American President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that the United States would have to annihilate North Korea if Washington is forced to defend itself or its allies from Pyongyang’s nuclear threats.
In a blunt warning+ to the largely-isolated and partially China-backed North Korean regime, Trump told world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly that ”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,” Trump added, using a moniker he first used on Twitter for North Korea’s dynastic ruler Kim Jong-Un, whose relentless pursuit of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons has spooked the US and its regional allies Japan and South Korea.
Trump is scheduled to have a trilateral meeting Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss the situation arising from North Korea’s missile tests, topped by a purported thermonuclear Hydrogen bomb test.
Maintaining that ”if the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” Trump said North Korea ”imperils the world” and it is in no country’s interest that it continue on its current path of nuclear and ballistic missile development. He also bashed Iran subsequently.
Although he praised UN member countries for the sanctions it imposed on North Korea, Trump also took a swipe at China, saying “It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a nation but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world.”
China is widely seen as North Korea’s only lifeline, protecting its client state not only because if fears the fall-out from a collapsing country, but also because it is a useful tool to keep US and its allies South Korea and Japan off-balance.
The carefully crafted Trump warning suggested though that North Korea risked extermination only if it first attacked the US or its allies, and Washington prefers to give a chance for Pyongyang to denuclearize.
Trump’s muscular address also took aim at Iran with the US President calling the UN-backed nuclear deal “one of the worst and most one-sided” agreements ever, and ”an embarrassment” to the United States.
The US President’s UN address was widely-awaited by the world leadership considering his bleak view of the international body — including wanting to replace the green Italian Carrara slabs that form the backdrop to the UN General Assembly. He had called the UN ‘bloated and ineffective’ while threatening to cut off funding.
None of those put-downs were heard on Tuesday. Although leaders of a third of the world population – China’s Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi – skipped the annual jamboree this year, the rest of the international leadership heard the 40-minute speech in rapt and respectful attention
The US President, while talking up his own country, particularly its prospects after he came to office, sounded a dire warning about the rest of the world saying it faces ”great peril” from rogue regimes with powerful weapons and terrorists with expanding reach across the globe. He called on fellow leaders to join the United States in the fight to defeat what he called failed or murderous ideologies and “loser terrorists.”
“Major portions of the world are in conflict and some in fact are going to hell,” Trump said. “The powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations can solve many of these vicious and complex problems.”
Trump also set two new markers for US policies vis-a-vis rest of the world: Washington would no insist other countries adopt US values; and it is comfortable dealing with other ”responsible leaders” putting their countries first, as he will do with the United States.