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Donald Trump vows to 'totally destroy' North Korea if threatened in UN speech

President Donald Trump has said the United States will "totally destroy" North Korea if threatened, at his United Nations maiden speech.

In his anticipated speech the US President described North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a "rocket man" who is "on a suicide mission for himself".

Mr Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd at the UN that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said Mr Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life".

He said of the US: "If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Mr Trump speaking in his home city of New York, said the US is "ready, willing and able" but "hopefully this will not be necessary".

Mr Trump, who has previously warned of "fire and fury" if Pyongyang does not back down, claimed "no one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea".

And he scolded nations that he said have enabled and traded with North Korea, seeming to slight China, though he did not mention it by name.

He also took aim at Iran in his speech at the world body's headquarters.

He told the UN the Iranian government is an "economically depleted rogue state" who chief export is violence.

He declared the Iran nuclear deal an "embarrassment" for the United States.

He also condemned the "loser terrorists" who have committed violence across the globe.

He said world leaders "cannot abide" by the agreement if it "provides cover" for Iran to eventually build its nuclear programme.

The US administration last week extended sanctions relief to Iran, avoiding imminent action that could implode the landmark agreement.

Mr Trump, standing before world leaders and a global audience declared that UN members, acting as a collection of self-interested nations, should unite to confront global dangers.

"I will always put American first. Just like you, the leaders of your countries, should and always put your countries first," said Mr Trump, who assured the UN that the US would not abdicate its leadership position in the world but needed other countries to contribute more.

"The US will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies," the Republican president said.

"But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal in which the United States gets nothing in return."

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