Trump talks tough on terror, threatens to ‘destroy’ North Korea at UN

President Donald Trump gave his first speech to the United Nations Tuesday, telling member nations that the world is facing a time of “immense promise and great peril” that requires aggressive leadership from “strong sovereign nations.” The president said his administration is working aggressively to neutralize threats like those emanating from North Korea and radical Islamic terrorists. But, Trump added, the U.S. will no longer go it alone as world peacekeeper. 

The Axis of Evil Lives

Though he didn’t use the exact terminology, Trump’s speech made clear that the current administration is firmly focused on courting threats from an “axis of evil” that’s changed very little since being established under the Bush Doctrine. President George W. Bush included in that group Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

Today’s “axis of evil” continues to include North Korea and Iran– but, with Saddam Hussein long since dispensed, Iraq has now been supplanted with broader threats from Islamic terror groups like ISIS operating in a number of Middle Eastern nations.

Some of the president’s harshest statements in the speech were pointed at North Korea.

Trump again referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” and said the U.S. is “ready, willing and able” to “destroy” the “depraved” regime.

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself,” Trump said, adding that the entire world should be concerned about North Korea’s “reckless pursuit of missiles and nuclear weapons.”

The president said the nuclear deal brokered with Iran under the Obama administration is an “embarrassment” to the U.S. and will remain so as long as the Iranian government gives quarter to groups with ties to Islamic terror.

“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy,” the president said. “It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.”

Trump went on to encourage UN member nations to ramp up efforts to “expose and hold responsible” any government that dares provide funding or safe harbor to terror organizations.

The president added that the U.S. leadership will not allow radical Islamic terrorism “to tear up our nation and, indeed, to tear up the entire world.”

Criticism for Russia and China

In a dig at Russia and China, Trump told the UN General assembly that “strong national sovereignty in all countries ought to be a top priority for the UN. The president referenced Russia’s involvement in Ukraine’s Crimea region and China’s maneuvers in the  South China Sea as threats to sovereignty.

Trump also declared it an embarrassment that governments such as China “with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”

Immigration and Refugees

Calling uncontrolled migration “deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries,” Trump urged refugee reforms that would focus on efforts to resettle displaced people as close as possible to their home countries.

“For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region.  Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region, and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible.  This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach,” the president said.

Socialism Worked in Venezuala

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented,” Trump said. “From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.  Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.”

The president called for a ” full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela.”

America First

Trump told UN leaders that he will always place the needs of Americans over the wishes of the international body and urged each of them to follow his lead at home.

He said: “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.

“As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first.”

Reception

Trump’s speech was well received by members of the conservative establishment.

It also got a rave review from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared: “I have never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.”

But conservatives who’d hoped Trump would bring a new brand of foreign policy weren’t particularly impressed by the president’s remarks.

Ron Paul Liberty Report editor Chris Rossini said of Trump’s promise that he’ll put America first:  “It’s been about 9 months, and even many of Trump’s supporters know that this isn’t true at all.

“Right out of the gate, Trump started breaking his campaign promises. He has continued up to the present day. Political+Crony Globalism is still firmly the agenda.”

Key Takeaways

  • Military conflict with North Korea is likely very close to becoming a reality
  • U.S. policy in the Middle East is going to continue on the same trajectory it’s held for years
  • The president wants more pressure on Iran
  • The administration is stiffening its stance on Russia

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