This story has been updated to reflect the most recent events and up-to-date statements.
President Donald Trump addressed the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City today.
While he came down on Iran, he also addressed North Korea and other issues during the Plenary Meeting that is attended by world leaders from the 193 member countries of the U.N. that gather during the General Assembly.
Trump specifically addressed the “corrupt dictatorship” of Iran, a regime that’s lining its own pockets while also being the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism around the world, he said.
“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. They don’t respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations,” Trump said. “Instead they plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and beyond.”
Iran’s people are “outraged,” as its leaders have “embezzled billions from Iran’s treasury” and done a number on the Iranian economy – “all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war,” Trump continued.
He again called the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “horrible,” and said the deal was a “windfall” for Iran’s leaders.
“In the years since the deal, Iran’s military budget grew 40 percent,” Trump said, pointing out that the dictatorship “grew missiles, increased internal repression, financed terrorism and wreaked havor in Syria and Yemen.”
To combat the dictatorship’s destruction, Trump said that economic sanctions – those lifted under the nuclear deal – were re-imposed last month, and new sanctions will be implemented on Nov 5, and the U.S. is also working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut down on their imports.
“We can’t allow Iran to possess the most dangerous weapons… chant ‘death to America’… to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on earth. We can’t do it,” Trump said. “We ask nations to isolate Iran and its regime, and to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.”
You can watch the archive of Trump’s speech here:
The President tweeted Tuesday morning about his speech and pointed out he would be speaking at the U.N., and that the U.S. is “much stronger, much richer and MUCH safer” than when he took office.
“Will be speaking at the United Nations this morning. Our country is much stronger and much richer than it was when I took office less than two years ago. We are also MUCH safer,” Trump said.
Will be speaking at the United Nations this morning. Our country is much stronger and much richer than it was when I took office less than two years ago. We are also MUCH safer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2018
Trump also tweeted Tuesday morning that he would not be meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has in the past refused to meet with Trump.
“Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man,” Trump wrote.
Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2018
Last year during his speech, Trump famously called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” for the first time.
In his first address to the United Nations, he also said it was time for North Korea to realize that ceasing its missile program is the “only acceptable future,” but that the United States was ready to “totally destroy” the country if it continued on this path of destruction toward the U.S. or its allies.
“If this is not twisted enough, North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life,” Trump said last year. “It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with North Korea, but would arm and supply a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.”
“If the U.S. is forced to defend itself or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” the President had said.
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and the regime,” Trump had said, referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. “The U.S. is ready, willing and able [to totally destroy North Korea], but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about.”
At that time last year, North Korea had just last week launched yet another missile, this one an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.
The North Korean launch came hours after North Korea had threatened to blow the United States to “ashes and darkness” and had said it would “sink” the country of Japan, following a United Nations resolution that banned 90 percent of its exports.
United Nations sanctions against North Korea are working, officials have pointed out, as the country’s economy has taken a hit from the sanctions.
The sanctions were passed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council following North Korea’s sixth ever successful nuclear missile launch last year, and its claims that the country had a Hydrogen bomb it could place on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The sanctions, while watered down from original drafts, fully banned the country’s textile exports and reduced its oil and petroleum exports. This means about 90 percent of North Korea’s exports were banned, as well as a complete ban on the country’s overseas laborers that provide nearly $500 million in revenue. Additionally, all foreign investment with North Korea was cut off, and the regime’s assets were frozen.
North Korea had promised the U.S. would “suffer the greatest pain it ever experienced in history” over the sanctions.
President Trump has said that the latest sanctions the United Nations imposed on North Korea are “not a big deal” compared to what might happen in the future.