United Nations, Sep 19 : In an unprecedented warning delivered at this world forum, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened North Korea with total destruction if his country is forced to defend itself and its allies against the threats from Pyongyang.
Delivering his first address to the high-level meeting of the General Assembly, Trump said that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un "threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of life" and if the US was "forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea".
North Korea has issued a threat that "we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the US with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time".
"Rocket man is on a suicide mission," Trump said, with a derisive reference to Kim.
But he said that he hoped the UN would be able to stop North Korea. "That's what the United Nations is for. Let's see how they do.
"If the righteous many don't confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph," he said.
Trump's other target was Iran and in a statement aimed more at his domestic base, he said the denuclearisation agreement with Tehran was "an embarrassment to the United States".
He threatened to revisit the agreement reached with Iran by the administration of former President Barack Obama and five other UN members.
He called Iran a "rogue nation" and accused it of destabilising the Middle East Trump, who took office in January, also focussed on himself.
He opened his address by saying that the US had done well since he entered the White House. The stock market was at an all time high and unemployment in the US was at its lowest level.
Trump told the world leaders at the UN that terrorists were gaining strength everywhere but insisted that peace was possible.
"To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet."
The US, he said, was prepared to combat global instability through military might. "Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been."
He underlined that he would always put American interests above all else. And he quickly urged other nations to do the same.
"In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch."
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)