In his first major speech to the United Nations, President Trump on Tuesday threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it does not give up its nuclear weapons ambitions.

North Korea's "reckless" pursuit of nuclear weapons "threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life," Trump told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.

If Pyongyang continues down this path, Trump said, "we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un – or, as he called him "Rocket Man" – is "on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," he said. The U.S. is willing and able to take military action, Trump added, but "hopefully this will not be necessary."

He called on United Nations delegates to do more to pressure Kim Jong Un. "If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph," Trump said.

North Korea was in the front row for Trump's speech, because the U.N. uses a lottery system to determine seating.

Throughout Trump's eight months in office, tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have escalated. Trump last month threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea did not stop threatening the U.S. Yet his bellicose rhetoric failed to persuade Pyongyang not to conduct its sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test on September 3.