In his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Donald Trump called for “a great re-awakening of nations” as he sought to unite his America First vision with a more global outlook.
The US President made his remarks during the general debate, in which world leaders present their priorities to an international audience.
Trump, who has previously called the UN “a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”, covered subjects including nuclear weapons, terrorism and migration.
The peaceful coexistence of sovereign states was threatened by rogue states, he said, reserving his harshest condemnation for Iran and North Korea.
Rocket man is on a suicide mission
Trump said that North Korea’s ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests threatened ‘the entire world with unthinkable cost to human life”.
In contrast to this description of great danger, he characterised the country’s leader King Jong-un as an almost cartoon-like figure, “Rocket Man”, a term he has previously used on twitter.
“No Nation on earth has an interest of seeing this band of criminal arms itself with nuclear weapons ands missiles. The US has great strengh 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 also singled out Iran and criticised the 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by ex-US president Barack Obama, an “embarrassment” to America.
In condemning events in Venezuela, he said that problems in the country were not down to socialism being poorly implemented, but in it being too faithfully implemented.
TRUMP to UN: The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) September 19, 2017
President Trump’s fiery rhetoric met with muted applause from the hall and stony faces from the ambassadors to Iran and Venezuela.
As his speech touched upon the subject of terrorism, the US president said his country was working with allies in the Middle East to “crush” terrorists.
He thanked Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon for receiving refugees. There was no offer for the US to take in more refugees itself: the US was a “compassionate country” said Donald Trump, and would spend money on getting refugees safely established back in their home countries, or on supporting host nations in their humanitarian efforts.
The US President closed his speech by saying: “God bless you, God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America”. It was an appropriate ending for a speech which underlined the responsibility for governments to put their own citizens first and which argued that only by re-establishing national sovereignty around the globe could world security be assured.
The morning session will also see French President Emmanuel Macron make his UNGA debut, amongst speakers from other countries.