UNITED STATES President Donald Trump is expected to focus on urging the international community to cooperate in reining in North Korea as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday.
“He will speak in extremely tough terms about the North Korean menace and the threat it poses to our security and the security of all the nations in that room,” a White House official told reporters in a call previewing Trump’s remarks at the UN General Assembly.
“And he will talk about, as well, the enablement of the North Korean regime and what that means too,” the official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not elaborate, but his mention of “enablement” was likely a reference to China, which has frustrated Trump by failing to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches have stirred global tensions. Pyongyang has launched two missiles over Japan in the past month, defying UN sanctions.
The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said over the weekend that North Korea would be “destroyed” if it continued down a “reckless” path of nuclear expansion and threatening the US and its allies.
Trump spoke to China’s President Xi Jinping earlier on Monday and committed to keep up pressure on North Korea by enforcing UN resolutions, the White House said.
On Tuesday, Trump is also expected to go hard against Iran during a speech that the official said would espouse the importance of state sovereignty.
“It’s an appeal to each nation to use sovereignty as the basis for mutual cooperation, the idea being that rather than appealing to a top-down model of global bureaucracy, it’s a model that’s from the nation-state up,” he said.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2017
The theme is consistent with Trump’s “America First” philosophy that helped him win last year’s election.
Trump has been critical of international organisations, including NATO and the UN. On Monday, he criticised the 193-nation body for a bloated bureaucracy and mismanagement, but said reforms would help it emerge stronger and more effective.
Additional reporting by Reuters