Overnight Defense: Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea in UN speech | Calls Iran deal 'embarrassing' | McCain rips Navy leaders over ship collisions

Overnight Defense: Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea in UN speech | Calls Iran deal 'embarrassing' | McCain rips Navy leaders over ship collisions
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THE TOPLINE: President Trump used a fiery maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to threaten to "totally destroy" North Korea if it continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons. 

Trump dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "rocket man" and said his "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons ... threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life."

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"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime," Trump said, adding that if the U.S. "is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

The president's comments caused a stir among the crowd of leaders and diplomats at the U.N. and represented his starkest ultimatum yet against North Korea, which could escalate the ongoing nuclear crisis with the isolated country. 

The Hill's Jordan Fabian has more here.

 

TRUMP ON IRAN DEAL: During the speech, Trump called the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration an "embarrassment."

"We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program," Trump said in his address before a global audience in New York.

"The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into," Trump continued. "Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States and I don't think you have heard the last of it, believe me." 

His remarks come amid speculation that Trump could choose to nullify the Iran nuclear deal before a key deadline next month. 

Read about that here.

 

The Hill's Niall Stanage has five takeaways from Trump's UN speech here.

 

UN HEAD WARNED BEFORE SPEECH 'FIERY TALK CAN LEAD TO FATAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS': Prior to Trump's speech, the head of the United Nations warned that "fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings."

"The use of nuclear weapons should be unthinkable. Even the threat of their use can never be condoned. But today global anxieties about nuclear weapons are at the highest level since the end of the Cold War," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in his first state-of-the-world report since taking the helm of the organization.

"When tensions rise, so does the chance of miscalculation. Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings."

Guterres specifically called out North Korea. But the speech also appeared to be in reference to Trump, who has warned of "fire and fury" awaiting North Korea if it continues to threaten the United States.

Read more here.

 

MCCAIN RIPS INTO NAVY LEADERS OVER SHIP COLLISIONS: Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore GOP strategist: 'There needs to be a repudiation' of Roy Moore by Republicans World leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday ripped into Navy leaders for what he called an "unacceptable" series of ship collisions this summer that caused the deaths of 17 sailors.

"It is simply unacceptable for U.S. Navy ships to run aground or collide with other ships -- and to have four such incidents in the span of seven months is truly alarming," McCain said in opening remarks during a committee hearing to address four ship accidents this year.

"As leaders of our Navy, you must do better."

On June 17, the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship southwest of Japan, killing seven sailors. The top three leaders of the Fitzgerald were all fired following the incident.

A few months later, on Aug. 20, 10 more sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain was struck by a Liberian oil tanker east of the straits of Malacca and Singapore. 

Many family members whose relatives were among the 17 sailors killed were in attendance as honored guests of the hearing, and McCain read aloud the names of the deceased.

Read more here. 

 

NATIONAL GUARD CHIEF SAYS CLIMATE CHANGE POSSIBLY CAUSING WORSE STORMS: The National Guard's top general said Tuesday that climate change may be causing storms to become "bigger, larger, more violent," which he said underscores the need to keep service members spread across the country to respond.

"I do think that the climate is changing, and I do think that it is becoming more severe," Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters Tuesday morning in response to a question from The Hill.

"I do think that storms are becoming bigger, larger, more violent. You know, I never know if this one speck of time is an anomaly or not, but, you know, we've all seen now three Category 5 storms that popped out in a period of a month."

The National Guard has activated thousands of members in recent weeks to help with recovery efforts during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Guard is also preparing to respond to Hurricane Maria, which is expected to reach Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, by Thursday.

The Hill's Rebecca Kheel has the rest here.

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisAfter Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem In Africa, defense without diplomacy and development is a losing strategy McCain pledges 'rigorous oversight' after Air Force failure to report Texas gunman's conviction MORE will speak at the Air Force Association's annual Air and Space Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. 

 

ICYMI:

-- The Hill: Air Force secretary unconcerned with $9.2B Northrop-Orbital deal: report

-- The Hill: New nonpartisan group aims to educate on Russian interference threat

-- The Hill: Senators worry troops could fall victim to fraud in wake of Equifax hack

-- The Hill: Trudeau threatens to halt Canadian fighter jet buy over Boeing complaint

-- The Hill: Venezuela blasts US 'aggression' after Trump UN speech

-- The Hill: GOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal

-- The Hill: US opens first permanent military base in Israel

 

Please send tips and comments to Rebecca Kheel, rkheel@thehill.com, and Ellen Mitchell, emitchell@thehill.com.

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