Trump's U.N. speech draws mixed reactions from world leaders

By Sara Shayanian  |  Sept. 19, 2017 at 2:24 PM
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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- World leaders had mixed reactions Tuesday to President Donald Trump's fiery speech at the United Nations General Assembly -- his first to the world body.

Trump addressed a laundry list of talking points in his speech, covering North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran.

The president referred to North Korean leader Kim Jung Un as "rocket man," claiming that the United States would have no problem "totally destroying" his country if necessary.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres rejected Trump's threat to defeat North Korea militarily.

"We are a world in pieces. We need to be a world at peace," he said. "The solution must be political. This is a time for statesmanship.

"We must not sleepwalk our way into war."

Trump criticized Venezuela as well, citing socialism as one of the key reasons for its recent demise -- and says that the United States is "prepared to take further action if the Venezuelan government persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people."

"We do not accept threats from President Trump or whoever in this world... This is a racist and supremacist theory he's exposing," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza replied.

Trump went on to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, which he described as "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions."

Like North Korean officials, Iranian diplomats boycotted the speech. Supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini told NBC News that he would only listen to it, but later emphasized that "no one will trust America again" if the United States gets rid of the nuclear agreement.

French President Emmanuel Macron rejected the idea, saying scrapping the deal would be a "big mistake" -- and advocated multilateralism, noting that "there is no other solution."

Other world leaders were pleased with Trump's speech, like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- a staunch ally of the United States.

"In over 30 years of my experience with the U.N., I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech," Netanyahu tweeted, "President Trump spoke the truth about the great dangers facing our world and issued a powerful call to confront them in order to ensure the future of humanity."

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