Trump Will Rally World to Confront Iran, N. Korea in First UN Address

Trump will 'speak in incredibly tough terms' about rogue regimes, nuclear threat


President Donald Trump "will speak in incredibly tough terms" about the growing threats posed by Iran and North Korea in his first major address before the United Nations Tuesday, according to senior administration officials, who said the president will seek to rally the world to more actively confront these two nuclear-aspiring regimes.

The threat posed by Iran and North Korea to the United States and "world stability" will undergird Trump's remarks before the U.N. General Assembly, where the president will seek to outline his vision to enhance global security and America's interests, according to senior administration officials who previewed Trump's remarks during a briefing with reporters on Monday.

"One of the chief regimes that will be singled out" by Trump is "the regime of North Korea," as well as, "of course, the regime in Iran," according to a senior administration official with direct knowledge of Trump's speech.

"In those two cases," Trump will deliver "an appeal to other nations to do their part in confronting these threats," according to the official, who explained that Trump will warn the global community they "cannot be bystanders to history."

The focus on Iran and North Korea comes as both regimes continue their march toward nuclear weapons and other advanced military weapons.

While North Korea has topped the national security agenda due to its repeated nuclear tests, the inclusion of Iran in this rogue axis is certain to generate discussion among the international community, which remains heavily divided on the best way to confront Iran while upholding the Obama administration's landmark nuclear deal.

With Congress and others heavily pressing the White House to formally designate Iran in violation of the nuclear deal, it remains unclear how the administration will respond.

Asked Monday afternoon about the issue prior to a one-on-one meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump told reporters, "You'll see very soon. You'll be seeing very soon."

Trump will seek to isolate the Iranian regime in his remarks before the U.N. while highlighting the need to court the Iranian populace, which is often in conflict with hardline leadership.

"One of the strategic implications of the speech is to point out that one of the greatest threats to the endurance of the status quo in Iran is the Iranian people themselves," according to the senior administration official.

Trump is expected to highlight divisions between the Iranian people and their government, a move that could generate a fierce response from Tehran, which consistently imprisons, beats, and tortures dissident groups.

"There's a lot of strategic thought in the speech in how to separate out the government from the people of Iran," according to the administration official.

However, North Korea will remain a centerpiece of Trump's efforts to galvanize the global community to play a more proactive role in security issues.

"The North Korean menace is one of the biggest issues that the world community faces in terms of the threats that are out there at this moment in history," according to the senior administration official, who said that Trump will not mince words when discussing the threat posed by Pyongyang.

"That will be a major focus of the president's speech and he will speak in incredibly tough terms about the North Korean menace and the threat it poses to our security and all the nations in the room," said the official, who noted that Trump will publicly call out those who have enabled the regime.

Senior West Wing officials said the speech has been a major focus for Trump, who has written and re-written his remarks several times thus far.

"There's no question that it's a huge event," according to the senior administration official, who said Trump has been "honing and crafting" his remarks.

Trump is said to view the speech as an opportunity to set forth his vision for America's role in the world and how U.S. values will play a role.

The speech will mark "the president's vision and declaration to the world about how America fits into the world, how it operates, and what its values are," the senior administration official said. "It's a deeply philosophical address."

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is

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