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POST TIME: 24 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
World leaders at UN
N Korea, Iran and Trump to dominate the gathering
AFP

N Korea, Iran and Trump to dominate the gathering

UNITED NATIONS: North Korea and Iran will dominate this week’s gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, where President Donald Trump will be firmly in the spotlight as he continues to upend global diplomacy, reports AFP.

After warming up to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and ditching the Iran nuclear deal, the unpredictable Trump takes the podium on Tuesday to face foes and increasingly uneasy allies at the UN General Assembly.

On Wednesday, he will for the first time chair a Security Council meeting on non-proliferation and weapons of mass destruction that will focus heavily on Iran—likely triggering a clash with other big powers.

“It will be the most watched Security Council meeting ever,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley said of Trump’s first time wielding the gavel.

The diplomatic gathering will take stock of the thaw in relations between North and South Korea, and ground-breaking US-North Korea moves to address the threat from Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Last year, world leaders shuddered as Trump threatened to totally destroy North Korea and belittled Kim as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission.” An exchange of insults ensued, with Kim calling out the “mentally deranged US dotard.”

Trump’s address to the assembly will be the “polar opposite of what we heard last year,” said Suzanne DiMaggio, an expert on North Korea and Iran at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The president will tout his face-to-face with Kim as a major diplomatic win but “he should think twice if he plans to repeat his claim that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat,” she said.

Despite the Trump-Kim landmark summit in Singapore in June, there has been little concrete progress on denuclearization.