President Trump on Friday touted himself as the “most tweeted about” world leader at the United Nations General Assembly, retweeting a graphic that put him at the top of the list, although not because he said anything clever.
The Trump Speech at the U.N.: bombastic noise that drowned the frail signals of common sense.
While North Korea’s nuclear program is at the forefront of concern all around the world, the US President could have made his point about Kim Jong Un’s regime in a measured way to prevent escalating tensions and misinterpretation by North Korea (which is exactly what happened). Instead, Trump went with words as “rocket man” to satisfy his base, which feeds on his tweets and slogans. As Jane Harman of the Wilson Center put it “Tuesday was a missed opportunity. Trump may have won the street, but he lost the hall.”
In his speech to the U.N. in San Francisco in 1948, Harry Truman warned the founders that “we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please.” This is something Trump will never learn.
When you peel away the inflammatory language of the General Assembly speech, here’s what the president really said:
– The world should reject threats to sovereignty (think: Ukraine);
– condemn and counter humanitarian abuses by North Korea in addition to its nuclear program;
– Iran should cease its bad behaviour across the Middle East (even US Congress has gone on record to address this);
– a political solution is needed to end the crisis in Syria.
Most would consider these positions fairly mainstream. But then Trump spiced things up with “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
Kim responded to Trump’s comments in a statement on Thursday, calling the U.S. president “mentally deranged” and warning that he would “pay dearly” for his threats against Pyongyang. Kim referred to Trump as a “gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician” in the statement filled with colourful insults, which was reported by North Korea’s state news agency KCNA.
“The mentally deranged behaviour of the U.S. president openly expressing on the U.N. arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking think about discretion and composure,” Kim said. “A frightened dog barks louder. I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire,” he said.
Pyongyang’s provocation came the same day that Trump announced new sanctions on the isolated country.
Despite crushing sanctions, Pyongyang has continued its weapons testing, launching ballistic missiles over Japan and, earlier this month, detonating what North Korean officials claim was a hydrogen bomb.
President Trump fired back at North Korean leader on Friday.
Also today, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that North Korean leader will be “tested” by the new sanctions. “Our diplomatic efforts continue unabated. We have put in place the strongest economic sanctions ever to have been assembled against Kim Jong Un, so he is being tested with these sanctions,” Tillerson said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Voices from every corner of the world are calling on him to cease his program, come to the table and let’s talk about the future of North Korea and the North Korean people,” he added.
As if the name calling football was not enough, a former foreign policy adviser to President Obama is warning there could be trouble if Kim chides President Trump over the fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
God save us if Kim Jong Un makes a comment about Hillary’s popular vote victory https://t.co/mW2SJtmIrF
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) September 22, 2017
Trump and Kim have been locked for months in a war of words and threats that has prompted concerns among foreign leaders who fear Washington and Pyongyang may be hurtling toward a confrontation. Donald Trump’s proximity to the USA’s arsenal of some 6,800 nuclear warheads could hardly comfort anyone at the best of times.
In the meantime, Google suggested that I might be interested in the following:
No, you can’t survive a nuclear attack by sitting in a fridge. Do not believe everything Hollywood shows you.