Donald Trump this week: U.S. president threatens to destroy a country of 25-million people

Click to play video: 'Trump says to ‘stay tuned’ when it comes to North Korea' Trump says to ‘stay tuned’ when it comes to North Korea
ABOVE: Speaking alongside South Korea President Moon Jae-in Thursday in New York, U.S. President Donald Trump told the assembled news media to "stay tuned" when it comes to developments on North Korea – Sep 21, 2017

U.S. President Donald J. Trump was at the United Nations this week where he largely had North Korea in his sights.

“No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Trump said in New York. “If [the U.S.] is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

He also saw his $700-billion defence bill approved, announced more sanctions against N. Korea, and saw a boost in approval ratings.

Here is what happened this week in the world of Trump.

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Sept. 21: Trump sees a bump

Following his fiery rhetoric against North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un, Trump announced more U.S. sanctions against the hermit Kingdom.

READ MORE: Sanctions alone won’t change North Korea’s behaviour, say experts

“For much too long, North Korea has been able to abuse the international financial system, to finance its nuclear ambitions,” Trump said, adding that the United States will begin to sanction financial institutions who knowingly do business with Pyongyang.

WATCH: Donald Trump announces new sanctions on North Korea

Click to play video: 'Donald Trump announces new sanctions on North Korea' Donald Trump announces new sanctions on North Korea
Donald Trump announces new sanctions on North Korea – Sep 21, 2017

U.S. allies have called for enforcing current international sanctions, while experts have said sanctions alone won’t deter the North.

North Korea‘s foreign minister compared Trump to a “barking dog” at the UN. The North’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York that “It would be a dog’s dream if he intended to scare us with the sound of a dog barking.” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called Trump “deranged” and said he would “pay dearly” for his comments.

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READ MORE: Donald Trump’s approval rating is creeping up, multiple polls find

And Trump’s popularity among Americans is seeing a slight uptick. A poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that the president’s job approval rating increased to 43 per cent in September — up three percentage points from August.

While NBC suggested the small bump could be attributed to his handling of hurricane relief, those polled said they strongly disagreed with the way the president is handling health-care reforms, race relations, and tensions with North Korea.

Sept. 20: Where is Nambia?

With his speech from the previous day still making headlines for the wrong reasons, Trump told a room of African leaders that his “friends” go there “trying to get rich.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump praises ‘Nambia,’ an African country that doesn’t exist

“Africa has tremendous business potential. I’ve so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich,” Trump said.

“I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money.”

Was he referring to Gambia in West Africa, Zambia in southern Africa, or Namibia in southwest Africa? The White House later clarified that Trump was talking about the southwestern African nation of Namibia.

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WATCH: President Trump repeatedly references non-existent African nation during UN meeting

Click to play video: 'President Trump repeatedly references non-existent African nation during UN meeting' President Trump repeatedly references non-existent African nation during UN meeting
President Trump repeatedly references non-existent African nation during UN meeting – Sep 21, 2017

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans announced plans to vote next week on their latest bill to repeal Obamacare, which has been sharply criticized by Democrats, health-care experts and late night host Jimmy Kimmel who warned of “real human suffering.”

Sept. 19: Trump warns U.S. may have to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

In a nearly 40 minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, Trump made misleading claims about the U.S. economy before launching into a tirade against North Korea, threatening to destroy the country of more than 25-million people.

READ MORE: Donald Trump calls Kim Jong Un ‘rocket man,’ warns U.S. may have to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

Trump called the Kim government a “depraved regime” as he issued his strongest warning yet to Pyongyang.

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“Rocketman is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” he said.

WATCH: President Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea”

Click to play video: 'President Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea”' President Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea”
President Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea” – Sep 19, 2017

Trump’s speech received a mixed reaction from world leaders, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemning the rhetoric from the U.S. president, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.”

Also Tuesday, a report from Reuters revealed that Trump is using money donated to his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee to pay for his lawyers in the probe of alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

READ MORE: Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort was wiretapped under secret court orders

Trump would be the first U.S. president in the modern campaign finance era to use such funds to cover the costs of responding to a criminal probe, Reuters reported.

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Sept. 18: ‘Do your job’

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Trump to “grow up and do your job” in response Monday to his retweeting of a mock video that shows him smacking a golf ball at Hillary Clinton.

The video appears to be a doctored version of news footage from 2011 that shows the then-secretary of state falling after climbing airplane stairs. The tweet said Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary.”

“He continues to obsessively lash out at her – at his rallies, with his words and now through social media – in a manner that is utterly unbecoming of the president of the United States,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate handed Trump more than the $54 billion he asked for in defence spending, approving a total military budget of $700 billion. The budget is larger than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And White House attorney Ty Cobb, who is instantly recognizable for his handlebar mustache, was overheard “casually and loudly” discussing details about the Russia investigation with Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd at a Washington steakhouse by an investigative reporter with the New York Times who was sitting at a table next to them.

READ MORE: Democratic senator tells Donald Trump to ‘grow up and do your job’ after Hillary Clinton tweet

Times reporter Ken Vogel published the account Sunday saying Cobb was upset with how some White House lawyers were handling Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.

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“The White House counsel’s office is being very conservative with this stuff,” Cobb reportedly told Dowd at BLT Steak last week. “Our view is we’re not hiding anything.”

Cobb also reportedly brought up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting — between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who met Russian operatives.

*With files from the Associated Press, Leslie Young

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