President Donald Trump is all set to hit the world stage for the second time at the green-marbled United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) hall. At the world stage, he will be surrounded by world leaders where he is expected to discuss international security and development.
As expected, the president’s first address at the UNGA went off the rails as he used his opening remarks at the platform on "Management, Security, and Development" to promote Trump Tower and brag about his business prowess.
Not only that, the commander-in-chief referred to North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as the “rocket man” and threatened to “totally destroy” his country during a speech at the UNGA.
He also criticized the Iran nuclear deal, called it an “embarrassment to the United States” and vowed to rip it off.
Now, as Trump prepares to address world leaders once again, his aides fear his attitude might be exactly the opposite from last year – and that might not even help the United States.
The president thinks North Korea’s Kim, who he last year called the “rocket man,” is now “very honorable.” Moreover, he also said he is “always available” to hold a one-on-one meeting with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani.
Speaking in general, it is good for world leaders to be on friendly terms but keeping in mind Trump’s track record, it is exactly the opposite. His aides fear the president’s chummy attitude with adversaries would make things even worse.
Trump’s friendly attitude with North Korea might affect the pressure the United States is putting on the hermit kingdom to denuclearize as reports suggest North Korea is rapidly upgrading its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, it’s only known nuclear reactor used to produce weapon-grade missile material.
Trump’s aides also want to avoid his meeting with Rouhani because they are concerned he might not be prepared to handle the situation. His advisors also maintain a stance that a meeting with the Iranian counterpart is not possible because the Iranians have repeatedly said they are not interested in one.
Moreover, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ruled out even an inch of a possibility by throwing hurdles in the way of the meeting. He said the United States has series of “simple demands” before engaging in a meeting.
Trump’s meeting with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in is also the one to closely watch because the latter is expected to press the president to accept a declaration that would formally end the Korean War.
The move is also very important for North Korea as it will end the kingdom’s diplomatic isolation.
The president’s aide are completely off the idea of accepting the declaration as it will give a message of Trump bowing down to Kim in all aspects – considering the move will come after the United States suspended joint military exercises with South Korea.
Jung H. Pak, a former C.I.A. mission director for North Korea who is now a scholar at the Brookings Institution, recently wrote, “Mr. Kim believes he now has a sympathetic partner in the White House who held a summit with him against the counsel of his advisers, and agreed to a statement at Singapore, which by all measures was weak and failed to advance the U.S. policy of final, fully verified denuclearization.”
Keeping in mind Trump’s history it is clear that he is highly unpredictable and can surely turn a decent meeting into an awkward one just with his words. Only time will tell how the president will portray America at this year’s UNGA.
Thumbnail, Banner: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque