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

President mocks “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-Un.

Evan Vucci/AP

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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