United Nations at crossroads

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President Trump will turn up the heat on North Korea and call out countries that coddle the rogue regime Tuesday in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, said a senior White House official who recognized that the threat of war loomed over the speech.

Mr Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd at the UN that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said Mr Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life".

President Donald Trump warned today that the United States is ready to "totally destroy" North Korea and vowed to confront Iran's "murderous regime" over its weapons programme.

On Trump's comments on Kim Jong-un, Earnest said, "To be blunt, Andrea, I think it is foolish to goad or provoke or mock someone who, even in President Trump's own words, is on a suicide mission".

The address was a harsh rebuke of North Korea's ongoing nuclear weapons buildup.

Mr. Trump also criticized countries that continue to do business with North Korea, but did not single out China by name; Beijing is Pyongyang's largest trading partner.

The president says it's outrageous that some nations would trade or financially support "a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict".

Speaking about Iran's nuclear deal with six world powers, Trump told the UN General Assembly: "We can not abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program".

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump's remarks about Iran, saying in a statement that he had "never heard a bolder or more courageous speech" at the United Nations in more than 30 years.

Trump says the U.S is working with allies to crush the threat posed by worldwide terrorism.

Aides have since suggested Mr Trump would be willing to renegotiate terms of the deal but European leaders have dismissed that approach.

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"I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first".

Trump told world leaders that he would not seek to insist their countries adopt U.S. values.

He also strongly indicated that he would not remain in the Iranian nuclear deal, which is up for renewal next month, calling it "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the USA has ever entered into" and "an embarrassment".

In his speech Tuesday, Trump celebrated the worldwide alliances formed after World War II, a sharp contrast from his campaign rhetoric.

Trump he praised the American people as "strong and resilient" and says the US has done "very well" since his election.

Even so, the Trump administration argues the Islamic Republic is violating the spirit of the deal - citing its ongoing ballistic-missile program and policies the US considers to be destabilizing the Middle East - and Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, has said Trump may decide against re-certifying this time.

"But in fulfilling our obligations to other nations we also realise it's in everyone's interest to seek a future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous and secure".

"But we can no longer be taken advantage of, or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return", he said.

"We are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people and their patriotism", he said towards the end of his speech.

Touching upon a booming USA stock market, a recovering Europe, a diminished middle class and the threat of terrorism, Trump's speech bounced between the two poles of hope and horror.

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