Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Trump threatens total atomic annihilation of North Korea before dozens of diplomats at UN

In the most chilling speech by any Head of State to the United Nations annual General Assembly since the height of the cold war nuclear stand-off in th 1 950s, US President Donald Trump told the diplomatic delegates in New York if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies, "we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,". ("Trump Threatens to ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea;"  THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 September 2017; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/world/americas/united-nations-general-assembly.html; "A l’ONU, Trump cible la CorĂ©e du Nord, l’Iran et le Venezuela," Les Echos, 19 Setiembre 2017; www.lesechos.fr/monde/etats-unis/030585572273-trump-cible-la-coree-du-nord-liran-et-le-venezuela-2115462.php#xtor=EPR-8-%5B18_heures%5D-20170919-%5BProv_paywall%5D-2034229)
He denounced North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, saying the nation "threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of life" as a result of its nuclear weapons program. "If the righteous many don’t confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,"he menacingly added. President Trump emphasized that it was against the interest of the entire world for North Korea — which he called a "band of criminals" — to obtain missiles and nuclear weapons. "Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself," he insisted in colourful rhetoric speaking of his nuclear nemesis, Kim Jong-un.

Nearly 67 years ago, an earlier US President made similarly menacing threats of atomic annihilation over the long diplomatic dispute in the Korean peninsula. As I recalled in my unpublished letter to The New York Times, published in my blog "Nuclear negotiator Trump," ( 5 September 2017, http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/nuclear-negotiator-trump.html):

"On 30 November 1950, five months after the Korean War broke out, US President Harry S. Truman presided over a chilling press conference in the Indian Treaty Room in the Executive Office Building at the White House, in which he nakedly threatened to use nuclear weapons against the advancing Chinese troops in North Korea.


Truman told the press corps "We will take whatever steps are necessary to meet the military situation, just as we always have." Asked to clarify whether that would "include the atomic bomb?" he responded bluntly "That includes every weapon that we have. ..There has always been active consideration of its use." (http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=13673

A White House statement later that day added "Consideration of the use of any weapon is always implicit in the very possession of that weapon." (ibid)

This demonstrates the US has historical form in threating use of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula to halt a diplomatic dispute

President Trump thanked Russia and China for supporting recent UN sanctions on North Korea, but then barely obliquely attacked them for continuing to do business with President Kim. "It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world," the President stressed.

The president insisted that the US would act alone if neede be, emphasizing the "America first" agenda he had used in his Presidential Election campaign, asserting that the United States would "forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies," but, as President, his primary responsibility was to American citizens.

He added to the diplomatic unease in the UN by next calling the Iran nuclear deal – the multilateral agreement between the UN Permanent Five security council Members and Germany, backed by the EU, and a pride of his predecessor, President Obama’s second term of office- ’"an embarrassment" that is "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."

President Trump rhetorically insisted: "It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction," he said.

However, the international community’s multilateral nuclear inspectors from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna- which is holding its own General Conference this week- declared at the end of last month that they had found no evidence that Iran is breaching the agreement. (IAEA Board Report: Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in Light of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), 31 August 2017; https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gov2017-35.pdf)

This confidence in verification was re-inforced as dozens of diplomats from EU states wrote to the Trump Administration urging the President to certify the US’s own confidence of Iran’s compliance with the agreement

("More than 70 top European officials urge the U.S. to re-certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal; Los Angeles times, 18 September 2017; www.latimes.com/world/la-un-general-assembly-live-updates-over-70-senior-europeans-urge-united-1505768115-htmlstory.html)

A meeting of the P5 plus Germany is due to take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Wednesday. On the same day the UN’s own Treaty banning nuclear weapons (http://www.icanw.org/the-treaty/)- backed by 122 states in the negotiating phase- is due to be opened for signature by member states of the United Nations.

Campaigners from many peace groups will deliver thousands of letters to Downing Street on Wednesday calling on Theresa May to sign the ban treaty. Dr Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, has explained why:
"The anti-nuclear weapons movement across the world has been working towards this day for decades. The earliest CND placards called on our leaders to ban the bomb and abolish all nuclear weapons.
"As a result of that sustained campaign, and tireless efforts from the states that have brought this to fruition, a ban treaty will be launched at the United Nations this week In these turbulent times - when there is a real possibility of nuclear war - it is very inspiring to see the international community - the majority of world states - taking matters into their own hands to make progress on building a nuclear free world. That's why it's absolutely vital that Britain backs this multilateral attempt to kick start nuclear disarmament. We must not turn our backs on the world on this historic day."

Both the US and Britain (whose Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said last week in a twitter exchange that the UK does back nuclear disarmament, but not yet!) have already made clear they refuse to sign, instead arguing the merits for themselves of possessing the very nuclear weapons they insist North Korea nor Iran should not possess, under threat of atomic annihilation!


No comments:

Post a Comment