US President Donald Trump brushed off the North Korea hawks on his team, saying he was not at all “disturbed” by the news of renewed muscle flexing by Pyongyang.
The launch of “some small weapons” by North Korea worries “some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump tweeted on Saturday during his trip to Japan.
Pyongyang test-fired short-range ballistic missiles in early May, ending its two-year pause in missile launches. Not surprisingly, the news startled the North Korea hawks in Washington.
The president appeared to shrug off their fears, saying he is confident that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “will keep his promise to me” not to fire long-range ballistic missiles and conduct nuclear tests. By doing so, Trump continued his line of insisting that the leaders remain cordial and enjoy mutual understanding, despite signs that relations between the two nations have soured.
Donald Trump’s message came as a rebuff to foreign policy hardliners like his national security advisor, John Bolton, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Bolton earlier told reporters in Tokyo that there was “no doubt” that Pyongyang’s recent missile tests violate international law. The official said that, unlike Trump, he takes “much” of what North Korea says with “a grain of salt.”
Talks between Washington and Pyongyang fell apart during the Trump-Kim meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam in February. North Korean diplomats said this happened because the US refused to partially lift sanctions in exchange for additional assurances that the nation will not conduct any more long-range missile tests.
North Korea later said that the talks cannot resume until the US changes its approach and stops making “impossible” demands. The officials had even made a specific request for Mike Pompeo to be taken off the negotiating team. The White House refused, insisting that Pompeo will continue to lead the talks.
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