's apex body, Trump warned North Korea not to pursue its nuclear missile program in his starkest language yet, deriding its young leader Kim Jong-Un with the nickname "Rocket Man" and threatening to end his country, AFP reported.
"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. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime," he said.
"The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary" Trump added.
As to Iran, Trump appeared to pave the way towards tearing up the nuclear deal signed in 2015 between six world powers and Iran.
Trump said the accord had failed to rein in the regime's subversive role in Middle East conflicts, and sent a clear signal that he intends to declare Tehran in breach of the deal when he reports to Congress next month.
"We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program," Trump told the assembly.
"Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it," he said.
"Believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction."
His comments rattled the world leaders gathered before him in the green-marbled U.N. General Assembly hall, where minutes earlier U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had appealed for statesmanship, according to Reuters.
One man in the audience covered his face with his hands shortly after Trump made his “totally destroy” comment. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom crossed her arms.
North Korea’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s remarks. A junior North Korean diplomat sat in the delegation’s front-row seat for Trump’s speech, the North Korean U.N. mission said.
Trump’s saber-rattling rhetoric was in contrast to the comments of some of his own Cabinet members who have stated their preference for a diplomatic solution.