President Donald Trump issued a harsh warning on Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly to nuclear-armed North Korea and the countries doing business with "this band of criminals."
"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Trump said in his first address to the General Assembly.
"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary," he said.
In addition to North Korea, the president specifically targeted what he called a "small group of rogue regimes" — including Iran and Syria — that pose threats around the globe. Trump contended that "Rocket Man" — his recently coined nickname for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — threatens an "unthinkable loss of human life" by pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
"It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict. No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles," he said, apparently referencing Pyongyang's major trading partner, China, among others.