President Donald Trump has delivered a stern warning to North Korea in his first speech to the United Nations general assembly – telling Kim Jong-un that “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission” and threatening the “total destruction” of his country should he attack the US.
The US president told the packed general assembly chamber that North Korea posed the greatest threat to the world with its flagrant disregard for international law.
In a speech seen by analysts as a return to George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” world view – only with Iraq removed from the list drawn up in 2002 – Mr Trump also spoke out against Iran, describing the country as an “economically depleted rogue state” whose chief export is violence.
He denounced the Iran nuclear deal as an “embarrassment”, in the latest sign that he plans to tear up or renegotiate the landmark accord.
Donald Trump at the UN
“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it,” he said. “Believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”
Mr Trump criticised Cuba and Venezuela, singling out Nicolas Maduro for particularly harsh denunciation. The Venezuelan president, he said, ruled over a “corrupt regime” that was starving its own people and had “seized power”.
Yet Mr Trump did indeed, as his UN ambassador Nikki Haley promised, “hug people”, as well as “slap” them.
He praised Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, for his efforts to encourage reform. He thanked Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for taking in refugees. And he celebrated Middle East leaders who had joined his summit in Saudi Arabia in May, saying that together they had made significant progress in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
The US president also said his nation did not seek to impose their world view on anyone, and devoted significant time to defending his America First policy.
“As president of the United States, I will always put America first – just like you, as leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first,” he said.
“The United States will forever be a great friend of the world.
“But we can no longer be taken advantage of.”
As he left the UN he was asked how he felt his speech had been received.
“I think it went really well,” he said. “I said what I had to say.”
View from the Middle East
Our Middle East correspondent, Raf Sanchez, writes:
Donald Trump devoted a chunk of his speech to the “murderous regime” of Iran and its proxies like the Lebanese militant group Hizbollah.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who will speak in a few hours, is expected to spend his entire speech warning of the dangers of Iran and its influence in the Middle East.
The risks of conflict between Israel and Iran’s proxies were underlined earlier today when the Israeli military shot down what it said was an Iranian-made drone being operated by Hizbollah and launched from a Syrian regime airbase in Damascus.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said the drone was on a reconnaissance mission over the Golan Heights and that they brought it down with a Patriot missile after it flew over the de-militarized zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesman, said the shoot down should signal to Hizbollah “that the IDF will not tolerate any hostile activity against Israeli civilians or any violations of our sovereignty”.
He added that Israel was “not looking escalate the situation”.
Trump concludes his 40 minute speech
Donald Trump at the UN
Trump ends his speech
Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations.
History is asking us if we are up to the task.
Our hope is a world of proud, independent nations that embrace their duties, seek friendship, and seek common cause in the future of dignity and peace of the peoples of this earth.
We will fight together, sacrifice together and stand together for peace.
For justice, for humanity, and the almighty God that made us all.
Trump says most important question is:
Are we still patriots?
Do we revere them enough to preserve our culture?
Trump’s previous remarks in speech on Iran
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Trump says Iranian government is “economically depleted rogue state” whose chief export is violence.
US President Donald Trump denounced the Iran nuclear deal as an “embarrassment” on Tuesday, in the latest sign that he plans to tear up or renegotiate the landmark accord.
“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it,” Trump told the UN General Assembly.
“Believe me. It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.”
Trump turns to Latin America
Trump singles out Cuba, then turns on Venezuela.
This corrupt regime imposed a failed ideology that created misery.
Trump at the UN
Says Maduro is “stealing power”.
This situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch.
We will help the Venezuelans regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy.
The problem is not that socialism has been wrongly implemented. It has been faithfully implemented.
Trump thanks SG for efforts at UN reform
Trump praises Guterres for effort to reform.
Too often the focus of this organisation has not been on results, but on procedure.
For example, it is a matter of immense embarrassment that some countries sit on the human rights council.
He says the US pays a huge share of the budget, but that it is worth it if peace is enhanced.
Trump on refugees
The US president says it is ten times cheaper to support a refugee in the region, rather than the US.
He thanks Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon for taking in so many refugees.
Trump calls terrorists “losers”
Laughter in the UN media center as he uses his favourite term…
Trump: “We will stop radical Islamic terrorism”
The United States is working to stop the loser terrorists.
I have also totally changed the rules of engagement.
In Syria and Iraq we have made big gains.
Trump turns to North Korea
We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders and respect for culture.
Those who threaten us with chaos and turmoil and terror.
The scourge of our nations today is a small group.
If the righteous men do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
No one has shown more contempt for their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea.
We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American student was returned to America, only to die.
We know it kidnapped a sweet 13 year old girl from a beach in her own country to kidnap her.
It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with North Korea, but arm it.
The United States has great strength and patience.
Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself, and his whole regime.
Trump: “We can no longer be taken advantage of”
I was elected not to take power but to give power to the people where it belongs.
Our government’s first duty is to its people.
A president of the United States, I will always put America first – just like you, as leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first.
All countries have an obligation to serve their people.
And the nation state remains the best vehicle to improve the lives of our people.
The United States will forever be a great friend of the world.
But we can no longer be taken advantage of.
Trump: “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone”
In America we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather give them a shining example to watch.
Trump: “We live in a time of enormous opportunity”
Trump speaks of the opportunities facing the world, but also the threat of “authoritarian regimes” and “international criminal networks”.
To put it simply, we meet at a time of immense promise and great peril.
We have it in our power to lift millions from poverty.”
Trump lists his achievements so far as president
– stock market
– unemployment levels
– military spending
It is a profound honour to stand here in my home city, New York, and address the people of the world.
President of Brazil finishes speaking
Donald Trump is next.
President of the general assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, reminds politicians to keep their speeches to 15 mins
It’s an important reminder from the Slovak foreign minister.
The longest speech to the general assembly was given by Fidel Castro, in 1960.
He spoke for four hours and 29 minutes…
Fidel Castro meets Richard Nixon in Washington DC in 1959
Guterres: “Multilateralism is more important than ever”
Guterres closes, to rapturous applause.
His main themes were nuclear weapons, climate change and the importance of multilateralism.