Trump: US Might Have ‘No Choice’ But to ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea

President mocks “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-Un.

Evan Vucci/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Donald Trump made a stark threat, saying the United States “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” if forced to defend itself or its allies. It was the president’s most forceful remark directed at the country in the wake of its recent testing of nuclear-capable missiles. 

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for him and his regime,” Trump said, mocking Kim Jong-Un, the country’s leader. Trump called it an “outrage” that other nations would trade with and financially aid a country that threatens nuclear conflict.

Kim Jong-Un hasn’t taken well to such threats in the past. Last month, after Trump spoke of unleashing “fire and fury,” North Korea announced its was reviewing plans to attack Guam, an American territory in the Pacific.

Trump linked the North Korea missile standoff with Iran’s nuclear program, and hinted he might undo the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration, calling it “an embarrassment to the United States.”

“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,” he said. The Trump administration plans to make a decision on the deal in October.

KEEP MOTHER JONES CHARGING HARD

You're busy, so we'll keep this short: We need to raise $325,000 over the next month to help fund the hard-hitting, fiercely independent reporting you get from us. It's a pivotal moment for our democracy, accountability, and so much more—but you already know that, you just read a Mother Jones article. If you can right now, please consider supporting our work with a donation so we're ready for the hard work ahead.

payment methods

KEEP MOTHER JONES CHARGING HARD

You're busy, so we'll keep this short: We need to raise $325,000 over the next month to help fund the hard-hitting, fiercely independent reporting you get from us. It's a pivotal moment for our democracy, accountability, and so much more—but you already know that, you just read a Mother Jones article. If you can right now, please consider supporting our work with a donation so we're ready for the hard work ahead.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate