4 min read.Updated: 20 Sep 2017, 04:25 PM ISTLivemint
Donald Trump's first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday has garnered international attention. Here's are some reactions from the global media
New Delhi: Donald Trump’s first-ever speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday has evoked sharp reactions from the international media, especially his combative vow to “totally destroy North Korea", if the US is forced to defend itself or its allies against the renegade nation’s nuclear weapons programme. The speech was textbook Trump, dividing the globe into friends and foes and taking unflinching aim at America’s enemies.
The US President also urged nations to work together to stop Iran’s nuclear program, while denouncing “radical Islamic terrorism."
Nothing surprising, Trump called Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government a “criminal regime", but not making any mention of Russia. But, even Trump, who during his campaign days rejected the UN’s role, placed hope in the global body to solve “vicious and complex problems".
Here are some of the reactions from editorials and op-ed articles from the international media focusing on Trump’s maiden speech to the UNGA:
■The Korea Times: “U.S. President Donald Trump used fiery rhetoric in his first United Nations speech but hit an unexpected tone — authoritative and responsible, fitting for the leader of the free world. It was an above-average speech, indicating Trump has grown into the job that was feared to be too big for him at the start… To put the conclusion first, the speech is worth being called the “Trump doctrine" providing a more firm direction about how he will deal with Iran and Venezuela as well as North Korea. The Trumpian solution on the North comes down to diplomacy, not military options."
■ The Jerusalem Post: “A preemptive military strike on North Korea is inevitable, and the longer we wait the worse it will be when it does happen, so the best result would be achieved through acting today as opposed to in 2030. The consequences will be tragic, but far less tragic than in the future. Trump should act swiftly, and make it clear to North Korea that any retaliation towards Seoul or Tokyo will result in their countries total decimation. This strategy may not be appealing in the short-run, however future generations will thank us for removing a clear evil from the planet once and for all. So what are we waiting for?"
■ The New York Times: “The United Nations isn’t the venue one would expect for threatening war. Yet that’s what President Trump did in his first address to the General Assembly. Mr. Trump’s performance had echoes of President George W. Bush’s infamous “axis of evil" demonizing of Iran, North Korea and Iraq in 2002… Mr. Trump’s largely benign comments about the United Nations were encouraging, considering he once condemned it as useless and having no place in his “America First" vision."
■ The Express Tribune: “Looking at the Trumpian approach, one can posit a question — what will Trump consider as the next challenge. Can it be Pakistan? Perhaps if the US sees North Korea and Pakistan as China’s proxies. Pakistan and North Korea are of course two completely different cases. In contrast to Pyongyang, Islamabad does not have ICBMs, thermonuclear weapons or whatsoever that can deter the US. Nevertheless, is it unthinkable that one day Pakistan could be on the list? No. Can Pakistan’s nuclear weapons save it from a US conventional or nuclear attack? No. So should Pakistan be worried? Yes."
■ Daily Caller: “Taken as a whole, Trump’s speech should have gone over well his supporters disenchanted over his recent handling of illegal immigration. At the same time, it showed signs that Trump could ditch his commitment to America First and embrace being the world’s policeman. Only his future actions will clarify the president’s ambiguous message to the UN."
■ The American Conservative: “Trump’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly this morning contained a lot of ill-advised and dangerous remarks, but this one stood out: If the righteous many don’t confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
U.S. foreign policy already suffers from far too much self-congratulation and excessive confidence in our own righteousness, so it was alarming to hear Trump speak in such stark, fanatical terms about international affairs. Paired with his confrontational rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Syria, Trump’s choice to cast these states as the “wicked few" portends more aggressive and meddlesome policies and gives the leaders of all of these governments reason to assume the worst about our intentions. It was similar to Bush’s foolish “axis of evil" remarks in 2002."
■ The Sydney Morning Herald: “Speaking to an audience accustomed to hearing the likes of Moscow and Beijing deflect criticism by invoking “sovereignty", Trump used the word more than 20 times, as he observed that some parts of the world were “going to hell" — but many of its problems could be fixed by a good dose of his “Make America Great Again" ethos and by every nation embracing its own nationalism."
■ Russia Today: “Words of a US president should not be taken lightly, as they can be followed by actions that have far-reaching consequences, as did Barack Obama’s declarations on Libya and Syria, and George W. Bush’s famous speech on the ‘Axis of Evil’… The world has yet to see what actions will follow President Trump’s statements. However, the consequences of his predecessors’ statements have already been experienced."
■ France24: “Boastful, bellicose and, at times, confused, Donald Trump’s maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday was largely what observers have come to expect from the US president’s public speeches. Once again, the central premise was the now well known mantra “America First". This time, however, the audience was not a crowd of fervent supporters at one of Trump’s campaign rallies, but delegates of almost every sovereign nation in the world and, by proxy, the entire nations they represent. It would be a much harder sell."
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