Spotlight: Trump talks tough on DPRK, Iran in debut UN address

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 10:59:27|Editor: Liangyu
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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the General Debate of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Sept. 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Rui)

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday pressured the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to give up its nuclear weapons program and signaled a possible end of the Iran nuclear deal in his first speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.


In his over-40-minute speech, Trump talked tough on the DPRK, warning that the United States "will have no choice than to totally destroy" the country unless Pyongyang refrains from its nuclear tests and missile launches.

Trump, who tossed threats against the DPRK in his tweets in the past months, said at the UN that DPRK leader Kim Jong Un was "on a suicide mission for himself and his regime."

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has been escalating following a series of missile launches and the Sept. 3 nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Sept. 11 to impose new sanctions on the DPRK over its latest nuclear test.

However, the Korean Peninsula crisis should be solved through a political process, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his debut address to the UN General Assembly, just minutes before Trump's remarks.

"We must not sleepwalk our way into war," Guterres added.

China said the six-party talks are still an efficient platform to address the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

At a routine press briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China is open to all efforts that are conducive to solving the issue peacefully via political and diplomatic means.


Iran is another major target in Trump's speech, who called Iran's nuclear deal negotiated in 2015 during the Obama administration "an embarrassment" to the United States and indicated that he may not ratify the deal at its forthcoming mid-October deadline.

In his speech, Trump referred to the deal as "one of the worst and one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

According to the Iran nuclear deal, or formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran will be removed if the country proved to have abided by the deal over the next few years.

"The JCPOA is an important outcome of international security governance, as well as an example of resolving international hot-spot issues through diplomacy," said Lu, the Chinese spokesman.

"It plays an important role in upholding the international non-proliferation regime and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East," Lu added.

Iranian senior officials on Sunday warned against the U.S. "breach" of the nuclear deal and called for Washington's adherence to its pertaining commitments.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the media on Sunday that he would explain some points about the U.S. misconduct pertaining to Iran's 2015 nuclear deal in his UN speech scheduled for Wednesday.


During his speech, Trump reiterated his "America first" agenda, the slogan which has been widely regarded as one of the key reasons that helped him get elected in 2016.

Trump said he would "defend America's interests above all else," stressing that the United States would no longer be taken advantage of while getting nothing in return.

He also noticed that the U.S. military would soon be "the strongest it has ever been."

"It's my deep belief that the best way to preserve the American interests is to engage positively in global affairs," Guterres told a press conference last week.

In his maiden show, Trump also warned that the United States is mulling possible further actions on Venezuela.

"We cannot stand by and watch," he said.

The United States has slapped several rounds of sanctions on the South American country after Venezuela held elections in late July for the National Constituent Assembly tasked to rewrite the constitution.

Venezuelan officials said unilateral sanctions by Washington would harm both U.S. companies and Venezuela's economy.

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