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President Trump leads U.S. delegates to United Nations general assembly

20 September 2017

"'Make the United Nations Great" Trump said after his remarks.

Thank you so much, great to be here.

Trump's blistering speech came just minutes after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put "nuclear peril" as the gravest threat facing the world and warned that "fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings".

Trump has railed against the U.N. over the years, and especially during the 2016 presidential campaign, calling the body "not a friend of democracy" and "not a friend even to the United States of America". So does getting up in front of the United Nations and saying it in this very formal setting - does it have a greater effect, do you think?

Though Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are not at UNGA, the timing may also have something to do with leaders gathering at the United Nations headquarters with the eyes of the world on foreign policy. "We're going to have to try and top it".

There is another reason to question whether the administration has really reached the end of its rope on pressing the United Nations to act on North Korea.

GLASSER: Well, that's been really an interesting question to me, is to try to ascertain, like, how is this war scare different than all the rest?

Trump's main charge against the United Nations during the 2016 campaign was that the worldwide body was simply inept. We say all the time if a government doesn't take of its people, bad things will happen.

GLASSER: I think it is.

"They don't like the idea that the worldwide community sees this as a China problem", said Mr Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre in Beijing.

To understand the comments, one need only look at Guterres' background as former High Commissioner of the U.N. Refugee agency for a decade, making his name protecting migrants. His response to it is what is different.

"We're going to put America first".

Haley said the world body has also squeezed $500 million out of its peacekeeping budget - a major concern for the USA which covers more than a quarter of United Nations peacekeeping costs.

Trump deployed these terms 21 times as he made the case that strong, independent nations - rather than global institutions - are the key to unlocking a more prosperous and peaceful future. He used the word sovereignty over and over and over again. He gave no examples but appeared to be pointing to growing nationalism in the United States and some European countries. Unlike the United States and Israel, Korea has not been at war since 1953. So when Trump uses that word, it's a little bit like waving the flag to Russian Federation and China and others in the world and saying, don't worry. And then you also have, frankly, some of the more traditional rhetoric of American foreign policy that presidents of both parties often use at the United Nations. The US president has been a frequent critic of the agreement.

He sat down separately yesterday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where they talked about Iran.

Trump also castigated the Iran nuclear deal and said the Iranian regime's longest suffering victims are its own people. "It has turned a wealthy country with rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos", Trump said.

GLASSER: And I think that's an important one to note, that this is basically supported by all the world's major powers.

Trump, who has previously warned of "fire and fury" if Pyongyang does not back down, claimed that "no one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea". "If he doesn't create the chaos he wants, he wants at least to be on the record saying, 'I told you that would happen'".

President Trump leads U.S. delegates to United Nations general assembly