'Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell,' Trump says
President Donald Trump raised the alarm about what he described as the world's deteriorating security situation in his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
“Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some, in fact, are going to hell,” Trump said.
But in warning against unfolding calamity, Trump threatened to wipe North Korea off the map, and insinuated the U.S. may soon exit an internationally-brokered agreement with Iran.
"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," Trump said.
He said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom he again referred to as "Rocket Man", is "on a suicide mission".
He also hinted at a possible U.S. pull out from the international accord that curtailed Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, calling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) an "embarrassment to the United States".
A unilateral U.S. exit from the agreement would likely have undesirable consequences for Washington, isolating it from its negotiating partners that include close European allies, and potentially forcing the U.S. to sanction them if they continue to keep with the accord's parameters.
Trump has said he will make his decision in October when the U.S. would have to again recertify that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA's requirements.
"I don't think you've heard the last of it, believe me," he said.
In urging the global community to take up a "great reawakening" Trump called on individual members states to defend their sovereignty and act in their own self-interest.
The appeal encourages individual member states to adopt a line similar to Trump's nationalistic "America First" campaign slogan.
"I will always put American first. Just like you, the leaders of your countries, should and always put your countries first," Trump said to applause.
"If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent," he said. "We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures.
"We must reject threats to sovereignty, from the Ukraine to the South China Sea," he added referring to the country Russia annexed part of while bolstering pro-Moscow rebels, and the waters contested by China and its neighbors.
He also took aim at Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom he said has "brought a once-thriving nation to the brink of total collapse”.
The U.S. has sanctioned Maduro's government for establishing a controversial legislature last month that has the power to rewrite the country's Constitution, and has blacklisted the Venezuelan leader and those who participate in the Constituent Assembly.
"Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule," Trump said.
He threatened unspecified "further action", urging the global community to do more "to address this very real crisis".
In the past Trump has said he would not rule out military action against Caracas, but did not mention it in his UN address.