Syria looks to peace, North Korea to attack on US mainland

Craig Ruttle, Associated Press

Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Foreign Minister of Djibouti, addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at U.N. headquarters.

UNITED NATIONS — Syria’s foreign minister told world leaders Saturday that victory against terrorists in his war-ravaged nation “is now within reach” while North Korea’s foreign minister said U.S. President Donald Trump’s insult to his country makes an attack against the U.S. mainland inevitable.

Global conflicts, threats and challenges dominated the fifth day of the U.N. General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting, including an impassioned appeal for help from the prime minister of Dominica who said his hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island nation is in “the front line of the war on climate change.”

Syria’s Walid al-Moualem said his country is “marching steadily” toward the goal of rooting out terrorism. He pointed to “the liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra,” the end of the Islamic State extremist group’s siege of Deir el-Zour, “and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria” by the Syrian army and its supporters and allies, including Russia and Iran.

Russia’s military said about two weeks ago that Syrian troops have liberated about 85 percent of the war-torn country’s territory from militants, a major turn-around two years after Moscow intervened to lend a hand to its embattled long-time ally.

But the spotlight Saturday was on North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho who said Trump’s insult calling the country’s leader Kim Jong Un “rocket man” makes “our rocket’s visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more.”

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