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VIDEO: At UN, Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published September 19, 2017 at 9:27 a.m. Updated September 19, 2017 at 2:49 p.m.

united-states-president-donald-trump-speaks-during-the-united-nations-general-assembly-at-un-headquarters-tuesday-sept-19-2017-ap-photoseth-wenig

United States President Donald Trump speaks during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

UNITED NATIONS — President Donald Trump, in a debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if the nation's "Rocket man" leader does not abandon his drive toward nuclear weapons.

Trump told the crowd of world leaders Tuesday that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said that Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life."

"Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," said Trump, using his nickname for the North Korean leader. He said of the U.S.: "If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

rump touched upon hot spots around the globe, declaring, "The scourge of our planet is a group of rogue regimes." Elected on the nationalist slogan "America First," Trump argued that individual nations should act in their own self-interest yet rally together when faced with a common threat.

He urged nations to join to stop Iran's nuclear program — he declared the deal to restrain it an "embarrassment" for the United States — and defeat "loser terrorists" who have struck violence across the globe. He denounced "radical Islamic terrorism," a label he has recently shied away from. He denounced the Syrian government and warned that some violence-plagued portions of the world "are going to hell." He made little mention of Russia.

[FULL TEXT: President Donald Trump's debut speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly]

North Korea drew most of Trump's attention and anger.

After a litany of accusations — the starvation of millions, the abduction of a Japanese girl — he questioned the legitimacy of the communist government by referring to it as a "band of criminals."

Trump, who has previously warned of "fire and fury" if Pyongyang does not back down, claimed that "no one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea." And he scolded nations that it was "an outrage" to enable and trade with North Korea.

Trump, however, stopped short of calling for regime change, which North Korea regards as the ultimate American intention and treats as a reason for its development of nuclear weapons. That may offer some reassurance to China and Russia, which have urged the U.S. to tone down its rhetoric and restart dialogue with North Korea.

Trump frequently belittled the U.N. as a candidate, and some within his White House believe the U.N acts as a global bureaucracy that infringes on the sovereignty of individual countries. He urged the world leaders to embrace their own "national sovereignty to do more to ensure the prosperity and security of their own countries.

But the president stood before world leaders and a global audience and declared that U.N. members, acting as a collection of self-interested nations, should unite to confront global dangers.

"I will always put America first. Just like you, the leaders of your countries, should and always put your countries first," said Trump, who assured the U.N. that the United States would not abdicate its leadership position in the world but needed other countries to contribute more.

"We can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal in which the United States gets nothing in return," he said.

His remarks sometimes produced surprised chatter in the crowd. As he lambasted North Korea, the nation's two front seats for delegation leaders were empty. Two officials sat a row back, one taking notes.

On Iran, Trump called the government a "reckless regime" that is running an "economically depleted rogue state" whose chief export is "violence, bloodshed and chaos." He accused Tehran of squandering Iran's wealth by supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and Yemen's Houthi rebel group.

Trump called the U.N.-backed Iran nuclear deal "an embarrassment" to the United States and suggested it was "one of the worst" international pacts ever struck. And he hinted that his administration, which has accused Tehran of aiding terrorism in the Middle East, could soon declare Iran out of compliance with the deal, which could unravel it.

"I don't think you've heard the end of it," Trump said. "Believe me."

The administration must decide in mid-October whether it will certify that Iran is still in compliance with the agreement.

Trump vowed again to take the fight to terrorists but warned that parts of the world were so plagued by violence and poverty, they were "going to hell." He also decried the "disastrous rule" of Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro and urged the U.N. to step in.

"To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and of great peril," he said. "It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair."

The speech drew varying reactions from leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Trump ally, wrote on Twitter, "In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech." But Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallstrom told the BBC that "It was the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience."

[VIDEO: Trump threatens to 'totally destroy North Korea']

Outside of an oblique reference to a threat to Ukraine's sovereignty, Trump made no mention of Russia or its president Vladimir Putin. He again chastised the U.N. for what he said was its bloated budget and bureaucracy but did not threaten Washington's commitment to the world body. He pledged the United States would be "partners in your work" to make the organization a more effective force for world peace.

The administration has shied away from talk of nation-building or creating democracies through the use of the U.S. military.

"We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions or same systems of government," Trump said at the U.N. He added that he does expect all nations to "respect the interest of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation."

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: VIDEO: At UN, Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea

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mozarky2 says... September 19, 2017 at 10:23 a.m.

A President with balls - in front of an audience of tyrants, bureaucrats, and liars, covered by a Media comprised of vaginas and manginas.

( | suggest removal )

RBear says... September 19, 2017 at 11:59 a.m.

moz, just as I expected you make some of the stupidest statements on issues. To start with, Trump says a lot of things but never follows through on them. In fact, to date he hasn't really done much other than nominate a Supreme Court justice which he was constitutionally obligated to do. But, then again his base will believe anything he says and doesn't have the intelligence to figure out they've been hoodwinked.
...
With regards to your "balls statement, I don't know if you've even considered the dynamics of the situation. Trump can say a lot of things, but until NK actually attacks US territory or an ally we can't do anything about it. The moment we attack without direct provocation China steps again in defense of NK and that's a conflict we don't want to engage in. China has a treaty with NK and also does not want to see regime change in that country.
...
So Trump said a lot of things today, most of which is just hot air. True to form, you characterize those in the room with disparaging terms as if it is supposed to make you look big and tough. In reality, it makes you look like a dumb redneck who probably would flunk a civics test on world affairs.

( | suggest removal )

mozarky2 says... September 19, 2017 at 12:16 p.m.

Again, RB, my statement was purely truthful.
Trump gave a speech for the ages today, and served notice on perhaps the most corrupt agency in history.
US out of the UN, UN out of the US. Anyone who supports the UN supports global tyranny and corruption.

( | suggest removal )

0boxerssuddenlinknet says... September 19, 2017 at 12:34 p.m.

thank you President Trump. so, proud of you. Hope the rest of the world took notice there is a new sheriff in town.

( | suggest removal )

RBear says... September 19, 2017 at 1:03 p.m.

No moz, a speech for his voting illiterate base but not for the "ages" as you like to say. The only group this really appeals to are the Fifth Avenue crowd who would still love Trump even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. Just your comments on the UN pretty much negate the validity of your claim. "Most corrupt agency?" Yea, right.

( | suggest removal )

RBear says... September 19, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.

Moz, there is a state senator in New Braunfels (well, that where she likes to claim she is from even though her ER practice is in Houston) who was afraid of the San Antonio missions being designated a World Heritage sure because the World Heritage organization is a branch of UNESCO. She claimed the U.N. could take ownership of the Alamo under that designation. That’s how BSC the U.N. truthers are. Looks like you fit right into that mix.

( | suggest removal )

mozarky2 says... September 19, 2017 at 1:48 p.m.

Hah! Try finding a Trump voter on Fifth Avenue! They ALL voted for Hillary!

( | suggest removal )

mozarky2 says... September 19, 2017 at 2:01 p.m.

Dumb redneck? Illiterate? For someone who curls up in a fetal position and sucks his thumb when his idiocy is exposed, you really seem good at calling names...
Actually, I see you as a preening know-it-all and a grotesquely ignorant fool.
Lay off of my "affected class", cause you damn sure don't want me knockin' YOUR protected class.
LOLOL!

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mozarky2 says... September 19, 2017 at 2:20 p.m.

I know it was a speech for the ages because "prog" heads are exploding.
(Better see a shrink about that chronic case of THUD, RB).

( | suggest removal )

RBear says... September 19, 2017 at 2:22 p.m.

Moz, see you completely missed the Fifth Avenue meme.

( | suggest removal )

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