Trump's UN Speech 'Borders on Threat of ... War Crime'
Reactions to the president's 1st speech to UN General Assembly
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2017 2:58 PM CDT
President Donald Trump sips from a glass after giving a toast during a luncheon at the United Nations Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – On Tuesday, in his first speech in front of the UN General Assembly, President Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and its "rocket man" Kim Jong Un. That, understandably, got people talking. The Hill reports ABC's chief foreign correspondent accused Trump of using "WWE rhetoric" to lob an "immoral threat" in front of the world's political leaders. Terry Moran says mulling the destruction of a country of 25 million people "borders on the threat of committing a war crime." Here's how others are reacting to Trump's speech:

  • Former UN ambassador John Bolton not only calls it the "best speech of the Trump presidency" but says it was unparalleled in the history of the UN, congratulating Trump on saying things that needed to be said, Fox News reports.
  • USA Today has five takeaways from the speech, which include Trump calling terrorists "losers," Iran a "rogue nation," and Venezuela a "responsible neighbor and friend."
  • While the North Korean ambassador to the UN walked out before Trump's speech, a former CIA analyst and expert on North Korea tells the Los Angeles Times how it's likely to play there: “If I were Kim Jong Un, I’d think, I better accelerate this thing and finish building my nuclear weapon before it’s too late. These threats will only increase the hysteria and paranoia in North Korea."
  • Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron took issue with Trump's stance on the Iran nuclear deal, calling the deal "essential for peace" and saying scrapping it would be a "grave error," the New York Times reports. Macron also "rejects escalation" when it comes to North Korea.
  • In its look at the phrases Trump used that "matter most," CNN notes the president used "sovereign" or "sovereignty" 21 times. By doing so, Trump made it clear that America is looking out for itself first and foremost.
  • Writing for the Washington Post, Ed Rogers says he was pleasantly surprised by Trump, who showed an "unusual grasp of realism and relatively remarkable restraint." The former employee of the Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush White Houses says Trump playing nice with the UN is a possible result of Stephen Bannon leaving the administration.
  • Finally, Vanity Fair calls Trump's speech "maniacal" and "warlike" and one that despite all the president's bluster and bragging "left him looking small" in front of the international community.

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