Donald Trump's UN Speech And How The World Reacted

'It belongs in medieval times.'

Donald Trump gave his first ever address to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday and seemed pretty pleased with himself for threatening to “to totally destroy North Korea”.

Considering his 41-minute monologue was variously described as “warmongering” and “contradictory” and was even met with derisions of laughter at one point, this seems quite a claim.

Now the dust has settled and world leaders and experts have had time to digest Trump’s speech, here’s what they actually thought.

Trump’s Own Right-Hand Man

First of all there was John Kelly, Trump’s recently appointed Chief of Staff who is generally responsible for putting out White House fires/nuclear explosions.

He didn’t look too comfortable...

North Korea

This is North Korea’s Ambassador to the UN, Ja Song Nam.

Well, the back of his head as he walked out before Trump even arrived.

<strong>North Korea's Ambassador to the UN, Ja Song Nam, leaves the hall prior to the arrival of US President Donald Trump</strong>
North Korea's Ambassador to the UN, Ja Song Nam, leaves the hall prior to the arrival of US President Donald Trump
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

South Korea And Japan

These two countries are in the direct firing line of a North Korean missile launch and their responses were suitably measured although tellingly, both emphasised diplomatic solutions rather than full-blown war.

Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for the South Korean President, said Trump’s comments:

“...reaffirmed the need to put maximum sanctions and pressure against North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations."”

- Park Soo-hyun
<strong>Teetotal Trump toasts during a luncheon yesterday.</strong>
Teetotal Trump toasts during a luncheon yesterday.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said:

“We greatly appreciate President Trump’s approach to changing North Korea’s policy stance, denuclearising the country and calling on the international community, including China and Russia, for their cooperation toward strengthening pressure on North Korea"”

- Yoshihide Suga


This is Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran, a country which often implements Sharia Law.


Trump promised to “take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its authoritarian path”, to which the country’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, responded rather sassily:

“Trump is not the President of the world... he can not even manage his own government."”

- Jorge Arreaza


The President of the fellow-socialist country, said:

Which translates as:

“I am not surprised that a multi-millionaire like Trump attacks socialism. Our struggle will always be ideological and pragmatic."”

- Evo Morales Ayma


Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, didn’t mince his words when he said the speech was a...

“...barefaced US pretense to determine who has such rights and who does not."”

<strong>Ivanka Trump (R) and Lara Trump (L) depart after Trump delivered his address.</strong>
Ivanka Trump (R) and Lara Trump (L) depart after Trump delivered his address.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters


Even countries with much less of a vested interest in the countries targeted by Trump chipped in.

Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, said:

“It was the wrong speech, at the wrong time, to the wrong audience."”

- Margot Wallstrom


And of Trump’s denouncement of the Iran Nuclear Deal, French President, Emmanuel Macron, said reneging would be a...

“... grave error."”

- Emmanuel Macron

The Experts

Numerous specialists from around the world also had strong words.

“With those words, President Trump handed the Kim regime the soundbite of the century. It will play on a continuous loop on North Korean national television."”

- Marcus Noland, a North Korea specialist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington

Cheng Xiaohe of Renmin University said in an interview that he initially thought that “the US had nearly declared war on North Korea”.

“It’s a bit funny to see how the US President behaves in exactly the same way, using exactly the same words his North Korean counterparts have been using for decades."”

- Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University in South Korea

Lankov added that he expects North Korea to respond to Trump’s threats with “equally powerful ... equally comical” and “probably more ridiculous rhetoric”.

But there was one world leader he agreed with Trump.

Before You Go