Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 14, 2018-Friday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Trump’s UN speech in expressions: John Kelly looks ‘embarrassed’, Netanyahu ‘happy’

US President Donald Trump’s UN speech drew varying reactions from leaders on the two sides of his black-and-white ledger.

world Updated: Sep 20, 2017 12:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Donald Trump,UN speech,Trump UN speech
White House chief of staff John Kelly reacts as he and first lady Melania Trump listen to US President Donald Trump speak during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters.(AP Photo)

US President Donald Trump’s debut speech at the United Nations has been called a “42-minute tweetstorm” and “’axis of evil’ speech on steroids.” One man seemed worried though: White House chief of staff John Kelly was photographed sitting with his hand on his forehead, looking down, as Trump spoke.

The Week ran a story headlined: ‘John Kelly was pretty upset during Trump’s UN speech’, guessing if Kelly had a bad headache or Trump’s debut speech was giving him one.

Social media users joked that it appeared Kelly, who was sitting next to First Lady Melania Trump at the UN General Assembly, was going through an “existential crisis” as Trump “rambled” on about “totally destroying” North Korea.

Vice News noted that this wasn’t the only time Kelly was photographed looking distraught during Trump’s speeches. Sample this: Kelly standing with his arms cross in a corner of the room as the US President spoke about “very fine people” who attended the Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ rally.

Trump’s speech -- dubbing Kim Jong-un a “rocket man” on a “suicide mission” -- was lapped up by supporters at home, but left allies around the world bewildered at the change that has gripped the world’s only superpower.

Trump’s remarks used the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty” 21 times, rhetoric more often deployed in modern times by China to deflect criticism of a domestic crackdown or by Russia to deride US interference in domestic affairs.

Allies were left with a renewed sense that “America First” will mean America alone.

“In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch,” Trump said.

Trump called the UN-backed Iran nuclear deal “an embarrassment” to the United States and suggested it was one of the worst international pacts ever struck. And he hinted that his administration, which has accused Tehran of aiding terrorism in the Middle East, could soon declare Iran out of compliance with the deal, which could unravel it.

He also decried the “disastrous rule” of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and urged the UN to step in

The speech drew varying reactions from leaders on the two sides of Trump’s black-and-white ledger. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a Trump ally, wrote on Twitter, “In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.” Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, wrote that “Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times-not the 21st Century UN -unworthy of a reply.”

Here’s a look at other expressions and an absent North Korea from the UNGA: 

The North Korean delegation's seats stand empty as President Donald Trump speaks to world leaders at the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York. (AFP Photo)

Israel and Iran have a different story to tell: 

Members of the Israeli delegation, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), applaud as US President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. (Reuters Photo)

Venezuela didn’t look too happy either: 

And Zimbabwe...

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 11:50 IST