Trump Talk at UN amuses & shocks world

US President Donald Trump’s maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly unfolded on predictable lines, except for its highly combative tone which left many veteran world leaders and diplomats in the audience squirming in their seats. From vowing to destroy North Korea, to calling Iran a “rogue state” and lashing out at terrorist organisations and countries that provide them safe havens, Mr Trump unleashed his rage at “America’s enemies.”

Destroy Korea threat

Speaking from the green-marbled dais he had once mocked as ugly, Mr Trump’s fury was largely directed at the “depraved” Pyongyang and its despotic leader Kim Jong-un whom he referred to as the Rocket Man on a suicide mission. “No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea,” he said. Mr Trump, who got elected in November last year on America First plank, vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if it didn’t abandon its nuclear weapons programme. “If the US is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. The United States is ready, willing and able but, hopefully this will not be necessary,” he said, adding that it was time North Korea realised that denuclearisation was the only acceptable future. While Mr Trump thanked Russia and China for their efforts to rein in North Korea, he also obliquely took digs at them for their continuing trade ties with the rogue nation.


Unravelling of Iran deal

Some of his most blistering criticism was directed at Iran. He called the country “a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy” whose chief exports were violence, bloodshed, and chaos that “speak openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.” He urged the entire world to join his efforts in demanding “Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.” A fierce critic of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, ratified by his predecessor Barack Obama, Mr Trump slammed the deal as an “embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” indicating he was looking at a course correction.

Trump also lashed out at Venezuela, saying the US was “prepared to take further action” in the South American country for full restoration of democracy. He said, “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.” The country has been reeling under severe economic slowdown and deep political unrest following attempts by President Nicolas Maduro to gain greater control over the parliament.

While most commentators have denounced Mr Trump’s provocative speech as a dark and dangerous war doctrine, many have also welcomed his clear reiteration of “America First” policy as one of the boldest speeches ever by any American President. It appears that though Mr Trump was addressing the United Nations, his real audience was elsewhere – the people of America.

(With inputs from Soumya Nair)


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