Donald Trump's United Nations speech makes authoritarians great again

UN-friendly meeting? What to expect from Trump’s 2018 United Nations speech

Reuters

President Donald Trump is playing off Tuesday morning's embarrassing moment - in which he was laughed at by the United Nations General Assembly - by saying he totally meant it as a joke.

"Clearly the calculation is for both Kim and Moon to continue to use flattery and praise", said Philip Yun, a North Korea expert and executive director at the Ploughshares Fund in San Francisco.

Speeches by the president before the U.N. General Assembly and by national security adviser John Bolton to an organization that opposed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, from which the Trump administration withdrew in May, appeared to mark an escalation of rhetoric.

Trump said Iran had an "agenda of aggression and expansion".

Iran: "Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction", he said.

Trump told the annual gathering: "They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations". "What Trump fails to understand is that in the case of Iran, Rouhani is not the decision maker about whether or not to negotiate with the US".

After that meeting, the top diplomats from those countries and the EU agreed to establish a financial facility in the European Union to facilitate payments for Iranian imports and exports including oil, a key move sought by Tehran as it attempts to fight back against the re-imposed USA sanctions.

"We'll be having a second summit with Chairman Kim in the not too distant future", Trump said, adding that the North Korean leader "has been really very open and terrific".

"Americans expect the United States to assert bold leadership on the world stage that reflects our values", he said, "and under President Trump, we are certainly leading from the front".

"Other countries did not grant us fair and reciprocal access to their market in return", he said. "Even worse, some countries abused their openness to dump their products, subsidize their goods, target our industries and manipulate their currencies to gain unfair advantage over our country". Nothing highlights the zero-sum-mentality that is the core of everything this president says or does better than Trump's declaration that in the future United States foreign aid dollars will only flow to friendly countries.

"Those days are over".

"I wouldn't say Trump has more latitude but that he has less political baggage on this issue and is less deterred by criticism than some of his predecessors, especially since what he is doing has so far been well received by his political base", Town added. "We will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated, and our wealth to be plundered and transferred", he said.

Russian Federation was also a topic of the president's speech, including Moscow's sale of S-300 missiles to Syria.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also to speak at the event hosted by United Against a Nuclear Iran being held to coincide with U.N. General Assembly.

He points to trade tensions, geopolitical risk in the form of Mideast conflict, the growth of populism in Europe, excessive debt, Russian attempts to disrupt United States leadership and Chinese moves to challenge it.

"We will never surrender America's sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable global bureaucracy".

Trump insisted the global body must recognize America's autonomy. "We reject the ideology of globalism".

Audible laughter from the audience followed.

And laughter. Trump's boast that "my administration has accomplished more than nearly any administration in the history of our country" triggered a wave of chuckles from assembled world leaders.

Pyongyang has also been seeking relief from crippling USA and global sanctions, though Washington has said it remains too early in the process for such a move.

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