At Tuesday’s General Assembly of the United Nations, President Trump declared in his first speech to the international body that the United States was “ready, willing, and able” to confront the enemies of freedom, namely rogue regimes and terrorist organizations.
The president began his remarks warning of the ever-present terrorist threat, saying that the world currently lives “in a time of extraordinary opportunity….but each day brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value.”
He then called out what he referred to as “rogue regimes represented in this body,” proceeding to criticize Iran and North Korea by name. He accused the duo of supporting terror organizations and threatening their own citizens, as well as other nations, with the “most destructive weapons known to humanity.” These regimes, he said, are trying to reverse the progress made since the second World War that has “tilted the world towards freedom.”
Trump later criticized North Korea further, calling it a “depraved regime” responsible for the starvation, torture, and oppression of millions of its own citizens. Expressing hope that the U.N. will resolve any issues that arise with North Korea, Trump nonetheless promised to defend the United States and their allies.
While later praising the U.N. and its works, Trump initially called for a renewed sense of sovereignty by member nations, stating that the continued success of the U.N. depends on the individual strength of its nations.
“Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty,” he said. “The nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition.”
President Trump also hit on one of his hot-button issues during the 2016 campaign: the perceived disadvantage the United States has been dealing with in various trade deals. He reiterated his main point, saying that while the United States is 1 of 193 other countries in the U.N., it pays twenty-two percent of the entire budget.
Trump also addressed the Venezuelan crisis, where President Nicolas Maduro has begun has brought the country to a near financial collapse, stating:
“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.”
He added that those who promote true socialism “only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel circumstances.”
Trump closed his statements with a call for countries to work together, but reiterated that there is no replacement for “strong, sovereign, and independent nations.”
The address in front of the U.N. was President Trump’s first as president.