Mr. Trump singled out North Korea, broadening his indictment of the Pyongyang government beyond its pursuit of nuclear weapons to its treatment of its own people and captured foreigners like the American college student who died shortly after being sent back to the United States.
âNo nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,â Mr. Trump said. âThe United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.â
Without mentioning it by name, Mr. Trump also chastised China for continuing to deal with its rogue neighbor, calling it âan outrage that some nationsâ would trade, arm and support North Korea.
He assailed the Iran agreement, which was negotiated by President Barack Obama and leaders of five other powers and ratified by the United Nations Security Council to curb Tehranâs nuclear program for a decade in exchange for lifting international sanctions. Under American law, Mr. Trump has until Oct. 15 to certify whether Iran is complying with the agreement, which he has done twice so far since taking office. But he has made clear that he would prefer not to do so again, which could unravel the accord.
âThe Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,â Mr. Trump said. âFrankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I donât think youâve heard the last of it, believe me.â
The tough words cheered the delegation from Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, applauded from the gallery and called it the boldest speech he had heard at the United Nations in 30 years. In his own address later, he said Mr. Trump had ârightly called the nuclear deal with Iran an embarrassmentâ and pointed to North Korea as an example.
âIn the last few months, weâve all seen how dangerous even a few nuclear weapons can be in the hands of a small rogue regime,â Mr. Netanyahu said. âNow imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the reins of a vast Iranian empire, with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth.â
Others called Mr. Trumpâs speech excessively belligerent. âIf Trump was determined to demonstrate to the world that he is unhinged and an imminent danger to world peace, he has succeeded with this speech, and will only make it harder for him to win over the world to his self-destructive goals,â said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington-based group that criticizes the Tehran government but advocates more engagement.
Neither Hassan Rouhani, Iranâs president, nor Mohammad Javad Zarif, its foreign minister, was in the hall for Mr. Trumpâs speech. North Koreaâs ambassador left his seat before the president started speaking.
In an interview taped before the speech, Mr. Rouhani castigated Mr. Trump for considering a withdrawal from the nuclear accord. âThe exiting of the United States from such an agreement would carry a high cost, meaning that subsequent to such an action by the United States of America, no one will trust America again,â he told NBC News.
Mr. Trumpâs choice of words raised hackles among allies too, as Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign minister, made clear at a reception on Tuesday evening. âWe never talk about destroying countries,â she said.
President Emmanuel Macron of France, who has a friendly relationship with Mr. Trump and whose country was one of the negotiating parties for the Iran deal, likewise took exception. In his General Assembly address, Mr. Macron called the agreement âsolid, robust and verifiable,â and said renouncing it would be a âgrave error.â
While he shared Mr. Trumpâs view that North Koreaâs nuclear belligerence was dangerous and unacceptable, Mr. Macron said multilateral diplomatic pressure was the best solution. âFrance rejects escalation and will not close any door to dialogue,â he said.
The French president also confronted a big issue Mr. Trump conspicuously omitted, climate change. âThe planet will not negotiate with us,â Mr. Macron said, referring to the Paris climate accord that Mr. Trump has renounced.
The United Nations secretary general, AntÃ³nio Guterres, likewise implicitly rebuffed Mr. Trump on climate change. âWe know enough today to act,â he said as he opened the General Assembly session. âThe science is unassailable.â
The early reaction from China was relatively mild, perhaps a reflection of Mr. Trumpâs phone call to President Xi Jinping the night before. In an editorial on Wednesday, the state-run China Daily scolded the United States for not doing more to start talks with North Korea. âHis threat to âtotally destroyâ the D.P.R.K. if need be will, therefore, likely worsen the already volatile situation,â the paper said, using an acronym for North Korea.
Republican lawmakers and conservative leaders cheered the presidentâs strong stance against international outliers like Iran and North Korea.
âIt was the best speech of the Trump presidency in my view,â John R. Bolton, a former ambassador to the United Nations, told Fox News. âItâs safe to say in the entire history of the United Nations there has never been a more straightforward criticism of the behavior, the unacceptable behavior of other member states.â
Mr. Trump arrived at the United Nations with a more overtly nationalist approach than past American presidents, predicated on a belief that the United States has been taken advantage of in areas like trade, security and other international affairs. In addition to abandoning the Paris accord, he has renounced the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and threatened to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement if it is not renegotiated to his liking.
In his speech, he used the word âsovereignâ or âsovereigntyâ 21 times. âThe United States will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies,â he said. âBut we can no longer be taken advantage of, or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return.â
Mr. Trump mentioned only in passing one of the most prominent examples of a violation of sovereignty in recent years, the still-unresolved Russian intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. But he went on to denounce the actions of Venezuelaâs government against its own people without explaining how that fit into his concept of respecting sovereignty.
âThe Socialist dictatorship of NicolÃ¡s Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country,â Mr. Trump said. âThis corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried.â
Still, he avoided some of the harsh language he has used in the past about the United Nations itself. âFor years, Iâve been a critic,â he said in a toast at a luncheon given by Mr. Guterres, âbut Iâve also been somebody that said the United Nations has tremendous potential.â
The president met separately with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, a Persian Gulf state Mr. Trump has accused of being a âfunder of terrorism.â He eschewed such characterizations on Tuesday, instead calling the emir a longtime friend and renewing his offer to mediate a standoff between Qatar and other Arab countries.
âWe are right now in a situation where weâre trying to solve a problem in the Middle East and I think weâll get it solved,â Mr. Trump said. âI have a very strong feeling that it will be solved pretty quickly.â
The emir welcomed his help. âAs you said, Mr. President, we have a problem with our neighbors and your interference will help a lot and Iâm sure we can find a solution for this problem,â he said.