President Trump threatened to obliterate North Korea while noting some regions of the world “are going to hell” in his first United Nations General Assembly address this morning.
Trump also resurrected his Elton John Twitter reference to dictator Kim Jong-un, referring to the North Korean strongman as “Rocket Man” in front of the world body in New York.
He praised the “three beautiful pillars… sovereignty, security and prosperity” in the post-World War II Marshall Plan and stressed that “our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity and peace for themselves and for the world.”
“…In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights and to defend their values.”
Trump vowed that the United States “will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies, but we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return.”
“We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideology. We have a policy of principled realism rooted in shared goals, interests and values,” he added. “…The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens, nor the sovereign rights of their countries.”
At the apex of contemptuous nations, the president said, is “the depraved regime in North Korea.”
“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. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump declared. “The United States is ready, willing and able. But hopefully, this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do. It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future.”
Trump, who said Monday that he’s still weighing whether the U.S. will remain party to the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, today called it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into — frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
As Iran’s representatives looked on, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enthusiastically nodded, Trump said it’s “far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime, one that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.”
“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” he said. “The longest suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people. Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”
“This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles. And we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.”
Trump’s short mention of the “criminal regime of Assad” noted his use of chemical weapons and America’s April responsive strike on a Syrian airfield.
On refugee issues, the president offered a “salute” to “the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their homes.”
“For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reforms, and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms,” he said. “For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are borne overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.”
Trump charged that the U.S. “bears an unfair cost burden” in supporting the UN, “but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.”
“Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell. But the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems,” he said. “The American people hope that one day soon the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.”
Calling out the regime of Nicolas Maduro, Trump told the UN that the United States “has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable” and “we are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.”
“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented,” he added.
Trump called for “a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people and their patriotism.”
“Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France, and the Brits to stand strong for Britain,” he said. “Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts and our minds in our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities and healthy societies for ourselves, no one can do it for us. We cannot wait for someone else, for faraway countries or far off bureaucracies. We can’t do it.”