U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that the United States will be forced to "totally destroy" North Korea unless it halts its pursuit of nuclear weapons, mocking the isolated country's dictator, Kim Jong Un, as a "rocket man" on a suicide mission.

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Trump said in his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The U.S. leader, who last month vowed to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea if it threatens the United States, continued his use of unusually forceful language in confronting the Kim regime.