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Donald Trump Threatens To 'Totally Destroy North Korea' In Speech To United Nations Leaders

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19/09/2017 15:39 BST | Updated 19/09/2017 17:01 BST

Donald Trump has said if North Korea does not abandon it’s nuclear weapons program he will have “no option but to totally destroy” the country.

In a fiery speech to the United Nations general Assembly in New York the President referred to Kim Jong-Un as “rocket man” and said he “is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime”.

Loud murmurs filled the green-marbled UN General Assembly hall when Trump issued his sternest warning yet to North Korea, whose ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests have rattled the globe.

He urged United Nations member states to work together to isolate the Kim government until it ceases its “hostile” behaviour, reports Reuters.

A junior North Korean diplomat remained in the delegation’s front-row seat for Trump’s speech, the North Korean UN mission said.

The speech came on the same day it was reported North Koreans will start leaving Qatar and Kuwait after the Gulf Arab states announced they would stop renewing visas.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

He also stated the Iranian government is an “economically depleted rogue state” whose chief export is violence.

The speech marked his latest attempt to lay out his America First vision for a US foreign policy aimed at downgrading global bureaucracies, basing alliances on shared interests, and steering Washington away from nation-building exercises abroad.

Trump, who entered the White House eight months ago, told world leaders at the 193-member global body that the United States does not seek to impose its will on other nations and will respect other countries’ sovereignty.

“I will defend America’s interests above all else,” he said. “But in fulfilling our obligations to other nations we also realize it’s in everyone’s interest to seek a future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous and secure.”

Reading carefully from a script, Trump said the US military would soon be the strongest it has ever been.

Shortly before Trump’s speech, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed from the General Assembly lectern for statesmanship to avoid war with North Korea.

“This is the time for statesmanship,” said the former prime minister of Portugal. “We must not sleepwalk our way into war.”

The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions on North Korea since 2006 and Guterres appealed for the 15-member body to maintain its unity on North Korea.

Trump has warned North Korea that military action was an option for the United States as Pyongyang has carried out a series of tests toward developing the ability to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Financial markets showed little reaction to Trump’s speech, with most major assets hovering near the unchanged mark on the day.