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U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe head for the golf course at Mobara Golf Club in Japan
Image: picture-alliance/AP Images/Yomiuri Shimbun
Politics

Trump unfazed by N. Korea missile launches

May 26, 2019

Ahead of a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Donald Trump has dismissed recent missile tests in nearby North Korea. He later joined Abe for a round of golf outside Tokyo.

https://p.dw.com/p/3J5Zq

US President Donald Trump has downplayed recent North Korean missile tests, overriding the concerns of Japan and contradicting his hawkish national security adviser.

"North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," Trump said in an early morning tweet on Sunday, before joining Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a game of golf outside Tokyo.

Read more: North Korea food rations hit record low level after poor harvest: UN 

The president, who is on a four-day trip to Japan, made the comments after National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters on Saturday that short-range missile tests by North Korea on May 4 and 9 constituted a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Trump said he had confidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "will keep his promise to me," a reference to a North Korean pause in missile launches and nuclear tests since 2017.

Food crisis in North Korea

Some administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have sought to downplay this month's short-range missile launches, which came following the collapse of talks between Trump and Kim in Hanoi in February.

"The moratorium was focused, very focused, on intercontinental missile systems, the ones that threaten the United States," Pompeo said in a recent television interview.

Japan views the short-range missile tests as a threat due to the country's proximity to North Korea.

Trump sides with Kim against Joe Biden

In the same tweet, Trump also said he had "smiled" when North Korea called former Vice President Joe Biden a "fool of low IQ" and an "imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being" after the Democratic presidential hopeful criticized Trump's meetings with Kim during a speech.

Trump said he "smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse," before later offering a version of the tweet with the correct spelling of "Biden." 

Following golf, Trump and Abe will attend a sumo wrestling match. On Monday, official talks are expected to focus on trade and North Korea.

cw/cmk (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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