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Trump's United Nations speech will encourage nuclear proliferation

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself and its allies, it will have no choice but to destroy North Korea," President Trump told the U.N.

The article "Trump defends 'America first' foreign policy at U.N., threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea" (Sept. 19) got it partially right but didn't complete the circle. North Korea is on an unassailable course to become the world's 10th member of the nuclear-weapons club. If the United States were to feed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal, into the shredder, Iran will likely escalate to become the 11th. The real questions then become: Will any of North Korea's and Iran's inchoate and actual adversarial neighbors see an existential threat and choose to follow suit? And what lessons have these adversaries, real and imagined, learned from recent geostrategic maneuvers to steel their resolve in the face of measures by the United States, United Nations, and others to thwart them?

Keith Tidman, Bethesda

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