'US will destroy North Korea': Who else did Trump threaten in his UN speech?

'US will destroy North Korea': Who else did Trump threaten in his UN speech?
Few expected Donald Trump to offer an olive branch to North Korea during his debut UN General Assembly speech, but even by the hotheaded president's standards it was worryingly bellicose.
3 min read
20 Sep, 2017
Trump won't be the toast of Pyongyang after his latest speech [AFP]

UN General Assembly meetings are rarely places of cool talk and calm reflection. 

Former Venezuela President Hugo Chavez famously likened George W Bush to the devil during his 2006 speech, while ex-Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi once re-named the UN's veto body the "Terror Council" during one of his rambling talks there.

Memorable though it was, Donald Trump's debut speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday was alarmingly bellicose - even by the president's standards - as he threatened to make the international body one nation state less.

Vowing to "destroy" North Korea if it threatened to US or its allies, his words to the UN appeared to have shocked most of the delegates.

Pyongyang's ambassador, unsurprisingly, walked out of the hall mid-speech - likely informing his superior that World War III was about to begin.

Olive branch and the rifle

World leaders might not have expected an olive branch from the US president, but they certainly didn't foresee the threat of nuclear war.

But if North Korea was to take any relief from the talk, it's that the world's newest nuclear power wasn't the only country in the firing line.

Iran was put in the same box as nuke-wielding Pyongyang, with Trump describing Tehran as a "rogue state" and threatened to tear up its nuclear agreement.

"Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it," Trump told world leaders.

"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."


Also targeted was Venezuela, where the government there clamped down hard on political opposition as its economy plummeted.

"This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology [socialism] that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried," Trump told the UN.

Next up was the UN itself, with Trump deriding its "bureaucracy and process". 

Even the world didn't get off scot-free, who Trump accused of "taking" US jobs and flooding America with immigrants.

There was one man who sat gleefully through the speech. Binyamin Netanyahu energetically applauded as the talk came to a conclusion with all of Israel's enemies ticked off one-by-one. 

Trump's words were obviously music to the Israeli leader's ears, who hoped the US president would draw a red line for Tel Aviv's nemeses. 

But Trump is known to talk tough and lumber on as before, but the mess and confusion he has created this time might be a harder thing to clear up.