According to The Washington Post, President Donald Trump delivered a bellicose speech to the United Nations on Tuesday.
The president urged his audience to be aggressive with terroristic and violent regimes. He said, “The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based.”
He reaffirmed his commitment to “America First” policies and said that, if necessary, the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea. He referred to Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, as “Rocket Man.”
Experts agree a U.S. military response would likely lead to destabilizing conflict and many deaths in North Korea, South Korea, and Japan.
President Trump was also scornful of the nuclear treaty with Iran. Iranian officials immediately responded with criticism of his remarks.
Throughout his speech, Trump drew on a vocabulary of sovereignty and self-reliance. He criticized “mammoth multinational trade deals” and “powerful global bureaucracies,” and reiterated his support for immigration controls.
According to sources present at the General Assembly, Trump’s speech only heightened some concerns about his predictability and about the U.S.’s ability to be a world leader.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, “The goals of the United Nations are to foster peace and promote global cooperation … Today, the president used it as a stage to threaten war.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that Trump’s remarks were similar to ones made by Barack Obama in his address to the U.N. last year.
President Trump did have warm words for the nations that offered aid to U.S. states affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
In contrast, French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech adopted a conciliatory tone and stressed the need for cooperation among nations. In a later interview, Macron expressed support for both the Iran nuclear deal and for dialing down the rhetoric on North Korea.