Trump continues his love affair with the North Korean dictator, no matter how many promises he breaks on short range missile testing:
North Korea has conducted another ballistic missile launch, violating an apparent promise to U.S. President Donald Trump to refrain from such tests after the conclusion of U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Trump, however, said he did not see the latest North Korean test launches as breaking a promise. Before leaving Washington to attend the G-7 summit, the U.S. leader said North Korean leader “Kim Jong Un has been, you know, pretty straight with me. … He likes testing missiles, but we never restricted short-range missiles.”
Japan's government first reported the launch early Saturday. South Korea's military confirmed the test minutes later, saying North Korea had fired the weapons from South Hamgyong province into the sea off its eastern coast.
Earlier this month, Trump said in a tweet that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to stop launching missiles and return to nuclear talks once the latest round of U.S.-South Korean military drills ended, which happened Tuesday.
However, North Korea has not engaged in dialogue, instead criticizing Washington and Seoul for holding the military drills at all.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Thursday warned the U.S. it was "ready for dialogue and confrontation," vowing to be "America's biggest threat" for a long time to come.
Since May, North Korea has rolled out several new weapons systems, including a short-range ballistic missile that appears designed to evade U.S. and South Korean missile defenses.
All the launches appeared to violate U.N. Security Council resolutions, which ban North Korea from conducting any ballistic missile activity.
Trump says he has "no problem" with the launches, asserting that they do not violate Kim's promise to refrain from longer-range missile or nuclear tests.
But it may be more difficult for Trump to take that same approach with North Korea's latest launch, which may be characterized as a violation of Kim's promise to Trump.
....also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2019