Speaking of North Korea, and using Biblically suggestive language, Donald Trump, President of the United States, told the United Nations General Assembly that the “righteous many” must destroy the “wicked few,” in order to maintain global security.
“If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” Trump said, calling for international cooperation on North Korea, which has become a test of his young administration’s policies. “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump said at the UN, a reference to Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader. “The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.”
Mr. Trump urged the UN and its member states to “do much more” to “isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior.” He thanked China and Russia for their votes to tighten sanctions on the North, but it is those two countries—both veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council—that are most reluctant to press for any international solution that would weaken or destabilize North Korea.
North Korea continues its battery of missile tests, and a recent nuclear test has raised alarms in Asian capitals and Washington. North Korea is believed to be near to possessing the ability to strike the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile armed with a nuclear warhead.
If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, Mr. Trump added, the United States “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Mr. Trump also spoke of the Iranian deal signed during Barack Obama’s term in office. “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,” he said. “The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
Trump’s speech was billed as a testament to his commitment to national sovereignty, and it was a topic the president, who campaigned on a theme of “America First,” raised even as he outlined his view of how the world can tackle common challenges. “I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs,” he said. “In foreign affairs, we are renewing this principle of sovereignty. The government’s first duty is to the people, our first duty is to our citizens: to serve their needs, to ensure their safety and to preserve their rights and to defend their values. As president of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you as the leaders of your countries will always and should always put your countries first.”
Trump also listed other challenges the world faces, including terrorism, Russia’s interference in Ukraine, Syria, and “uncontrolled migration,” which he said, “is deeply unfair to both the sending and receiving countries.”
But while there is every reason to deal with North Korea’s belligerence, Mr. Trump’s remarks about the Hermit Kingdom were the most strikingly “prophetic” and reflected the influence of his evangelical counselors with whom he is now familiar. He was essentially saying that one nation should be destroyed so that the whole world can continue untroubled. He was declaring that the sacrifice of one nation may be essential so that the safety of the rest of the world might be ensured.
While it is true that North Korea’s rogue behavior is deserving of censure it is hard to miss Mr. Trump’s precedence-setting remarks. This argument is laying the foundation for similar reasoning, which will, one day, be used against those who are loyal to the Ten Commandments and keep God’s seventh-day Sabbath. A legitimate and egregious target, as usual, is unwittingly being used to establish the principle that will eventually be used against an illegitimate target.
“As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument, many centuries ago, was brought against Christ by the “rulers of the people.” “It is expedient for us,” said the wily Caiaphas, “that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” John 11:50 This argument will appear conclusive; and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.” The Great Controversy, pages 615 and 616.