President Donald Trump, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, used harsh and mocking language when addressing North Korea and its dictator, Kim Jong Un.
Blasting North Korea for its pursuit of nuclear weapons and threats to hit the U.S. with missiles, Trump said Tuesday that if the U.S. or its allies are forced to defend themselves, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Trump then went on to criticize Kim, saying that “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”
This is the first time Trump has used the “Rocket Man” moniker for Kim in person, but he has previously done so on Twitter, mocking him on Sunday.
Trump has a long history of coming up with nicknames for his political opponents: At various points during the 2016 campaign, he referred to Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary,” Marco Rubio as “Little Marco, Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted” and Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”
Trump’s comments Tuesday indicate he plans to keep using the nickname, and social media immediately lit up with reactions.